Settle in, this might take a while…
Recent headlines of note: Aides Debated Obama Health-Care Coverage Promise – Behind the Scenes, White House Officials Worried About Insurance Pledge (1) and A Dishonest Presidency (2). Both articles are worth reading, not so much for the exposure of a lie that has been obvious to all but the legally brain dead and two time Obama voters from the start, but to understand just how calculated the deceitfulness really was…and is. And to understand that not so long ago it was “not easy to get a lie into a presidential speech.” We are now living through an entire second term that is a lie.
At this point, I must also pass on another headline: The Sabotage Republicans (3). Now that’s an interesting term. I have always thought of the term RINO as an “inside our locker room” jab at our teammates that just weren’t conservative enough for us and that outside of a few notables – Crist and Specter – the other side wasn’t really among our ranks. At worst, most RINO behavior seemed to be spinnable around the individual or his/her constituents and not the coordinated actions of an inside the beltway Republican cabal. But now…? (Go read that American Spectator article carefully….look carefully for names like Christie and Jindal.)
Now, in November 2013, we sit here with a White House that possesses not an ounce of foreign or domestic credibility, a “health care reform law” that has been illegitimate from the very start of the legislative process (and that, apparently, only exists because of two Republican votes…Snowe and Roberts), and a much different view of the relationship between us, the Country Class, and our Ruling Class elites in Washington.
As I contemplate this strange new world, I thought I might review my state of mind just before Obamacare was rammed down our throats. First, just over a week before the House vote:
Echoes of ’75… (RedState Diary, March 13, 2010)
…emotions are high, tempers are short, and the time for talking (constructive debate) is nearly through. It’s time to play out the hand.
The good guys are greatly outnumbered but firmly occupy the moral high ground (that’s why they’re the good guys). The case is simple:
“Hence, in this state of nature [or inviolable right to personal liberty, and personal safety], no man has any moral power to deprive another of his life, limbs, property, or liberty; nor the least authority to command, or exact obedience from him; except that which arose from the ties of consanguinity.
Hence also, the origin of all civil government, justly established, must be a voluntary compact, between the rulers and the ruled; and must be liable to such limitations, as are necessary for the security of the absolute rights of the latter; for what original title can any man or set of men have, to govern others, except their own consent? To usurp dominion over a people, in their own despite, or to grasp at a more extensive power than they are willing to entrust, is to violate that law of nature, which gives every man a right to his personal liberty; and can, therefore, confer no obligation of obedience.
When the first principles of civil society are violated, and the rights of a whole people are invaded, the common forms of municipal law are not to be regarded…In short, when human laws contradict or discountenance the means, which are necessary to preserve the essential rights of any society, they defeat the proper end of all laws, and so become null and void.” – Alexander Hamilton, The Farmer Refuted (1775)
(Of course, the perverse mind of the modern American liberal instantly reads the utopian right to mandatory “free” health care for all into Hamilton’s “state of nature” …oblivious to the contradictions to liberty that such a practice necessitates. Or are they? To be sure, where that ignorance does not exist, evil does.)
To be clear, while I obviously cannot resist them myself, comparisons of the struggle against the Obama socialist surge to the American Revolution are grand overstatements in general and usually a real stretch in specifics. I do not for a moment suggest that within weeks or months the fifty colonies will be in armed resistance against a distant, oppressive, nonresponsive parliament and an arrogant, piddling king. (Though both target entities listed here certainly do exist.) That will not happen, nor should it.
However, very dangerous games are rumored to be ongoing in DC. Change for the sake of change has been ordered from the top and the titled representatives of the people are determined to make change happen. They seem well focused on the immediate political and electoral risks of their actions without seeming to notice…of acknowledge…that they are playing a much bigger game than that. A game that can have much more significant consequences.
Unfortunately, sometimes change…monumental change…can happen very quickly. Once triggered, events of change can take on a life of their own. I’ve referenced it before but in 2010 America it’s hard to imagine that in less than 45 days between confirmation of Lincoln’s electoral win and actually assuming the powers of the office, seven states left the Union…the confederacy gained amazing momentum in unbelievably short order and the stage was set for a very messy period of American history. (1a)
Again, I am not suggesting even the slightest parallel or magnitude to events today but I am reminded of what a wise Redstater once said: “Those who learn from history are surrounded by those destined to repeat it.” (Or something like that.) Evidently, change is coming…undoubtedly, the American Spirit can handle it…God only knows if the republic will endure it.
On this wonderfully pleasant Saturday afternoon in North Texas…after a lazy, playful, and free morning with the wife and kids and dogs in the backyard…it’s hard to comprehend just how different…and dimmer…my America may be a week from now.
Proud Redstate “Old Timer” – 5 years 6 months
I’m not sure how much real hope there was but, remember; at that point there was still some belief in the existence of the mythical “Pro-Life Democrat”.
Was it all just a show…a charade…for our benefit? How many of the “good guys” were working behind the scenes for the other team? If, in the end, the most ignorant Speaker in American history had needed one or two or five votes, would they have magically appeared from among our ranks? I seem to remember many pictures and video clips of our leadership with a spectacled, serious-faced, “loyal” Mr. Cantor in the background, now I wonder what his was staff up to? (And as much as I like the “…against a distant, oppressive, nonresponsive parliament and an arrogant, piddling king…” line, I wonder if I was wrong to be directing that solely at Ms. Pelosi’s side of the aisle.)
Next, the day of the House vote:
The Eternal Stamp of an Irreversible Act (RedState Diary, March 21, 2010)
You don’t undrop The Bomb.
Thankfully, wisdom and character were rightly placed in history…the right decision came rather easy for Mr. Truman. (Just months removed from a post in the Senate, this may be the most fortunate and timely promotion…aside from General Grant to the Potomac…America has ever seen. If the Senate of the mid-1940s was anything like today’s, I wouldn’t bet two cents we could roll the electoral focused dice at the convention and find one with a spine. But, I digress.)
When it comes to irreversible acts, history brands some figures…some names…some decisions…forever: Benedict Arnold, Aaron Burr, Robert E. Lee. In more generous cases, history mostly just writes them out…James Wilkinson. When your actions are just votes and you are but one of 435 it is usually safe to assume a large amount of anonymity in your shame. On Sunday, March 21, 2010…DON”T COUNT ON IT.
With hours to go before the big vote even occurs, some have already crossed the threshold and earned their eternal brand. President Obama owns this. Senate Majority Leader Reid owns this. Speaker of the House of Representatives Pelosi owns this. And to be perfectly clear, “this” is not a bill or a law…”this” is this the putrid fourteen month process that has torn mightily…and so destructively… at the very fabric of American society. The extensive collateral damage, primarily the credibility of the Congressional Budget Office, will plague DC for decades…maybe forever. Their shame is total.
Others carry quite a stain…Nelson, Landrieu and, yes, Snowe. (“When history calls, history calls”? Holy crap, that ranks right up there with “Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?” and “Joey, have you ever been in a… in a Turkish prison?” coming from a sitting US Senator. Unbelievable.)
Many more will chose a place in history very soon. They have but one duty…a vote…executed while under the following oath:
“I, _________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”
Nothing about an obligation to the Speaker…or to the President…not even explicitly to constituents back home. This is a pledge of allegiance to the Constitution of the United States not a vow to grasp for unlimited power when majorities allow and to grant new rights and redistribute property on a cynical legislative whim.
The simple fact that there are 180 or so solid “Yes” votes on the “reform” bill says a lot about how low our collective standards have become for federal representation…and makes you wonder what exactly these individuals have in mind when they repeat the phrase “So help me God.” Unfortunately, after this weekend, they will remain mostly anonymous outside their districts. Unfortunately, to the extent that a majority in those districts has sent such lacking character to DC, I expect no shame to be placed on them.
On the other hand, there are undecideds, late deciders, and flippers. These names will be branded and they will be remembered. The new media are everywhere and they have long memories.
So when the true costs of this are finally known…you will be remembered. When Speaker Pelosi admits that abortions actually will be funded brags that this is the ultimate victory for women’s reproductive rights…you will be remembered. When Americans go to the voting booth this November…you will be remembered.
Votes have consequences…long lasting consequences.
Proud Redstate “Old Timer” – 5 years 7 months
Long before the Roberts’ betrayal, there is the proper ire for Ms. Snowe. Unfortunately, I suspect Bart Stupak is quietly raking in lots of cash in relative anonymity as millions are now losing the health care policies the like.
More importantly, I suspect the reference to the damaged reputation of the CBO greatly understates the complicity I have no doubt was involve in this fraud. Given what we know today about the IRS, I don’t think there can be any doubt that the CBO coordinated closely with the White House and Congress to generate phony cost curves used by Pelosi to shield the weakest congressional democrats and by the media to beat back Republican opposition when it mattered most. All parties knew the key assumptions and inputs were in no way realistic…and many who voted for the bill because it “bends the cost curve down” now consistently work and vote against those measures that provided the bending in the phony CBO analysis. (And not a peep from the media.) Now, one additional question has to be asked: how much behind the scenes Republican coordination was there (if any) to minimize the Republican votes required to get something passed…get it off the table and off the front pages…and maximize fundraising without causing a revolt within the party? For many of you this probably puts me off in fantasy / conspiracy land but I no longer believe that the honest answer to that question is a hand-on-the-Bible: NONE.
With that as my state of mind in 2013, I no longer have any confidence in Mr. Boehner, Mr. McConnell and their leadership teams. Their credibility is gone. (I almost choked last week when I heard Hugh Hewitt unreservedly endorse Mr. McConnell at the beginning of a show…more and more, I am no longer “with” those whose opinions I used to respect. I’m sure this trend will continue.) As a result, come 2015 I do not see myself as a supporter of a party – be it a minority or majority in Washington – that includes these once respectable men in leadership positions. Their time has passed.
In retrospect, much of my current understanding was clearly presented to me back in August 2010 by Angelo Codevilla in The American Spectator…I just didn’t fully appreciate it. At the time, America’s Ruling Class – And the Perils of Revolution (4) was a very powerful read for me. I continue to return to my well-worn printed copy again and again as events continue to clarify his thesis. I strongly recommend you print it and understand it and pass it on to all your friends.
Thanks for hanging in there until the end.
Proud Redstate Member since April 2006…?