Squaring the Culture

"...and I will make justice the plumb line, and righteousness the level;
then hail will sweep away the refuge of lies,
and the waters will overflow the secret place."
Isaiah 28:17

03/07/2010 (4:58 pm)

Steyn's Warning: A Permanent Bureaucracy

Mark Steyn wrote one of his incisive rants for his syndicated column Friday that illustrates the genuine danger arising from the Democrats’ health care throat-jamming suicide, and explains why they’re willing to engage in Kamikaze tactics to get it passed. It has nothing to do with health care, nor with costs, and everything to do with creating a permanent, one-party state. Give the government enough power, and it does not matter which party sits atop it; the universal state has a momentum of its own.

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…

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?”

Tactically, there’s a lot we can say about what’s gone wrong to this point. Republicans gave in to Democrats on the need early on, so that today everybody is acknowledging that “we need to do something.” It’s crap. Eighty-five percent of Americans who are covered are satisfied with their health care, a statistic that no government system can touch. Most of those who are not covered are in no danger, and have chosen not to be covered. Things can be improved, sure, but there was no outcry for health care reform before the Democrats manufactured it, just as there was no outcry for health care reform before Democrats manufactured it in 1992; the public is concerned about immigration and Islamic terrorism. Controlling health care is a perennial desire of Democrats, who want it because of the permanent power it gives to government over crucial elements of life, like child-rearing. Democrats know instinctively that if a government bureaucracy controls a thing, Democrats control it — permanently.

Steyn and Andy McCarthy hit the right note: if it passes, we need the steel to roll this back. This, and all the other unsustainable entitlements that are choking the economy to death, and robbing our nation of strength. We need politicians willing to serve for one, unpopular term while they fix what the Democrats have been deliberately breaking for the last 80 years.

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March 7, 2010 @ 7:55 pm #

“We need politicians willing to serve for one, unpopular term while they fix what the Democrats have been deliberately breaking for the last 80 years.”

I think that this is the key right here, but I don’t have a lot of confidence in finding sufficient numbers of these people. It takes us back to the problems the Founders originally envisioned for Congressmen: Who can afford to leave their business or profession for just a few years, putting it on hold as it were, to go serve the nation, with every intent to come home and pick up where he left off after just one term? Those people are truly rare indeed.

March 7, 2010 @ 9:40 pm #


Nevah gonna happen.

This one is pretty much the big prize. We’re in the ninth inning, and our “closer” (not sure who that is) needs to come in and shut this one down, once and for all.

If they win, game = pretty much over. It will be like when we played Monopoly and the other guy finally got that hotel built on Boardwalk or Park Place. You had some rolls left, and if you were lucky, you might make a few more turns around the board, but eventually, you were going to go broke. It was just a matter of time.

If this passes, nothing will change too dramatically overnight. The media will hail this as a hard earned victory by a President who promised, “I don’t quit.” He will be credited with a “bi-partisan effort” for the stale crumbs of malpractice reform he contempuously tossed to the Republicans. The moderates who were part of the 52% who voted for him will begin to wonder what all the fuss was about in the first place. People will say it’s time to move on. Barack will say, “I won.” His liberal base will be newly emboldened. I think that even those on our side will initially be angry, but will soon say, “Whatever, this always happens in the end.”

Against this backdrop, I think there may not be this huge backlash everyone is talking about. And essentially no chance that the Republicans will have the stones to dismantle this.

I’m still not so sure the Democrats have this in the bag. But if they pull it off, they may not have built the hotel on Boardwalk yet, but they control all the good properties, and it’s just a matter of time till they have it all in their fists.

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