The conservative triumphalist disconnect

Yesterday I pointed out how the conservatives keep mocking Obama and acting as though he were finished, washed up, even as he keeps moving forward to the nationalization of health care in this country.

As evidence for my point, consider these two items highlighed at’s Must Reads today:

Bam’s whiny blame game
Is America finally reaching for the “off” button on Bam?

“Broad Agreement” on Public Option Compromise, Senate leaders say
The results of Reid’s secret meeting. They now await CBO numbers crunch. Perhaps now might be the time to fight?

- end of initial entry -

N. writes:

Too many people are living in the past, assuming that Obama will be another Jimmy Carter. They fail to see that a longer fight is going on, and that plainly the President is willing to lose control of the Congress in 2010 if he can nationalize health care, because his party will come to own it a few years down the road.

The same can be seen with regard to the EPA regulation of carbon emissions. Most people aren’t even aware of this issue, those that are complacently assume that EPA overreach will be slapped down by Congress. Maybe it will, maybe not, but it seems to me that Obama is letting the EPA run with the issue because he can then step in being “reasonable” and “moderate” by demanding cap and trade (cap and tax and spend, really), a model that has failed to control emissions in Europe … but that has worked well to control industry.

It’s kind of like watching the ripples on a river while ignoring the underlying current.

Jim C. writes:

I don’t read many conservative blogs, but I definitely get the drift, especially from polling data, that voters have caught on to Obama’s utter mediocrity and dangerous policy prescriptions. If Obama were a CEO and the voters were the board of directors, Obama would be politely asked to leave the building (accompanied by security).

Anyway, Obama is a dead man walking—no way he gets his pseudo-mojo back.

LA replies:

We don’t know what the future will bring. Obama could very well have signed nationalized health before Christmas and go down in history as having engineered the greatest liberal achievement in American history. Yet Jim C. calls him a dead man walking. May I suggest that Jim’s certainty is a tad over-confident?

N. writes

With all respect to Jim C., his note is an example of what we are discussing. It doesn’t matter what President Obama’s poll numbers are. The Kos / Democratic Underground / Huffington Post / Keith Olberman left wing of the Democrats are pressing hard on Congressional representatives and Senators to pass some kind of health care nationalization. They are doing this because they know that even if both the House and Senate were to tip to the Republicans in 2010, it is unlikely that such a bill would be repealed by the Congress. And what’s more, even if the Congress were to repeal it, there’s no way that the House and Senate would obtain the necessary majorities to override the inevitable veto.

Thus even in the case where popular revulsion costs the Democrats both Houses of Congress, they’ll have nationalized/Federal health control in effect for 2010, 2011 and 2012. By then, it will be so deeply embedded into the country that removing it will be a huge effort, and one sure to be opposed by the entire media wing of the Democratic party (that’s pretty much all of it). Thus the debate will shift from “repeal this” to “who can administer national health service better”. The latter is a debate the Democrats will almost always win. Therefore, national health care is a giant step towards a _one party state_.

So the left is willing to lose in the short term to win control over pretty much everything in the long run. Conservatives and traditionalists who gloat over Obama’s declining poll numbers are like someone walking out onto the beach after the ocean suddenly pulls away. They don’t realize they are looking at a tsunami …

Clark Coleman writes:

N. writes:

“Thus even in the case where popular revulsion costs the Democrats both Houses of Congress, they’ll have nationalized/Federal health control in effect for 2010, 2011 and 2012.”

Actually, the original House bill in June would not take effect until January 1, 2013. This is conveniently just before the next President is inaugurated. However, the current Harry Reid Senate bill does not take effect until 2014. GOP Gains in 2010 and 2012 could very well lead to undoing it, with a GOP president there to sign the undoing. Furthermore, no Congress can force a future Congress to appropriate any money for anything. Even if Republicans cannot defeat Communist filibusters over getting rid of Commiecare, a simple majority in either house of Congress is all it takes to refuse to appropriate any money for it.

LA replies:

But under the bill, don’t all the new taxes and charges start immediately? How does that work? Does NOTHING start until 2014?

December 10

LA continues:

First, if what you say is correct, it’s great news. It’s the best news I’ve heard in a long time. It means we’re not finished.

Second, if what you say is correct, WHY are the Dems doing what they’re doing? We’ve been saying for a while that they don’t mind losing the Congress by passing health care, because they will have worked a revolution that will ensure their permanent return to power in the long run. But that scenario was based on the assumption that the Republicans would not be able to stop or reverse the health care bill once it was passed. You have now presented information showing that the Republicans will be able to repeal the bill before it legally kicks in, or, alternatively, prevent the bill from being put into effect even after it legally kicks in. If that’s true, then the Dems by passing this horrible bill will both lose the Congress AND lose the bill. This throws to the wind our previous understanding that they were behaving rationally from their point of view. How can their behavior in passing this bill make sense from their point of view, if passing the bill will doom them electorally AND the Republicans will be able to repeal or paralyze the bill?

December 10

Clark Coleman replies:

It takes a long time to implement new programs, especially when they have draconian requirements that certain insurance policies be changed all over America. New bureaucracies are going to be established, etc.

I don’t know if the bill has ever been posted online. Even if it were, it is 2000 pages. I am relying on editorials I have read, as we all are.

LA replies:

I’m not sure if Mr. Coleman’s reply is responsive to my question as to the Dems’ thinking process.

Clark Coleman replies:

I was trying to say that the Democrats probably did not think they could get the programs fully in place any faster than they are doing.

N. writes:

From what I can tell, Clark Coleman may be correct, it could be that at least some of the proposals being floated to federalize medical care do not take effect immediately. However that is cold comfort, given the way the Democrats are running their plan, whatever Senator Reid can bribe, threaten and cajole through the Senate will certainly be modified in the joint House-Senate committee.

So we really have no idea what the Congress will eventually pass. All we can know is that it will be huge, running thousands of pages, it will contain numerous “land mine” clauses ranging from earmarked pork to unConstitutional extensions of Federal power to simply bizarre, unworkable bureaucratic twaddle.

And the final product surely will have some features that begin immediately, others that take effect later, but all aimed at establishing the precedent of federal control of our bodies, and thus our selves (spot the feminist reference). Mr. Coleman is correct that a future Congress can in theory defund such a monstrosity, but given the way the budget staredown between the Gingrich-led House and the Clinton White House turned out, I’m not optimistic that a hypothetical Republican Congress of 2013 would be able to make that stick.

However, granting everything Mr. Coleman says would explain the ambivalence the Democrats are showing over this. On the one hand, their base (Unions/Kossites/etc.) are clamoring for something, on the other hand a growing plurality, possibly a majority, of the voters are increasingly hostile to the bill. If Mr. Coleman is right, the correct analogy for this bill is not HillaryCare, but the crime bill of 1994 that banned a collection of rifles based on mainly cosmetic features. It was a Phyrric victory for the Democrats, because it motivated many people to vote against them in the 1994 elections, and 10 years later sunsetted without much more than a whimper.

LA replies:

But then what happens to the argument that the Democrats are dooming themselves by passing the bill—meaning not only that they could lose Congress, but that the health bill could be reversed or stopped even after it’s passed? And if what I just said is true, and if the Dems realize it is true, what is the logic of the Dems’ actions, from their point of view?

Clark Coleman replies:

I don’t know. Maybe they think, based on decades of history, that Republicans are wimps who whine about social programs but never repeal them.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 09, 2009 12:42 PM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):