FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Freedom is resistance
As ObamaCare collapses into a pile of flaming garbage on the eve of full implementation, there’s a cottage industry of liberals screaming that it’s all the fault of those dastardly Republicans, because they won’t fix the idiotic program that none of them voted for. We’ve heard this sort of complaint throughout the Obama presidency, of course – his endless failures are always the fault of his dastardly obstructionist enemies. And before that, a long tradition of the party in power describing the other guys as roadblocks to progress stretches back into antiquity.
But ObamaCare is such an epic disaster, and all those deadly deadlines are drawing so close (except the ones our dictatorial President decides to shred the Constitution to move by fiat, of course) that the obstructionist mantra has grown painfully shrill. Many on the Left are swooning over an Tuesday rant by Chuck Todd on MSNBC, in which he declared all this nonsense about free speech and representative government will just have to go, so we can embrace the full glory of Obama’s benevolent dictatorship, upon whose hot fudge and whipped cream slopes ObamaCare is but the crowning cherry:
Here’s a thought exercise on this summer morning: Imagine that after the controversial Medicare prescription-drug legislation was passed into law in 2003, Democrats did everything they could to thwart one of George W. Bush’s top domestic achievements. They launched Senate filibusters to block essential HHS appointees from administering the law; they warned the sports and entertainment industries from participating in any public service announcements to help seniors understand how the law works; and, after taking control of the House of Representatives in 2007, they used the power of the purse to prohibit any more federal funds from being used to implement the law. As it turns out, none of that happened. And despite Democratic warnings that the law would be a bust — we remember the 2004 Dem presidential candidates campaigning against it — the Medicare prescription-drug law has been, for the most part, a pretty big success.
But that thought exercise has become a reality 10 years later as Republicans have worked to thwart/stymie/sabotage — pick your word — the implementation of President Obama’s health-care and financial-reform laws.
Recently, the top-two Senate Republicans — Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn — wrote a letter to the NFL and other major sports leagues warning them not to participate in any campaign to promote implementation of Obamacare. The Koch Brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity is in unchartered waters running TV ads to help prevent the law from being implemented, while the Obama political arm is also on the air promoting implementation. And Senate Republicans have vowed to filibuster any nominee (no matter how qualified) to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under the financial-reform law. […]
And this all raises the question: What’s the line between fighting for your ideology and ensuring that the government that pays your salaries actually works — or even attempts to work? At some point, governing has to take place, but when does that begin? We know what opponents will say in response to this: These are bad laws, and we have to do whatever it takes to stop them. But at what point does an election have a governing consequence?
That’s from a very approving quotation at the Washington Post, where Greg Sargent is still hilariously trying to flog the oversold sequestration cuts that Barack Obama insisted upon as a Republican outrage that’s making “real people across the country” suffer. Geez, even when the Great Dictator gets what he wants, his admirers still aren’t happy. Or was this another Obama bungle Republicans were supposed to rescue him from?
And how dare they draw up “a list of spending cuts they will demand in exchange for raising the debt limit!” Don’t they know concerns about the debt are only permitted for those who want to raise taxes? Government spending must rise forever and ever; the debt ceiling must be raised without question in a solemn but automated ritual, like primitive tribesmen thanking the Sun for rising each morning.
Todd’s strangled cry that elections should have “governing consequences” is very telling. There was more than one election in 2012, Mr. Todd. Even MSNBC must have mentioned that at some point. The presidential race is not an all-or-nothing blowout in which a strongman’s rule is ratified for another four years. You liberals certainly don’t seem to have any problems understanding that when you’re the minority party facing a Republican president. Do you nitwits really want to talk about filibustering nominees? Have you already forgotten how the Democrats behaved during the Bush years, or are you just assuming your audience has?
And you’ve got to love this line from Todd: “The Koch Brothers-backed Americans for Prosperity is in uncharted waters running TV ads to help prevent the law from being implemented, while the Obama political arm is also on the air promoting implementation.” Ah, so free speech from dissenters is sailing into uncharted waters, but a desperate Administration spending our own money to convince us we don’t hate his health-care disaster is just fine?
Sargent piles on at the Washington Post by moaning that “it’s now become accepted as normal that Republicans will threaten explicitly to allow harm to the country to get what they want, and will allow untold numbers of Americans to be hurt rather than even enter into negotiations over the sort of compromises that lie at the heart of basic governing.” Hey, Greg, remember Barack Hussein Obama threatening to mess with Social Security checks if he wasn’t given more debt dollars to spend? Remember Harry Reid threatening to shut down the government and halt military pay if Planned Parenthood subsidies didn’t keep flowing? Where were the “compromises that lie at the heart of basic governing” when ObamaCare was rushed through Congress in a festival of payoffs and kickbacks, and signed into law by people who cheerfully admitted they hadn’t read it, and hadn’t even finished writing it? Was Obama making such compromises when he lied through his teeth about the effects of sequestration, and worked hard to make it hurt Americans as much as possible, so they’d knuckle under to his demands for higher taxes? Is he making them now, when he assumes a stunning new power to ignore the legislation Congress passed and rewrite the implementation dates by fiat, for nakedly political reasons?
Freedom is resistance. Freedom is the right to say “no,” the right to withdraw consent, the right to refuse an offer, the right to seek alternatives. A system that allows no room for resistance and dissent – a system that assumes everyone will obey central authority without question, and furthermore will obey its intentions, rather than the law as written – is fundamentally incompatible with the American understanding of representative government. A program that can’t be presented to the American people honestly – even now, years after passage, and just months from primary implementation – is garbage that should be discarded immediately, not a hill for the Republic to die on. If ObamaCare was a private-sector insurance product, everyone involved in creating and selling it would be facing a grand jury right now. We’re supposed to meekly swallow fraud because slightly over half of our fellow citizens decided not to object too strongly in a single election?
ObamaCare was rolled down a mountain of deceptions, from laughably and deliberately inaccurate fraud projections, to provisions that were meant to preserve the illusion of freedom, such as the option for states to decline creation of their own exchanges. Now we’re being told the whole damned rotting heap of junk is going to come tumbling down because too many governors exercised options explicitly presented to them by the law. Worse, we’re told the law itself is all but meaningless; as long as some kind of centrally planned top-down socialist system manages to survive, nothing the Affordable Care Act actually mandated is terribly important. It’s more like the Pirate Code from “Pirates of the Caribbean,” according to Captain Barbossa: a set of guidelines, me hearties.
After all, it’s not as if Obama and his fellow con artists could obey the Constitution and bring the steaming wreckage of their health care law back to Congress for properly debated amendments to features such as the employer mandate. They know it would never survive a second encounter with representative government.