Seven Days in March

(Note: Reader Leonard D., a libertarian, says Obamacare is no big deal, since the same has been done before, e.g., with Social Security and Medicare, and that we’re all overreacting. I reply.)

We are now undergoing the first attempted coup d’etat in American history. Liberals always imagined that such a coup would be something like the right-wing militarist plot in Seven Days in May, in which a hardline chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff conspires with other generals and with conservative political and media figures to take over the government from a liberal president. In reality, the attempted coup is Seven Days in March, in which the leftist Democratic Party seeks to pass—by outrageously bending every legislative procedure out of shape—a blatantly unconstitutional law that will give the government dictatorial control over all citizens, give government bureaucrats the power to dictate down to the finest detail which types of medical care doctors can give patients, and extract the wealth of the more productive, more healthy-living, and more white part of the society for the sake of the less productive, less-healthy living, illegal alien, disproportionately violent, and more nonwhite part of the society, thus essentially turning us into a nation of slaves. While some people will benefit from the productiveness and wealth of others, all of us will be slaves, except for the people in charge of the system, who will run things for their own advantage.

How appropriate that Obama originally set the deadline for passage of this revolutionary act for March 18, the second anniversary of his race speech in Philadelphia. It was in that speech that he made clear—to anyone who actually read his words—that his intention was to impose racial equality of socioeconomic outcomes on America, by dragging down whites and raising up blacks.

- end of initial entry -

March 16

Jake Jacobsen writes:

So let me ask the question that should be foremost in your readers minds: What do we do? At what point do we throw our bodies on the tracks?

Here’s what we know, the Republicans have never seriously repealed any Leftist advance and we should assume they will not repeal this one. If you genuinely believe this is a coup then at some point we need to begin talking about responding to a coup.

You cannot vote yourself out of a coup, you cannot protest your way out of a coup, you fight your way out of a coup. I don’t know what that means yet, what I do know is that this is the line in the sand for me and I’ll wager many others. This is the point where my government becomes illegitimate.

If you genuinely believe that evil forces are trying to take away our freedom then if you are a serious person at some point we must fight. Or will we lay back as Brits have done and let them turn us forcibly into sheep? Perhaps take our guns away?

I think it is time for you to address this issue.

LA replies:

First, the thing has not been passed. It is premature and defeatist for you to assume it will be. All thoughts, calls, fights, and prayers should be directed at stopping this.

Second, if it is passed, then serious persons would not discuss at a public website the kinds of measures you’re talking about.

Third, however, I do believe, as Paul Nachman writes in a nearby entry, “Welcome to Obamaville,” that if this thing is passed, we will find ourselves, whatever we may think about it, in a quasi civil war in this country—with increasingly widespread civil disobedience, refusal to obey government authorities, refusal to pay taxes, refusal to report on one’s insurance on one’s tax forms, with political hatreds between the left and right boiling over, perhaps into violence, and with the leftist government becoming more openly tyrannical than ever before.

If this thing passes, it will open up in this country intense divisions bordering on civil conflict, and possibly going over the border, that will go on for many years.

Jake Jacobsen writes:

I’m not asking you to perjure yourself or say something actionable or illegal, in fact I hope you don’t as I appreciate your site.

But having said that there is a lot that could be said generally in terms of a statement of principles.

Would healthcare be your line in the sand? If not what would be? I think you might be surprised how much people might want to talk about this.

LA replies:

As I’ve just said, all our thoughts should be on stopping this thing. If it does pass, there will be plenty of time to respond to it, and plenty of responses.

But general principles? As I said, this is a coup d’etat. This is an attempt to seize unlawful and tyrannical power over the country. It’s a fundamental change in the nature of the country, ripping us from our constitutional foundations, and turning the government into a unlawful power over us. Our government has been increasingly illegal and unconstitutional for decades, but this is a leap to a whole other level. This is revolution, outside the law, outside any restraints.

And the response to that, if, God forbid, it succeeds, will be what it must be. But let’s say no more about this for now.

March 16, 2:30 p.m.

Leonard D. writes:

You are sounding very VFR 1960 in this posting.

This is not the first coup, and as coups go (if it succeeds), it is rather a squib [LA notes: Leonard means that it is minor]. What about, oh, Medicare? Social Security? Heck, almost everything in the New Deal. Socialized medicine is no worse than socialized retirement. And it will be just as popular in due time.

But this idea that it is extra-Constitutional? Well, yes—but it is not extra-constitutional. The separation of the (written) Constitution from the USG’s actual constitution has been a long-running process and never entirely clear, but the clearest break was during the New Deal (particularly in 1942, see this), not now. In practical terms, after Wickard, everyone in the government considers that there are no limits on the legislative power except the most explicit Constitutional ones (and even these may be twisted, softened, or ignored). The only real limit is democracy: whether something is popular with the masses. And everyone has accepted that. That is the new constitution.

If there was anything that should be called a coup, it was FDR’s threatened court-packing scheme, and its consequent “switch in time that saved nine,” not the underhanded legislative machinations of the Democrats in Congress with their—lest we forget—large majorities in both houses.

At least in the early part of the unraveling of the Constitutional order, the progressives had the decency to amend the Constitution. I.e., when they wanted to start taxing incomes without apportionment, they passed the 16th Amendment.

(Certainly the damage done there is on the order of the damage that socialized medicine will cause—if only because the taxing power is a necessary precondition for any such spending spree.) I don’t like the 16th Amendment, but I cannot complain that the IRS is in any sense a “coup.” It was done all regular-like.

And this is why Mr. Jacobsen’s question is entirely moot. No, this thing will not “open up in this country intense divisions bordering on civil conflict.” The populace has long-ago accepted the proposition that the government is unlimited in power. They will not balk at anything, at least anything popular enough for a Democrat majority to pass. Do not underestimate the sheepishness of democratic mass-man.

LA replies:

Leonard’s comment is what I would expect of a ideological libertarian, who reduces reality to one factor and misses all the others. He says that because he many things that were passed during the 20th century went over the line and created unconstitutional federal powers (which of course is correct), therefore this bill is nothing new. It’s no big deal. We’ve been here before. So it’s hypocritical and blind of us to be alarmed about Obamacare. Because the country didn’t stop the previous transgressions of the constitutional limits on federal power, therefore what’s happening now is simply inevitable.

Leonard thus reveals a total inability to understand the differences between different things. His reasoning process goes like this: since Social Security went over the line, and since Obamacare goes over the line, therefore Obamacare is no different from and no worse than Social Security. So by Leonard’s reasoning, if the Congress voted to turn the U.S. into the equivalent of a Soviet state this week, that also would be nothing new, since Medicare was an unwarranted expansion of government power, so is the creation of a Soviet state.

In fact, there is a clear note of Schadenfreude in Leonard’s comment: in being subjected to an all encompassing government tyranny that will destroy the health care industry in this country, we’re only getting what we deserve, because we accepted Medicare.

Thanks a lot Leonard, you’re a big help in this national crisis.

Richard W. writes:

On a different but related topic, this article on the ethnic cleansing of the English is written by a candidate for Parliament in England, with the Independent Party. It is quite stark.

And speaking of stark, I am going stark raving bonkers over the health-care debate. It is like an unending water torture that the Democrats are inflicting on us. We must either approve it, or continue to argue about it, forever. Apparently the option of simply having the vote and losing will not be permitted. Why?

The health care issue is essential, and not really all about health care. It is clearly part of a larger strategy. One that is designed to make the U.S. much more friendly to penniless immigrants. One that is designed to level the playing field between the productive grew-here’s, and the marginal flew-here’s.

Do we have any doubt that there is nothing Obama would like more than to replace the white population of the USA as a majority with something more “rainbow”? The attached article explains clearly the role that the full socialist safety net has had in the radical alteration of the ethnic makeup of England.

Our time approaches.

March 16, 4:47 p.m.

Leonard D. replies to LA:

I never said you should not be alarmed about Obamacare: everyone should oppose it, at least, and alarm is by no means unwarranted. Nor do I accuse you of being hypocritical; there are differences between Obamacare and other historical legislation. (And even if you were being hypocritical, so what? Calling hypocrisy as a serious charge is a leftist tactic, as you well know, being as they have no shared standards upon which to criticize. As such, I dislike it very much. A person can be a hypocrit and still be right.)

I don’t know where you get the idea that I have a “total inability to understand the differences between different things.” Would you could tell me what I am blind to here? What is the single dimension of reality you see me reducing everything to?

I am not saying this bill is nothing new. Obviously it is new, else it would already be. And it is also new in the sense that you admit is correct: that it goes over the line and creates new un-Constitutional federal powers. (I changed your use of “unconstitutional,” though—this thing will never ever even get to the Supreme Court, and even if it somehow did, they’d deny cert, and if even if they did actually hear some sort of case involving it, they would uphold it, probably 8-1.)

But it is not new in the sense that I should think you, of all people, would care about. You take pride in seeing to the heart of things in ideological terms. And that is where this healthcare thing is not new: ideologically. It is not new as a manifestation of underlying ideology, either of the ruling class (it is bog-standard progressivism), or of the masses (who will passively accept whatever is demonstrated to be popular).

But you are certainly correct in inferring this view to me: “if the Congress voted to turn the U.S. into the equivalent of a Soviet state this week, that also would be nothing new,” in the ideological sense I am talking about. Quite so. That is more or less, what they did in the 20th century, and are currently trying to do more of. I hate it. Of course they always do it in small steps; our progressives advocate Fabian socialism, not a revolution, and not a coup.

Meanwhile, I will tell you what I think you are blind to: your own alarmist language. This is not a “coup”; it is nowhere near it. As I said, and gave my reasoning. A “coup” suggests a radical discontinuity in an organization’s constitution, most typically by means of raw force. And yes, a “coup” suggests the sort of armed pushback that Mr. Jacobsen is contemplating. This isn’t that. Now, threatening to pack the Supreme Court is also not exactly like marching up to the capital at the head of a loyal army, but it’s a heck of a lot closer. (More subtle distinctions!)

Is there any danger to such wild use of language? I think so: it is, in its small way, crying wolf. If someone believes it (as Mr. Jacobsen appears to), and gets himself killed fighting the USG … are you comfortable with that?

LA replies:

I didn’t mean to be offensive; I was felt I was engaging in vigorous debate. I like you and appreciate your participation at the site.

I just have time for very short answer now.

By reducing to one dimension of reality, I mean this type of thinking:

1. Social security was an expansion of federal power, and we went along with it.

2. Obamacare is an expansion of federal power, and we’re freaked out by it.

3. Therefore we are not seeing how we went along with the very thing we’re now freaked out by. We are blind, imagining ourselves to be conservatives opposing liberalism, when in fact we’re liberals.

What’s wrong with this syllogism? You’re reducing all factors to one, bare, abstract phrase: expansion of federal power, thus making all expansions of federal power to be the same as all others. And thus you fail to see what is utterly unprecedented and revolutionary about what is happening now.

That’s all for now. I will respond to your other points later.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 15, 2010 09:46 PM | Send

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