This is what the "Health Care Bill" is to us: Leviathan threatening our deaths if we refuse their tyrannical system.
This is what the ultimate effect of the "Health Care Bill" is to Democrats: Us shooting back at them in righteous self-defense.
The Intolerable Act: How the GOP is today of no more use to us than the English Whigs were to the colonists in 1775.
The modernization of American Politics and government during and after the Revolution took the form of a sudden, radical realization of the program that had first been fully set forth by the opposition intelligentsia…in the reign of George the First. Where the English opposition, forcing its way against a complacent social and political order, had only striven and dreamed, Americans driven by the same aspirations but living in a society in many ways modern, and now released politically, could suddenly act. Where the English opposition had vainly agitated for partial reforms…American leaders moved swiftly and with little social disruption to implement systematically the outermost possibilities of the whole range of radically liberation ideas.
In the process they…infused into American political culture…the major themes of eighteenth-century radical liberalism brought to realization here. The first is the belief that power is evil, a necessity perhaps but an evil necessity; that it is infinitely corrupting; and that it must be controlled, limited, restricted in every way compatible with a minimum of civil order. Written constitutions; the separation of powers; bills of rights; limitations on executives, on legislatures, and courts; restrictions on the right to coerce and wage war—all express the profound distrust of power that lies at the ideological heart of the American Revolution and that has remained with us as a permanent legacy ever after. -- Bernard Bailyn, "The Central Themes of the American Revolution: An Interpretation," in S. Kurtz and J. Hutson, eds., Essays on the American Revolution, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1973, pp. 26–27.
Were he writing today, Bernard Bailyn might want to revise that "permanent legacy" business. Yet his observation about the difference between British and American Whigs is dead on the money. The British TALKED about liberty, the Americans ACHIEVED it.
During the Revolution, English Whigs did little better than say nice things about the American revolutionaries, who were insisting upon their rights as Englishmen codified by the English Constitution. An explanation may be found in these opening paragraphs in an article in the Journal of Modern History, March 1934 by G.H. Guttridge, entitled "The Whig Opposition in England During the American Revolution:
We are frequently given a choice . . . of believing either that the English whigs felt a deep sympathy for the American revolutionary cause or that they were merely greedy of office. A third possibility is probably nearer the truth, namely, that the whigs were genuinely fighting for their principles; but that they interpreted the American problem in their own English terms -- terms that were far removed from those of the colonists on the other side of the Atlantic.
Parliament at this time consisted almost entirely of a small governing class, monopolizing the seats in both houses. Closely connected by birth, by education, and by interest, the vast majority of members reflected in their outlook the complacency natural to an aristocracy.
Our governing class is much larger today than England's was then, but the parties share an identity of interest as much or more than they represent difference of philosophy. That identity of interest is incumbency. More than any other thing they wish to hang onto their personal power, and usually have to be dragged kicking and screaming from it.
There is abroad in the land the idea that if we can merely politically remove the Democrat majority in the next two federal election cycles, that this will represent some sort of victory for individual liberty. It will not.
In evidence of this, I draw your attention to this article.
I will have more comment afterward.
March 5, 2010
Mark Steyn: Obamacare worth the price to Democrats
By MARK STEYN
So there was President Obama, giving his bazillionth speech on health care, droning yet again that "now is the hour when we must seize the moment," the same moment he's been seizing every day of the week for the past year, only this time his genius photo-op guys thought it would look good to have him surrounded by men in white coats.
Why is he doing this? Why let "health" "care" "reform" stagger on like the rotting husk in a low-grade creature feature who refuses to stay dead no matter how many stakes you pound through his chest?
Because it's worth it. Big time. I've been saying in this space for two years that the governmentalization of health care is the fastest way to a permanent left-of-center political culture. It redefines the relationship between the citizen and the state in fundamental ways that make limited government all but impossible. In most of the rest of the Western world, there are still nominally "conservative" parties, and they even win elections occasionally, but not to any great effect (Let's not forget that Jacques Chirac was, in French terms, a "conservative").
The result is a kind of two-party one-party state: Right-of-center parties will once in a while be in office, but never in power, merely presiding over vast left-wing bureaucracies that cruise on regardless.
Republicans seem to have difficulty grasping this basic dynamic. Less than three months ago, they were stunned at the way the Democrats managed to get 60 senators to vote for the health bill. Then Scott Brown took them back down to 59, and Republicans were again stunned to find the Dems talking about ramming this thing into law through the parliamentary device of "reconciliation." And, when polls showed an ever larger number of Americans ever more opposed to Obamacare (by margins approaching three-to-one), Republicans were further stunned to discover that, in order to advance "reconciliation," Democrat reconsiglieres had apparently been offering (illegally) various cosy Big Government sinecures to swing-state congressmen in order to induce them to climb into the cockpit for the kamikaze raid to push the bill through. The Democrats understand that politics is not just about Tuesday evenings every other November, but about everything else, too.
A year or two back, when the Canadian Islamic Congress attempted to criminalize my writing north of the border by taking me to the Canadian "Human Rights" Commission, a number of outraged American readers wrote to me, saying, "You need to start kicking up a fuss about this, Steyn, and then maybe Canadians will get mad and elect a conservative government that will end this nonsense."
Makes perfect sense. Except that Canada already has a Conservative government under a Conservative prime minister, and the very head of the "human rights" commission investigating me was herself the Conservative appointee of a Conservative minister of justice. Makes no difference.
Once the state swells to a certain size, the people available to fill the ever-expanding number of government jobs will be statists – sometimes hard-core Marxist statists, sometimes social-engineering multiculti statists, sometimes fluffily "compassionate" statists, but always statists. The short history of the post-war welfare state is that you don't need a president-for-life if you've got a bureaucracy-for-life: The people can elect "conservatives," as the Germans have done and the British are about to do, and the Left is mostly relaxed about it because, in all but exceptional cases (Thatcher), they fulfill the same function in the system as the first-year boys at wintry English boarding schools who, for tuppence-ha'penny or some such, would agree to go and warm the seat in the unheated lavatories until the prefects strolled in and took their rightful place.
Republicans are good at keeping the seat warm. A bigtime GOP consultant was on TV, crowing that Republicans wanted the Dems to pass Obamacare because it's so unpopular it will guarantee a GOP sweep in November.
OK, then what? You'll roll it back – like you've rolled back all those other unsustainable entitlements premised on cobwebbed actuarial tables from 80 years ago? Like you've undone the federal Department of Education and of Energy and all the other nickel'n'dime novelties of even a universally reviled one-term loser like Jimmy Carter? Andrew McCarthy concluded a shrewd analysis of the political realities thus:
"Health care is a loser for the Left only if the Right has the steel to undo it. The Left is banking on an absence of steel. Why is that a bad bet?"
Indeed. Look at it from the Dems' point of view. You pass Obamacare. You lose the 2010 election, which gives the GOP co-ownership of an awkward couple of years. And you come back in 2012 to find your health care apparatus is still in place, a fetid behemoth of toxic pustules oozing all over the basement, and, simply through the natural processes of government, already bigger and more expensive and more bureaucratic than it was when you passed it two years earlier. That's a huge prize, and well worth a midterm timeout.
I've been bandying comparisons with Britain and France, but that hardly begins to convey the scale of it. Obamacare represents the government annexation of "one-sixth of the U.S. economy" – i.e., the equivalent of the entire British or French economy, or the entire Indian economy twice over. Nobody has ever attempted this level of centralized planning for an advanced society of 300 million people. Even the control-freaks of the European Union have never tried to impose a unitary "comprehensive" health care system from Galway to Greece. The Soviet Union did, of course, and we know how that worked out.
This "reform" is not about health care, and certainly not about "controlling costs." As with Medicare, it "controls" costs by declining to acknowledge them, or pay them. Dr. William Schreiber of North Syracuse, N.Y., told CNN that he sees 120 patients per week – about 30 percent on Medicare, 65 private on private insurance plans whose payments take into account the Medicare reimbursement rates, and about 5 percent who do it the old-fashioned way and write a check. He calculates that, under Obamacare, for every $5 he now makes, he'll get $2 in the future. Which suggests now would be a good time to retrain as a realtor or accountant, or the night clerk at the convenience store. Yet Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., justifies her support for Obamacare this way:
"I even had one constituent – you will not believe this, and I know you won't, but it's true – her sister died. This poor woman had no dentures. She wore her dead sister's teeth."
Is the problem of second-hand teeth a particular problem in this corner of New York? I haven't noticed an epidemic of ill-fitting dentures on recent visits to the Empire State. George Washington had wooden teeth, but, presumably, these days the Sierra Club would object to the clear-cutting. Yet, even granting Congresswoman Slaughter the benefit of the doubt, is annexing the equivalent of a G7 economy the solution to what would seem to be the statistically unrepresentative problem of her constituent's ill-fitting choppers? Is it worth reducing the next generation of Americans to indentured servitude to pay for this poor New Yorker's dentured servitude?
Yes. Because government health care is not about health care, it's about government. Once you look at it that way, what the Dems are doing makes perfect sense. For them.
The GOP (I have long refused to call them "Republicans," for they are an insult to that name) has not yet spent enough time in the political wilderness to internalize the Tea Party message. I wonder if they are capable of it in any case. They still think that politics operates as it always has, in a way that they are comfortable with.
Bullshit. Unlike the GOP, the Obamanoid socialist Democrats understand what they are about -- seizing power in a way that cannot later be overturned except by violence (although they think that is impossible also). The old political verities do not apply to this power grab. Yet the GOP plays by the old rules and we lose, every flipping time.
Distilled down, what is the message of the "Health Insurance Reform Bill"? It is this:
We, the Imperial Federal Bureaucracy, have determined what is best for you and you will get it regardless of whether you want it or not. You will be FORCED to play or pay in our wonderful new system of good intentions.
If you refuse, you will be fined.
If you refuse to pay the fine, you will be jailed.
If you refuse to be arrested, you will be killed.
THIS is why I have called this, "The Intolerable Act."
What these tyrannical weasels are saying is that you will do what they say or they will kill you -- all in your best interests, of course.
What we must say in return, is: "Is your alleged concern for our 'health care' worth YOUR death?" For after they kill a few of us who resist, the rest will be absolved of their responsibility to the regime. We will be released to wage defensive war upon an obviously tyrannical system.
The GOP, trapped as they are in their English Whig personas, will be of no help. Having arranged the civil war by their prolonged stupidity and culpability, they will cluck their tongues in impotent speeches while the decisive match to answer the question, "Who is the master and who is the servant? The people or the federal government?" is fought out in the streets and, not to put too fine a point on it, in the homes and offices of the tyrants who started the shooting.
Free Americans, in 1775, or in the second decade of the 21st Century, were and remain a practical people. If politics fails us once again, we will make other arrangements.
Remember now, before it is too late, you tyrannical bastards, if I may paraphrase Danny Glover in Silverado:
"We don't want to kill you, and you don't want to be dead."
And the GOP is immaterial to that calculation, just as the English Whigs were in 1775.
The alleged leader of a merry band of Three Percenters.
PS: And we always thought that it would come to shooting over firearms confiscation. Instead, it appears to be going to happen over so-called "health care." Ironic, ain't it?