Quote of the week

Obamacare is the most unpopular major legislation passed by Congress since the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854.
— Michael Barone, speaking last night in Minneapolis

That is a powerful statement. It was the Kansas-Nebraska Act which began to break the country apart in irreconcilable disagreement over the issue of slavery in the territories; triggered the formation of the Republican Party based on opposition to the Act and the corresponding dissolution of the Whig Party which was not equipped to deal with such a divisive issue; turned Abraham Lincoln, as a result of his eloquent opposition to the Act, into a national figure and the Republican nominee in 1860; made the Southern Democrats become increasingly uncompromising in their demand for the right to expand slavery beyond the Old South, and thus led ultimately to the Civil War.

Obamacare has opened up a similarly irreconcilable disagreement over the size and scope of government power in the United States.

Barone explores the same idea in this column.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 06, 2010 02:29 PM | Send

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