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Monday, March 08, 2010

Why the Democrats are content to lose if they can pass health care

Mark Steyn explains why the Democrats are willing to lose their majorities this year just if they can get their health care bill passed. They're thinking long-term and they understand that this bill would change politics forever in the United States.
It redefines the relationship between the citizen and the state in fundamental ways that make limited government all but impossible.

In most of the rest of the Western world, there are still nominally "conservative" parties, and they even win elections occasionally, but not to any great effect. (Let's not forget that Jacques Chirac was, in French terms, a "conservative.") The result is a kind of two-party one-party state:

Right-of-center parties will once in a while be in office, but never in power, merely presiding over vast left-wing bureaucracies that cruise on regardless.
Once it's enacted, it will not be rolled back. Ever. We don't roll back entitlements. They'll be around forever and our concept of government will be substantially altered.
Once the state swells to a certain size, the people available to fill the ever expanding number of government jobs will be statists — sometimes hard-core Marxist statists, sometimes social-engineering multiculti statists, sometimes fluffily "compassionate" statists, but always statists.

The short history of the postwar welfare state is that you don't need a president-for-life if you've got a bureaucracy-for-life: The people can elect "conservatives," as the Germans have done and the British are about to do, and the left is mostly relaxed about it because, in all but exceptional cases (Thatcher), they fulfill the same function in the system as the first-year boys at wintry English boarding schools who for tuppence-ha'penny or some such would agree to go and warm the seat in the unheated lavatories until the prefects strolled in and took their rightful place.

Republicans are good at keeping the seat warm. A big-time GOP consultant was on TV crowing that Republicans wanted the Dems to pass ObamaCare because it's so unpopular it will guarantee a GOP sweep in November.

Okay, then what? You'll roll it back — like you've rolled back all those other unsustainable entitlements premised on cobwebbed actuarial tables from 80 years ago?

Like you've undone the Department of Education and of Energy and all the other nickel 'n' dime novelties of even a universally reviled one-term loser like Jimmy Carter?
That is why the Democratic leaders are willing to go down swinging on this one. Sure they might lose in 2010 or 2012, but in the long run, they'll be the victors and we'll all be living in the mess that they've created.


LarryD said...

The Catastrophic Health Care law was rolled back, repealed outright eighteen months after it was signed into law.

Like ObamaCare, the taxes began immediately, and the benefits were delayed, to play games with the budget estimates.

Even by 2012, the benefits won't have started, and ObamaCare's repeal will be a campaign issue both in 2010 and 2012. As usual, the "Progressives" misread the electorate.

Bachbone said...

Repeal would not be as easy as the GOP would have us believe, especially if Obama is able to appoint more leftists to SCOTUS. If he's re-elected in 2012, he'll veto any attempts at legislative repeal. The GOP itself hasn't demonstrated any particular effectiveness in conservative thought in twenty years, and still hasn't shown it "gets it" despite the Tea Party movement. (Take Lindsey Graham's cooperation in closing Gitmo, for example.) Finally, Sen. Demint has said the bill contains built-in provisions that prevent changes by future legislative actions. The best chance of avoiding catastrophe is stopping it now.

Towering Barbarian said...

The Democrats may be banking on this and perhaps they are right to do so, but I suspect Mencius was also right when he wrote, "The Mandate of Heaven is not inmutable!"

Political landscapes are eternal. until they're not! Politcal trends are unstoppable. Except when they cease. Political parties last longer than a lost election. Until they don't!

The Massachusetts Senate race was a warning. Where are the Federalists and Whigs today? Strong political parties have been broken and discarded for even less reason than the Democrats will give America if they persist in this in the face of popular disaproval. The Democrats have been good about writing rules and laws to compensate for their waning popularity since the 1970s but that too need not last forever.

One reason that these programs have not previously come undone is that there had always been an unspoken gentleman's agreement between the parties until now - You do not more than make token cuts in the things we care about when you hold power and we do not do more than make token cuts in the things you care about when we hold power. Part of this is one hand washing another but the deeper reason was probably more likely a justified fear that if administration policies differ *too* wildly from what has gone before then there would be a danger of government policy suffering from a dangerous schizophrenia if the swings in how that policy was conducted between elections ever became too wild.

But this? If a policy makes those who passed and anyone who upholds it truly hated by all as this one seems fairly certain to then why should it not be regarded as a bit of madness in its own right to be flushed out of the system? If you were a GOPer would you resist the impulse to keep your political career alive by getting rid of this to please the Dummycrats who self-destructed to make this happen and becamse a spent force by doing so? Even among the Democrats who support it there are many who do so as a matter of party discipline rather than genuine conviction and that discipline will not be improved if the popular uproar against this continues to grow.

I suspect the continued death from within of the Democrat party may be seen in their pursuit of this. As they shrink and become more and more dependent on dirty tricks to get their way their hubris grows.

And in the end? o_O

"The Mandate of Heaven is not Inmutable!" ^_~

Sokmnkee said...

I don't believe the votes are there...anymore. They were maybe a month or so ago, but not now.