Friday, March 12, 2010

"Health Care" as "The March of Folly?" Or is it something infinitely darker, deliberate and evil?


So politically foolish does the "health Care" bill seem that the Democrats are apparently determined to ram down the country's throat, that pundits are left searching for metaphors. At CNBC, Kneale compares Obama to Captain Ahab strapped to Moby Dick. He writes, in part:

So now it becomes clear: President Obama as Ahab, a political martyr wannabe who willfully straps himself to his own Moby Dick, that great white whale of a $1 trillion health-care overhaul.

My guess is that ObamaCare will pass (insert bone-wracking shudder here). And, like Moby Dick plunging to the ocean’s depths, it will take with it Obama’s presidency and the Democrats’ control of Congress.



But it isn't the Obama presidency I worry about. If he chooses to sink himself with this bloated whale, so be it. Great experiment, thanks for playing, see ya, Cap’n.

It is the future of our nation that worries me. We can't afford this healthcare facelift, even at its stated price, and the actual cost will prove to be manifold times higher than Congress projects.

The frightening finances of Project Ahab are just the start. My bigger fear concerns the message it sends to the American people: That Government is the answer, and the People are weak and feckless. That profit is evil, and health care is a government-granted entitlement that must be handed to everyone—yet it should be funded by only the very few.

Our country was forged by steely self-reliance and stubborn individualism. Government, if it had to step in at all, was there to enforce the law and protect the People from imminent danger. Otherwise, we’re pretty good at fending for ourselves.

ObamaCare is predicated, in many ways, on the opposite bent: that only Government can protect us from rapacious, dishonest insurers and greedy drug companies and device makers; and we aren’t smart enough to make these health-care decisions ourselves. . .

Do you really want your government to force you to buy health insurance? If you refuse to pay up, you will have to pay the government a penalty of, say, $600 or $800 a year. What happened to my right to make my own bad choices? . . .

The notion of health coverage as a government entitlement began to creep up on us in 1965, with the passage of Medicare. Suddenly, your own health insurance was no longer your responsibility once you hit age 65. Government promised to take care of it.

A disastrous decision. Now the Medicare and Social Security entitlement programs, over the next 75 years, expect to spend $46 trillion more than they take in (unless we double or triple payroll taxes). That makes our current $1.8 trillion annual budget deficit look trifling.

Now we are told 30 million more Americans (of an estimated 45 million uninsured people nationwide) should be added to these burdensome rolls. Presumably, the 15 million left bare are illegal aliens, but the Obama Administration favors making them legal residents.

In that case, wouldn’t they then qualify for ObamaCare, too? And wouldn’t that instantly raise costs by a huge 50 percent or an extra half a trillion dollars over the next decade? . . .

ObamaCare . . . surely it is the perfect path to even worse financial straits in the future. The question is whether anyone in the White House cares about any of that.


In the Wall Street Journal, Kimberly Strassel paints it as a huge, out of control bulldozer.

Another week, another episode of health-care drama, another round of headlines proving the end is not yet nigh. The polls are dismal, the Democratic caucus is in disarray, it is spring of 2010. Yet the ObamaCare dozer grinds on, and on, and on.



What has been driving the machine these past few painful months is the fantastical (at this point) Democratic belief that somewhere at the end of "comprehensive" health care rests good politics. The left in particular is pushing these Democrats-must-pass-health-care-for-their-own-political-good arguments, and clearly some of President Obama's advisers buy it. . .

No way around it, the politics of ObamaCare are bad. So bad that it lends credence to the belief that some in the White House and Congress are far more ideologically interested in establishing European-style health care than they are the public's will or their party's electoral success. The question now is how many congressional Democrats are going to follow them into a political black hole.


Even Democrat pollsters Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen weighed in with a piece in the Washington Post about what abysmally bad politics this is. They compare it to "The March of Folly." I will have my comments on the other side.

If Democrats ignore health-care polls, midterms will be costly

By Patrick H. Caddell and Douglas E. Schoen

Friday, March 12, 2010

In "The March of Folly," Barbara Tuchman asked, "Why do holders of high office so often act contrary to the way reason points and enlightened self-interest suggests?" Her assessment of self-deception -- "acting according to wish while not allowing oneself to be deflected by the facts" -- captures the conditions that are gripping President Obama and the Democratic Party leadership as they renew their efforts to enact health-care reform.



Their blind persistence in the face of reality threatens to turn this political march of folly into an electoral rout in November. In the wake of the stinging loss in Massachusetts, there was a moment when the president and the Democratic leadership seemed to realize the reality of the health-care situation. Yet like some seductive siren of Greek mythology, the lure of health-care reform has arisen again.

As pollsters to the past two Democratic presidents, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, respectively, we feel compelled to challenge the myths that seem to be prevailing in the political discourse and to once again urge a change in course before it is too late. At stake is the kind of mainstream, common-sense Democratic Party that we believe is crucial to the success of the American enterprise.

Bluntly put, this is the political reality:

First, the battle for public opinion has been lost. Comprehensive health care has been lost. If it fails, as appears possible, Democrats will face the brunt of the electorate's reaction. If it passes, however, Democrats will face a far greater calamitous reaction at the polls. Wishing, praying or pretending will not change these outcomes.

Nothing has been more disconcerting than to watch Democratic politicians and their media supporters deceive themselves into believing that the public favors the Democrats' current health-care plan. Yes, most Americans believe, as we do, that real health-care reform is needed. And yes, certain proposals in the plan are supported by the public.



However, a solid majority of Americans opposes the massive health-reform plan. Four-fifths of those who oppose the plan strongly oppose it, according to Rasmussen polling this week, while only half of those who support the plan do so strongly. Many more Americans believe the legislation will worsen their health care, cost them more personally and add significantly to the national deficit. Never in our experience as pollsters can we recall such self-deluding misconstruction of survey data.

The White House document released Thursday arguing that reform is becoming more popular is in large part fighting the last war. This isn't 1994; it's 2010. And the bottom line is that the American public is overwhelmingly against this bill in its totality even if they like some of its parts.

The notion that once enactment is forced, the public will suddenly embrace health-care reform could not be further from the truth -- and is likely to become a rallying cry for disaffected Republicans, independents and, yes, Democrats.

Second, the country is moving away from big government, with distrust growing more generally toward the role of government in our lives. Scott Rasmussen asked last month whose decisions people feared more in health care: that of the federal government or of insurance companies. By 51 percent to 39 percent, respondents feared the decisions of federal government more. This is astounding given the generally negative perception of insurance companies.

CNN found last month that 56 percent of Americans believe that the government has become so powerful it constitutes an immediate threat to the freedom and rights of citizens. When only 21 percent of Americans say that Washington operates with the consent of the governed, as was also reported last month, we face an alarming crisis.

Health care is no longer a debate about the merits of specific initiatives. Since the spectacle of Christmas dealmaking to ensure passage of the Senate bill, the issue, in voters' minds, has become less about health care than about the government and a political majority that will neither hear nor heed the will of the people.

Voters are hardly enthralled with the GOP, but the Democrats are pursuing policies that are out of step with the way ordinary Americans think and feel about politics and government. Barring some change of approach, they will be punished severely at the polls.

Now, we vigorously opposed Republican efforts in the Bush administration to employ the "nuclear option" in judicial confirmations. We are similarly concerned by Democrats' efforts to manipulate passage of a health-care bill. Doing so in the face of constant majority opposition invites a backlash against the party at every level -- and at a time when it already faces the prospect of losing 30 or more House seats and eight or more Senate seats.

For Democrats to begin turning around their political fortunes there has to be a frank acknowledgement that the comprehensive health-care initiative is a failure, regardless of whether it passes. There are enough Republican and Democratic proposals -- such as purchasing insurance across state lines, malpractice reform, incrementally increasing coverage, initiatives to hold down costs, covering preexisting conditions and ensuring portability -- that can win bipartisan support. It is not a question of starting over but of taking the best of both parties and presenting that as representative of what we need to do to achieve meaningful reform. Such a proposal could even become a template for the central agenda items for the American people: jobs and economic development.

Unless the Democrats fundamentally change their approach, they will produce not just a march of folly but also run the risk of unmitigated disaster in November.

Patrick H. Caddell is a political commentator and former pollster. Douglas E. Schoen, a pollster, is the author of "The Political Fix."


"Unmitigated disaster," eh? No doubt. Here is the money quote in case you missed it:

Second, the country is moving away from big government, with distrust growing more generally toward the role of government in our lives. Scott Rasmussen asked last month whose decisions people feared more in health care: that of the federal government or of insurance companies. By 51 percent to 39 percent, respondents feared the decisions of federal government more. This is astounding given the generally negative perception of insurance companies.

CNN found last month that 56 percent of Americans believe that the government has become so powerful it constitutes an immediate threat to the freedom and rights of citizens. When only 21 percent of Americans say that Washington operates with the consent of the governed, as was also reported last month, we face an alarming crisis.


"An alarming crisis" certainly. One that strikes at the legitimacy of the regime. When regimes lose legitimacy, and still try to work their will upon a resisting people, civil wars start. That is why Caddell and Schoen use words like "crisis" and "unmitigated disaster."

Yet Ahab continues to suicidally go after the whale and the bulldozer blindly grinds on.

Or do they?

To believe this is folly is to believe that these people are too stupid to see political realities as outlined above. Yet these are the same people who took a non-entity and crushed the Clinton machine. Can we really believe that they are so feckless, unheeding and stupid as to not see what is around the next political bend?

Or rather, is this what they have been hired to do? Always, always, I ask myself when faced with some otherwise inexplicable government action, the old Roman legal dictum: "Qui bono?" To whose benefit is all of this?

I can only conclude that an American civil war -- which is where this is headed, as Caddell and Schoen warn us between the lines -- benefits only the traditional enemies of the United States.

Another way of putting this is that the Obamanoids and their familiars are "domestic enemies" of the Constitution and the Republic.

The Founders had an idea about "domestic enemies" countermeasures, you know.

And that idea, codified in the Second Amendment, was us -- the armed citizenry.

This is no mere "folly," gentlemen and ladies, this is premeditated evil. And it will not stop until a stake is driven through its heart.

There's going to be a fight.

We didn't choose it, they did.

Let's win.

Get ready.

Mike
III

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Every malicious action foisted upon the public by this POS POTUS and POS Congress can be understood by this,...

http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/09/barack_obama_and_the_strategy.html

d3vnull said...

"There's going to be a fight. We didn't choose it, they did. Let's win. Get ready."

100% correct if mandatory healthcare passes. I won't buy it if I don't want to, I won't pay the fine in such a case, and God help anyone who'd try to put me in jail for not paying the fine - they will find HELL waiting for them when they come onto my property! Not only that (since I have healthcare as of right now) I will help those who are besieged by aggressors for not buying healthcare should those individuals decide to resist.

Now's the time we need to stand up for ourselves, or friends, neighbors, community, and State. Let's hope folks don't go to jail as a consequence not having healthcare because that's when bullets fly!

Anonymous said...

Virginia was the first state to pro-actively pass and sign into law state legislation that nullifies Federal mandatory health care. Arizona has a similar measure that will be on the ballots in the November election.

2 down, 48 to go. Nullification legislation and ballot boxes first.

Unfortunately, we seem to be getting closer and closer to civil war and sometimes it seems like those in power want it.

Old Pablo said...

I agree with this analysis. Who benefits from a new entitlement that the government -- er, the taxpayers -- cannot possibly afford? Certainly not American citizens. Any entitlement, however well intentioned, hurts freedom-loving citizens, making them dependent on government. So-called healthcare reform only helps the government, and other enemies of the people.

How did socialism and communism get so strong in this country? This is a life or death struggle now. Either freedom or government will survive, not both. Get ready as best you can. A "good-enough" plan is better than a perfect one.

Taylor H said...

Well, we tried. Good luck everyone.

Anonymous said...

"Every malicious action foisted upon the public by this POS POTUS and POS Congress can be understood by this,..."

Please post the complete link, it got cut off and is unuseable.

Anonymous said...

Once they make the first violent move, we need to take it to them with unmitigated fury!

I support the strategies outlined in John Ross' book, "Unintended Consequences" as I believe it affords the best opportunity to 1. punish those specifically responsible and 2. avoid jeopardizing innocent lives.

I truly would rather not see my beloved country experience the chaos and misery of civil war but if that is what it is going to take to save the Republic and individual freedom -- then let the festivities begin and may God Bless the defenders of freedom.

MamaLiberty said...

[quote]
Once they make the first violent move, we need to take it to them with unmitigated fury!
[/quote]

What do they have to do to make the "first violent move?" Seems to me they started it a very long time ago. They've just been allowed to get away with it.

I'm not backing up any more.

drjim said...

Link worked fine for me. Just copy and paste it into your browser address line.
http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/09/barack_obama_and_the_strategy.html

Anonymous said...

I truly believe they're trying to force an uprising. This will give them the excuse they seek to implement martial law and a violent purging of all who dare resist.

It would be icing on the cake for them if they can bring about a currency/economic crash at the same time so they can also implement their total-government-takeover of our financial system, etc - their dream "cashless society" where no transaction can be made without tracking by the .gov.

I feel a bit stupid for being so, but I'm still shocked and stunned at the absolute corruption and lawlessness.

What frigging country is this?

Jimmy the Saint said...

Great....ObamaCare's the bulldozer and we get to play the part of Rachel Corrie.

She deserved her fate; we don't.

I definitely agree that the current political leadership is giving every indication that its goal is to trigger a civil war.

Of course, any time a government is overthrown, the new government can come in and repudiate the debts of the old one. Seems like a good way to deal with all those pesky debt/deficit issues.

Jimmy the Saint said...

Given the Gummint's attitude towards us lowly taxpayers, Captain Ahab's quote seems particularly appropriate at the moment: "To the last, I grapple with thee; From Hell's heart, I stab at thee; For hate's sake, I spit my last breath at thee."

Miles said...

Here is the link. It took just a bit of searching.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/09/barack_obama_and_the_strategy.html

Something about this comment board cuts off long URLs

Anonymous said...

Since most of the American people have been repeatedly shafted & the only response to date has been ineffectual & therefore dismissable written, telephonic, e-mail, electoral, & occasionally physical protests, it follows that the Imperium has decided (& not w/o considerable justification) that whatever losses it may incur @ the ballot box are acceptable & that any outbreaks of resistance, whether token or determined, can be managed via sympathetic media outlets. Should that be unsuccessful, ominous pronouncements of dire peril to the nation from "extremist groups" will issue from Imperium apparatchiks such as the S.P.L.C./similar "think tanks/watchdog orgs" & be given credibility by various levels of LE (accompanied by an engineered crisis/series of crises of appropriately exploitable violence) to sway public opinion back toward support of the Imperium. And if that fails, it's 50/50 whether the pressure & propaganda will keep ratcheting up or the order to pull the pin will be given & a full tilt assault will ensue. The option of the Imperium abandoning its plans for domination because of an overwhelming revolt by the population was deliberately omitted due to the improbability of such an eventuality.

Cassandra (of Troy)