Feed on Posts or Comments 24 January 2018

First things . . . Richard Falknor on 23 Mar 2010 11:48 am

After Obamacare’s Enactment: How Bad Is it on the Right?

After the enactment of Obamacare today, how bad is it on the right?

Shocked and somewhat disoriented, but our situation is reparable.

The Administration was correct in saying that a failure to enact Obamacare would have crippled Mr. Obama’s presidency.

But the converse could also be true.  The enactment of Obamacare might well demonstrate the impotence of Our Team.

And how many like to vote for losers?

November is a long way away.  The Other Team doubtless has their own plans to try to keep control of both chambers of the Congress.

We should not let our justified outrage cause us to underrate the strength of their convictions to build a different America, however uncongenial we may find that America to be. Andy McCarthy said in June of last year – –

“First, if you look at the sweeping changes that have occurred in the past five months, I think what I argued before the election about the significance of Obama’s Leftist background and radical connections was on the mark. Second, I am saying what I am saying because I respect the president. As I said in the last post, I don’t think he is weak at all. To the contrary, I think he has strategic goals that he pursues in highly disciplined, tactical pragmatism. He is a force to be reckoned with, and I don’t think you reckon with him by hopefully assuming that, on some level, he shares our ideas about what’s best for the country and the world. I credit him for wanting what’s best — but only as he sees it.”

We don’t take John Derbyshire’s recently penned vision of the future as necessarily true – –

“I see plainly that Western civilization, over my lifetime, has been a slow-sinking ship. The few who have known what is happening have worked desperately to seal the watertight doors, repair the fissures, pump out the flooded zones. It’s been a losing fight, though. The tilt of the decks is harder and harder to ignore. Last night, a major bulkhead gave way. Soon a funnel will topple over with a great crash and a shower of sparks. Yet still the band is playing, the people are dancing, the food coming up from the galley.”

But Republican politicians glibly optimistic about November’s elections as a cure-all would be well advised to ponder Derbyshire’s entire post

There is no iron law of history that says free societies must survive – – particularly free societies whose putative defenders haven’t been spending, over the years, the personal energy and haven’t been developing the strength of conviction to match that of freedom’s Hard-Left adversaries.

Repealing Obamacare

We have always seen it as a daunting task to acquire the usual building blocks to repeal the thrust of Obamacare – – –  building blocks such as enough conservative senators and representatives to repeal the law and then overcome a presidential veto, or electing a president who would sign repeal legislation.

But there may be other ways to take some wheels off the Obamacare machine as early as the next Congress by using the House’s power of the purse. And, with more conservatives in the Senate, the Republican leadership can hold Administration initiatives and confirmations hostage to put the worst aspects of Obamacare on hold.

  • But for Republicans to stall the enacted Obamacare locomotive in the next Congress requires a yet-to-be-demonstrated toughness in the Senate Republican leadership.
  • It requires the Republican leadership of both chambers to work with – – not try to co-opt – – the conservatives grassroots and the Tea Parties.  
  • A GOP Beltway trying to muzzle the Tea Parties or the conservative base on illegal immigration, for example, will complicate any working arrangement between them and the Republican Congressional leadership.

Republicans — in Power or Merely in Office?

Can  today’s Republican Party work with grassroots conservatives, and put fixing policy ahead of short-term political “gain?” As Mark Steyn has explained – –

“In shoving health care down the throats of the American people in the teeth of overwhelming public opposition and any sense of parliamentary decency, the Democrats are in effect taking a bet on Republican wussiness — that, whatever passes, the GOP will have no stomach to undo, no matter the scale of their victory in November. That seems to me an entirely rational calculation. The Dems will be punished; the Republicans will take over the committee chairmanships and be content, as they often are, to be in office rather than in power; and after a brief time out the Democrats will return to find their new statist behemoth still in place.”

The Gross Anatomy of Passing Obamacare

We all should revisit how the Obama administration and the House Democratic leadership got Obamacare passed.

Kimberley A. Strassel’s Wall Street Journal post “Inside the Pelosi Sausage Factory” is a good place to start – –

“Never before has the average American been treated to such a live-action view of the sordid politics necessary to push a deeply flawed bill to completion. It was dirty deals, open threats, broken promises and disregard for democracy that pulled ObamaCare to this point, and yesterday the same machinations pushed it across the finish line.”

And so is Cliff Kincaid’s Accuracy in Media  post “The Bishops, Not Stupak, Are the Problem” – –

“While commentators speculate as to whether Stupak was in favor of health care legislation all along and was always intending to vote for it, the real attention should be on the Bishops. They were playing the double-game, acting as if the legislation had to be toughened-up in order to be more pro-life, while insisting it be expanded to cover more immigrants. They were sounding conservative and liberal at the same time. All along they were active players because, in the end, they wanted to see national health care legislation passed.

On Friday, Richard Doerflinger, associate director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, was part of a conference call in opposition to House passage of the Senate bill on pro-life grounds. He was asked about a group of Catholic nuns endorsing the bill and expressed his opinion that they were ignorant about how abortion would be funded on the federal level through the Senate bill. I asked why he or other Catholic Church lobbyists or the Bishops themselves hadn’t educated them about the issue. He had no coherent explanation.”

A number of our regular readers have spoken to us about their alarm over the failure to stop the enactment of Obamacare – – and not just about their concern over the measure itself, but also what the Administration’s way of doing business means for our freedom in the future.

For a shot of courage and valuable insight, we suggest reading John Lukacs “Five Days in London: May 1940”  about a critical time not just for England but for western civilization.  It is about Winston Churchill standing alone with few political allies guiding his brand new cabinet to continue the war rather than negotiate with Hitler. Historian Lukacs declares – –

“Churchill and Britain could not have won the Second World War; in the end America and Russia did.  But in May 1940 Churchill was the one who did not lose it.”

Drawing on the life of this indomitable British politician  – – who had real and deeply informed convictions – – can give us a valuable boost as we get on with the tasks ahead in today’s United States.

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