What Lowry doesn’t understand about the Democrats
(Note: this entry contains a discussion on the question whether, if the health care bill passes, Americans will rise up in rebellion against it, or accept it.)
In amazement, Richard Lowry beholds the spectacle of the Democrats pushing a health care bill which, if it passes, dooms them to electoral disaster, and he thinks that they’re nuts. He doesn’t get it. He doesn’t understand that the Democrats are willing to accept individual and party defeat to achieve their ultimate ideological object of nationalized control of health care. Elections come and go. Congressional majorities come and go. But nation changing legislation does not go. Once it comes, it stays. If the Democrats can pass Obamacare into law, then no matter how much it raises taxes and wreaks ruin on the economy, and no matter how many of them lose their seats in 2010 as a result, they win. From the leftist point of view, the Democrats’ actions are rational—and the Democrats are winning. This is what Lowry does not understand.
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Terry Morris writes:
Right. Can you imagine a Republican majority legislature repealing federal health care once it is signed into law? Neither can the Democrats. Hence, if they manage to get the bill passed, they’ve won. Damn the immediate consequences per their congressional majorities. There’s always 2012 and beyond.
A. Zarkov writes:
Lowry, along with most conservatives, can’t see the impending Obama trifecta and its consequences to the United States that I wrote about. He and other so-called conservatives don’t really understand the messianic nature of socialism. As long as he thinks of the Democrats simply as politicians interested in short-term goals instead of ideologues with the long-term goal of transforming America, he will continue in his failure to grasp what’s happening to him and his country. The Democrats are willing to take a big loss in 2010 because they know they will eventually become the permanent ruling party once the US becomes at least 30% Hispanic with a majority of Americans dependent on government largess. They will do anything to achieve this, including destroying the economy.
Mark Jaws writes:
I disagree with you vehemently concerning the Democrats’ long term win with the entrenchment of healthcare. I think it may very well bring them down along with the federal government for three reasons.
First, this type of healthcare will be unlike any other previously let loose on a populace. We middle class Americans are already accustomed to world class health care. Socialized medicine will represent a loss of quality. We are not like Russian or Chinese peasants, Cuban campesinos, or even East End Londoners in 1945, all to whom socialized heathcare represented a quantum leap in lifestyle improvement. We will know that healthcare has declined—and it will likely be precipitous for the following two reasons.
Second, an increasing number of Obamacare administrators and even doctors will be of affirmative action quality—and we all know what I am talking about. Middle America has put up with loss of neighborhoods, crime, rotten schools—BUT, they will not tolerate mixups in prescriptions, lost X-Rays and MRI, and poor incompetent and unresponsive doctors and their health support personnel, especially when those “professionals” cop the customary “chip-on-the-shoulder” attitudes.
Third, not only will Obamacare result in loss of quality administered by an affirmative action work force, it will also lavish precious dollars on illegals and newly arrived immigrants. It will push tolerance of older Americans beyond the breaking point. Thus I believe Obamacare is the thing, to catch the racial conscience of the king.
Tim W. writes:
Lowry should understand that government programs don’t operate the way private businesses operate. If a private business charges too much for its product or provides poor service, customers go elsewhere. The business suffers for its transgressions.
But a government program works differently. It forcibly extracts money from the taxpayers to keep going, no matter the costs or quality of service. There is also going to be a certain percentage of the population which benefits from the program, no matter how poor it is. Even if 75 percent of the people don’t benefit, and in fact have to pay higher taxes to keep the program running, the 25 percent who do benefit form a cohesive voting bloc to defend the program. The 75 percent who don’t benefit, and are actually being robbed, may get peeved at the program but they have other things to worry about, be it national security issues, paying their mortgage, or raising their kids..
A good example is federal involvement in education. Beginning in the 1960s, the feds took a more active role in both funding and regulating the public schools. We were told at the time that this expansion would make the schools much, much better and that the costs would not be excessive. Why, federal monies might even allow states and localities to lower taxes and spend less money, so there would be no added cost at all. Under Carter we added a separate federal Department of Education with similar grandiose claims.
The result? A steady decrease in educational quality and a steady increase in monies spent on education at all levels. Reagan wanted to dump the Department of Education in his 1980 campaign, but never came close to doing it, and today no one even talks about it. It would be unthinkable. Instead, even Republicans want more “commitment to education,” so Bush and a GOP Congress socked us with No Child left Behind.
The minority of the population who benefit from massive federal involvement in education (teachers’ unions, minorities, women who use the schools as daycare, etc.) vote as a bloc to keep the largesse flowing. Most people know the schools are lousy. They know they’re propaganda ministries for diversity and multiculturalism. They know they’re even dangerous. But they have other things to worry about, such as earning a living and contributing to society. Add in that any suggestion of reducing the federal role or of privatization is met with a media firestorm accusing the proponent of being anti-education and even anti-child, and federal education programs are sacrosanct, despite being unmitigated disasters which cost an always-escalating fortune.
So the fix is in. Obamacare will increase costs and decrease quality, but the freeloading segment of the population who benefit will defend the program to the death, while the majority who don’t benefit are diverted by other things or passively accept it as a done deal. Having said that, I hope I’m wrong and Mark Jaws is right.
A. Zarkov writes:
Tim W. understands what’s happening, but unfortunately Mr. Jaws doesn’t. After the Obama trifecta, in the transformed America, dissatisfaction with a government program will not matter. What will citizens be able to do about poor quality medical care? Write a letter to the New York Times at the Ministry of Culture and Communications? Here in California we know what it’s like to live in a Hispanic republic. Other than through referendums, we have little to no control of what happens in Sacramento. A collection of special interest groups run the California government: public service unions, real estate developers, farmers and various minority pressure groups. Sacramento spends until it runs out of money, then it raises taxes and spends until it runs out of money again. If someone suggests that California stop subsidizing illegal immigration, he’s accused of “scapegoating.” Until white people are willing to vote as a coherent group they will have no power in California, and they simply won’t do that. Some of them tell me they would rather die than have any kind of discrimination. It’s that bad.
Mark Jaws writes:
Tim W. and others need to realize that when you mix medicine with mediocrity, people, including children, will die. I don’t think Middle America will tolerate that—no matter how much of a done deal Obamacare is. Liberals have long expected us conservatives to turn the other cheek on a long laundry list of issues, but when they make us lie on the ground like a snake and stomp our head into the ground, well, eventually we will grow wearly and bite the foot of our oppressor.
I will add the likelihood of Mark Jaws being proven right increases when Tim W. and others act a little more defiantly and a tad more heroically. Watch the HBO John Adams DVD for inspiration.
James P. writes:
Mark Jaws says,
“Tim W. and others need to realize that when you mix medicine with mediocrity, people, including children, will die. I don’t think Middle America will tolerate that—no matter how much of a done deal Obamacare is.”
Middle class white folk in the UK tolerate mediocre medical care as well as a number of other horrors that liberalism has inflicted on them. There is no sign of revolution in Britain, just an “oh well what can one do” weary resignation. It’s not clear to me why Americans would be any different.
Liberalism is already killing us. It is not clear to me that this, of all things, will push Middle America into revolt. By their very nature, Middle Americans are unlikely to revolt.
For Democrats to take the long view is absolutely correct. When the Republicans took the House in 1994, what big government programs and initiatives did they revoke that Democrats had passed in the preceding 40 years? None, to my knowledge. If Obamacare passes, it is a done deal.
Mark Jaws says:
“Middle America has put up with loss of neighborhoods, crime, rotten schools—BUT, they will not tolerate mixups in prescriptions, lost X-Rays and MRI, and poor incompetent and unresponsive doctors and their health support personnel, especially when those “professionals” cop the customary “chip-on-the-shoulder” attitudes.”
I would disagree strongly on this point. Americans are now tolerating these things on a regular basis, so the question is how much worse do they need to become before we take forceful action to try to correct a bad system? As others have remarked, most of us have other higher priorities on any given day. The following assumes participation in an HMO plan or similar.
I know of no other service industry besides medicine that has such a routinely lacking performance in timeliness and swift, competent attention to the work at hand. A wait in the doctor’s office (or medical practitioner or whatever they are called where you live) is, in my experience, virtually never less than 30 minutes and typically is closer to an hour. Or more. Compare that to waiting for auto service, sitting in a restaurant or standing in line to purchase something. These wait times can sometimes be comparable to those at the doctor’s office, but the incentive to provide satisfactory service is based on different principles. I can only imagine the yearly cumulative waste of millions of hours of time spent reading Good Housekeeping and Sports Illustrated alongside other sick people.
Doctors “stack” patients in 15 minute intervals or so and because circumstances obviously do not conform to these time units over the day, waiting quickly becomes an exercise in delay. The sheep are obedient and patient. If you try gently registering a complaint about waiting as an issue in itself they look at you like you were expecting coffee and donuts. The attitude may or may not be friendly, another way that we are kept off guard. A “chip on the shoulder” may be a rude experience but hardly shocks anyone these days.
We are in fact conditioned NOW to the negative performance in medicine that Mr. Jaws refers to, including matters related to competence and mix-ups. It happens every day. Any difference between health care today and projecting these kinds of problems from a future socialized system are only a matter of degree. There may not be much difference in effect between proponents of health care “reform” and those who are quietly complacent in the face of routine abuse.
Mark Jaws writes:
In reply to Mr. Zarkov:
We are now entering a new demographic landscape over which we have never tread. Thus, no one knows how things will play out. I do know that if we cap a collective doom and gloom attitude, we will end up like white Cubans, or, worse, white South Africans. Of utmost importance, we need to remind ourselves that there are tens and tens of millions of whites, and even Hispanics and Asians, who are potentially with us in our fight against the leftist collective.
Second, once people actually perceive a decline in living standards—and there will inevitably be a decline—they are much more likely be stirred to action. And, all we need is a dedicated minority. Look at our own American Revolution. No more than 10 percent of white American men EVER took up arms to support the patriotic cause. I won’t go into detials here, but there are lots of ways a minority can make government leaders and the apathetic citizenry very uncomfortable.
Third, what is already occurring is a reconsolidation of conservatives in particular sections of the country. California has lost about four million of its white citizens over the past two decades. Thus, I believe it will be easier to elect stick-it-in-their-face leaders who may very well threaten to nullify federal legislation and executive orders. Sherrif Joe comes to mind, and even that governor in Texas.
Fourth, the left is nothing but an unholy alliance between Jews, blacks, Hispanics, unions, gays, and environmentalists. Most of those groups work against each other and / or do not like each other. Another crucial vulnerability of the left is that it does not have the military and police forces behind it. Forget the PC you recently saw on display at Fort Hood among the combat support and combat service support personnel. The warriors, the ones who pull the triggers, are not, or ever will be reliable tools for leftist powerbrokers.
Mr. Zarkov asks what citizens can do about poor quality medical care? Here again, I would never advocate arson or rioting, so I will leave it to his imagination and those of your readers. But once people are pushed beyond endurance, bad things are likely to happen.
Mark Jaws writes:
In response to Hannon who asserts that we are already conditioned to accept mixups and poor medical service, I would say, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. Once affirmative action is implemented and infiltrates government provided healthcare, the quality of service will deteriorate by perhaps as much as an order of magnitude. I have a conservative Mexican-American neighbor, retired naval officer, who is married to a white South African lady. While she is fairly liberal and mum on the subject, my mestizo neighbor comments on the deplorable quality of airline service offered by the new multiracial South Africa. The pilots are still white, but according to him, “the Three Stooges could run a better airline.” That is where we are headed with the public health option - to depths unforeseen and unimaginable.
Mark P. writes:
I think Mark Jaws has a good point.
The key difference between the kind of comprehensive medical changes the Democrats want to make and previous government programs is that Americans will be forced to suffer a change in the quality of their care, or a change in the quality of life within their range of experience. This is unlike the British or Education experience. In Britain, the whole population is so marinated in low quality medical care that the Brits simply don’t know any better. Their NHS system was always a failure. In Education, people’s experience with the changes in quality is so gradual that either no one notices or, by the time it gets bad, they are out of the system.
With the Democrats new medical plan, a person with chronic illnesses will go from readily available drugs and care to rationing and “death counseling” in a very short order. No one would put up with that. First, you would have lawsuits. Next, you will have actual shootings. Medicine will become a very dangerous profession to practice … like family law judge.
Basically, the Left is attempting to do too much, too fast, with way too many changes occurring in too short a time, with results experienced too sson to allow memories to fade. They are too impatient, probably due to the short-term thinking of the new cohort of liberals.
They won’t succeed.
What do you mean, “they won’t succeed”? That the plan will not work, will break down and be repealed?
The plan IS NOT INTENDED TO WORK. It’s meant to be a disaster, thus pushing the country toward a single-payer fully nationalized system.
A. Zarkov writes:
I offer the following counter example to Mr. Jaws’s assertions as to whether Americans will accept substandard medical care: the Kaiser-Permanente HMO in California. I have witnessed (in my opinion) the incompetence of this organization for decades. They often deny or delay care to patients to hold down expenses. Just recently I had a long talk with someone who nearly died from the HMO’s inability to correctly diagnose his infection. As a consequence of this misdiagnosis, they used the wrong treatment which destroyed his immune system leaving him in a progressively worsening terminal condition. Finally he went to a university hospital which did diagnosis his condition correctly, but treated it insufficiently. Then a large well-known and highly competent U.S. medical complex ultimately saved his life. That’s simply the most recent story from a large collection of stories I have personal knowledge about. There are many public stories about their incompetence. For example about five years ago a woman was brought into Kaiser emergency with obvious signs of a stroke, but was diagnosed as “depressed” and sent home. A women Kaiser patient told me that she begged for a sleep study, but it was denied. She fell asleep while driving a bus and crashed. An associate told me of a patient with a hernia who was told it would “heal.” Most everyone knows that hernias don’t heal and require surgical repair.
The Kaiser HMO gets favorable coverage in eastern newspapers, and according to a friend they hold it up as a model for medical care. Kaiser’s defenders claim that their mistakes are simply typical of what happens in the normal practice of medicine. As the whole medical world is largely opaque, no one really know if this is true. But personally I doubt it. Of course my stories could be just that, a collection of unrepresentative incidents not typical of the institution as a whole.
I have noticed that every Kaiser subscriber I know who professes satisfaction with his care is a liberal. I argued with one very liberal man for over 20 years about Kaiser. One day he had a heart attack. In my (non-expert) opinion his doctors failed to follow him up properly and he had a second massive attack shortly after. Then he was willing to admit they might have screwed up his care. He became depressed and died about four months later. It depresses me to think about all the friends I have lost to what I personally regard as substandard care.
So you see, Mr. Jaws, Americans can and do put up with substandard medical care. This is what’s in store for us under Obamacare. I think your faith that somehow white Americans will be able to stage a counter-revolution is misplaced. These are not colonial times—technology has changed the balance between the forces of government authority and citizen action. Look at the UK—surveillance cameras everywhere. It’s rapidly approaching the conditions in the novel 1984.
Mark P. replies to LA:
The agenda that Democrats have of putting themselves on top and lording over the rest of us won’t succeed. Too much of this monstrous failure can be laid at their feet without their plausible deniability.
As I’ve written, the Democrats have become impatient. Too many people will experience the “before” and “after” results of this bill. Too many people will lay the blame on the Democrats. The Democrats will lose too many seats in Congress. There will be no “eventually” to look forward to because this party is destined for political collapse.
It’s just that their political collapse will take a good chunk of the nation with them.
You are right that the Democrats don’t intend the bill to work. But the people who vote Democrat intend the bill to work. They will be disappointed and it won’t be pretty.
Mark, as an aside, the things going down now are going to increase the number of people who think like you, who think in terms of a violence between left and right in this country.
Mark P. replies:
That is probably true, but I was not trying to convey that message at all. Ironically, I doubt I could survive in a world where a lot of other people think like me.
In general, I think the Democrats have altered their playbook. They no longer have the patience of the Frankfurt School or the Antonio Gramsci followers that have served the Democrats very well. The incremental approach of slowly boiling the frog is no longer their method of operation. They want it now. That is going to be their downfall.
I think that, deep down inside, the rhetoric of the Democrat ruling elite is simply cover for corruption. And this corruption is built on the belief that America is a sinking ship and that the ruling Democrats need to secure as many resources for themselves as possible so they can jump this ship and leave. I think they know their policies are a failure. I think they know America will not survive. And I think they are doing all of this to enrich themselves so they can bail out of the country with some level of comfort.
The problem is that the corrupt Democrats who know the score have to deal with the “true believer” Democrats and the balance of Democrats who see the corruption but have no ability to participate in it. The true believers have to be appeased with a program that matches the rhetoric the true believers grew up on; and the corrupt but connectionless have to be appeased before they bolt the party or do things like release e-mails on ClimateGate. And this analysis does not even include the agenda of the minorities.
In other words, the elite Democrats do not have an effectively timed exit strategy. They have to expand their programs as quickly as possible to include the malcontents, but theu don’t know when to pull back without taking themselves down as well. Too soon, and their party members turn into me or demoralized apathetics. Too late, and there will be nothing left to steal.
I find this scenario too involved.
In your previous comment, you wrote:
“It’s just that their political collapse will take a good chunk of the nation with them.”
What do you mean?
Mark P. replies:
I mean that that their collapse could result in a central government collapse and the breakup of the United States.
What Mr. Zarkov writes about Kaiser Permanente makes perfect sense. I had experienced it from the other end—difficulty in getting appointments, doctor’s attention that was too speedy, even trouble finding a parking space—before I happily left their ranks. To me this seems akin to the broken windows theory, except that NY police actually took remedial actions. If the little things are amiss and in dysfunction, one can reasonably assume that higher functions are also mismanaged. The first frustrates while the latter can kill.
Terry Morris (here’s his blog
Wow!, great discussion. “Democrats Bomb Pearl Harbor?”
I have said numbers of times over the last several months that Hussein Obama and the Socialist Democrats in Congress are so far outside the mainstream thinking in America that they’re alarming virtually everyone with virtually every initiative they take up. But I’m not exactly convinced that they’re all knowingly participating in a grand, elaborate scheme to destroy America. I mean, when you surround yourself with folks who think just like you do on the essentials per whatever ideological bent you’re coming from, then you tend to become convinced that everyone who’s anyone thinks like you. On the essentials. On the non-essentials, there’s always some room for debate between various factions.
Whoever it was in this discussion that said the Democrats are moving way too fast and way too aggressively with all of these “change” policies they’re pushing and enacting, I agree with wholeheartedly. I’ve written several blog entries myself concerning this very phenomenon, what it says about the Democrats and what it portends for America’s future. All of these Tenth Amendment Resolutions that state legislatures are proposing and passing, all of the nullification bills such as Tennessee’s and Montana’s gun rights bills, Arizona’s health care referendum, Oklahoma’s numerous bills; the TEA Party movement, the 9-12ers, the Oath Keepers, the list goes on—none of these is occuring in a vacuum, all of these are responses by concerned citizens and their state and local governments to the alarm that the Democrats are raising in them.
“Universal government health care” is certainly, and to date, the most egregious unconstitutional federal power-grab the Democrats are engaging themselves in, which I suppose is only fitting if it turns out to be the climax of the story of the rise and fall of the Democrat empire. One can only hope and pray and do all in his power to see that it results in a restoration of Balanced Constitutional Government in America.
It would be great if you were right.
Mark Jaws writes:
In reply to Mr. Zarkov, I used to have Kaiser Permanente in northern Virginia, so I am quite familiar with its quality. Indeed, so much so that we left it for the very reasons Mr. Zarkov and Hannon cite. I now use my Tricare retired military benefits, with a primary doctor who is WASP and an all-white/Asian support staff. They are all professional, conscientious, and courteous.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 23, 2009 06:45 AM | Send
When government will take over health care en masse, those options will no longer be available. I know NAMs [non-Asian minorities] very well, as I grew up with them. It is not beneath an unhealthy percentage of them OVERTLY to favor their own kind in the administration of health care. As we all know, given the depth and fervor of anti-white sentiment in many NAMs, the quality of care will likely descend to depths unforseen and unimaginable.
And finally, yes, Mr. Zarkov, you are quite right, these are no longer colonial times. But the disparate factions which make up the Left are likely not willing to pull together to fight a seccesionist cabal of states or those hell bent on nullification of federal decrees and mandates. People whom I know well are actually talking about such things these days. And the police and military are simply filled with too many unreliable white conservatives. A group of determined activists can make life miserable and unprofitable for tens of millions of Americans. No, Mr. Zarkov. I don’t see the other side mustering the likes of Grant, Sherman, and Sheridan to keep the restless Middle American natives in place. But then again, you are right, it all depends on the degree of our unrest and what we are willing to accept, and what we are willing to fight for.