Conservative Political Commentary

Anti-socialist, anti-communist, anti-globalist, pro-Constitution,
and usually with an attempt at historical and economic context

Monday, March 22, 2010

Republicans Are Different from Democrats

March 22, 2010

The outworn comment, “There’s not a dime’s worth of difference between Republicans and Democrats,” is, I think, one of the dumbest sayings around. The health care vote is a good example. Even the RINO’s wouldn’t soil their hands with this piece of legislative garbage. To their credit, the Republicans were 100 percent against it, and with plenty of good reason.

Of course, the vote is over now, so score one for the fascists. Our Republic is not the same. Our liberty is diminished. Our treasury, already dangerously depleted, is on the way to deep distress.

A Yahoo! News Blog article tries to tell us that the Tea Party protesters made big trouble for Republicans by shouting racial slurs and so on at the Capitol. There haven’t been any videos on TV containing that, as far as I can tell. No evidence, only accusations. Also, it is mentioned that Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) shouted “Baby killer!” as Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) was at the microphone. Neugebauer said he actually shouted “It’s a baby killer!” referring to the health care bill. He apologized to Stupak for anything appearing to suggest that he was referring to Stupak personally. [1]

This is supposed to be a big faux pas that makes Republicans vulnerable? The way this Congress provokes people by ignoring common courtesy and demonstrating thorough corruption in the way they do business, it’s remarkable that decorum holds up as well as it does. The Democrats’ arrogant disdain for the people who oppose this bill is remarkable.

But, of course, there’s hardly a limit to the tear-jerking stories they can bring to the microphone. I was waiting for them to bring in some sick children who supposedly were going to die soon if this bill wasn’t passed – as though there was no solution but a massive government takeover of the health care and insurance industries. Most suffering, I suppose, is caused by a lack of government spending and control.

The article notes that former Bush speechwriter David Frum finds fault with the Republicans’ strategy of going

for “all the marbles” by unanimously opposing the bill and refusing to compromise in any way—fueling activist fury at the same time…. In losing the vote this time out via a strategy of strict opposition, Frum argues that the GOP has left itself little in the way of legislative achievement to run on in future campaigns…. [2]

Attempting to stop this monstrosity of a bill, and demonstrating solid opposition to it, is a worthy legislative achievement. The “political class” thinks that members of Congress and political parties must demonstrate “legislative achievement” in the form of new bills and laws in order to succeed with voters. Almost every new law is a further erosion of freedom and a further burden on the people. A lot of people are becoming very aware of this. Personally, I look forward to a Republican majority in one or both houses of Congress in 2011 and 2012, and a strong effort to stop President Obama’s agenda. I’m all for the “Party of No” when the opposition is a determined, ethically-challenged gang of fascists. They have offered practically nothing to say “yes” to.

There is still some unfinished business in the Senate, but now, much of the fight will take place at the state level, and in the federal courts. States are already preparing lawsuits, and probably nullification laws. The bill has been passed, but implementing it is another matter. There are several constitutional points on which this bill can be challenged: Tenth amendment issues, insurance mandates, unfunded mandates on states, etc.

This law will probably create a new industry for the legal profession. It will be no easy task to gain success against it in court, but perhaps it can be done. Getting it declared unconstitutional (at least in part) is probably more likely than repealing it, at least in the near term. In the longer term, all government entitlements are in danger, simply because of the deficit and debt situation, and the continual adding to the monumental levels of spending. At some point, it becomes impossible to continue, and that point is being brought closer than it would be otherwise, by the Obama Administration’s spending frenzy.

[1] Brett Michael Dykes, “‘Baby killer’ shouter steps forward, highlights internal GOP dilemma,” 04/22/2010, The Newsroom, Yahoo! News Blog.

[2] Ibid.

Photo: Dreamstime.com

5 comments:

The Conservative Leftist said...

It's a testament to your ability to post entries worth replying to that I continue to visit and comment on your blog. I hope it doesn't appear that I'm spamming or harassing you.

But though this post may be worth replying to, it isn't worthy of you.

"[S]core one for the fascists...", "ethically-challenged gang of fascists...".

I suspect you chose "fascist" over "socialist" because it was more incendiary, but it is also further from the truth (and even "socialist" would have been false).

And "ethically-challenged"? I agree that the success of politicians should be judged by the effectiveness of their policy achievements, but surely their ethical standing can be judged by the nobility of their intentions. I don't think you're "ethically-challenged" for supporting the status quo over this centrist reform bill, even though the health care system you support leads to the unnecessary deaths of working people who can't afford the medical care they need.

Here's the question you really need to answer: if 1. life-saving, life-enhancing basic medical care is a commodity that costs money, 2. some people have less money than others, and 3. some people don't have enough money to purchase basic medical care, should we let those people die? If we don't let those people die, other people will have to pay, either through increased premiums (resulting from charity on the part of hospitals/insurance companies) or government intervention (resulting in reduced costs and insurance company regulations).

I suppose you can say we could pay for those people if we had the money, but we're broke. But Washington's toughest, most respected score keeper says this plan will REDUCE the deficit by controlling costs.

Also, one more question: Should the government be at least allowed to require that insurance companies don't deny coverage on the basis of a customer having a preexisting condition? If you say yes, from where does this government power originate? If you say no, I say you're so obsessed with an 18th century view of freedom and government power that you fail to recognize that new national problems need new national, and sometimes government, solutions.

Eddie said...

Conservative Leftist:

Part 1 of 2
Thanks for your comments. I don’t know that I’ll convince you of anything, but I don’t think you’re harassing me. Your comments seem thoughtful and sincere.

“Fascists” is a word not chosen lightly, nor intended as incendiary (perhaps a little startling), but it is, in my opinion an apt description of the type of administration and congressional majority we now have. Fascism seeks to organize society in terms of the State, and expects people to support and participate in the great program of the State, even at the expense of their own self interest. Fascism deplores self interest and demands compliance. Also, fascist corporatism places the State in control of the major industries and economic power centers of the nation, whether or not the State takes title to them.

I mean “ethically-challenged” mainly in a political sense (although this administration and Congress has had its share of legal problems). Their dogged determination to pass this bill over the manifest wishes of the American people leads them to believe that the end justifies whatever means can be found to do it. I think the payoffs, carve-outs, and special deals were largely unethical if not actually illegal. Maybe it’s politics as usual, but on an exaggerated scale. As for the inner motivations of Obama and other Democratic leaders, which, of course I don’t know, perhaps they truly feel that collectivism is somehow more equitable than what we have had.

It has become customary for corporate interests to curry favor with government if possible, but under Obama, we’ve seen a great number of special deals with private industry and groups, particularly in connection with health care. Most abuses in the private sector, other than direct fraud or crime, involve government. Government favors one group over another and unjustly rewards that group and punishes another. Obama lambastes the insurance industry, then signs a bill mandating that we purchase their product. The insurance companies demanded this in exchange for covering preexisting conditions. Quite unconstitutional, as is basically everything about this bill.

Rep. Ron Paul has a good article on this at http://www.texasinsider.org/?p=24116

If the bill is so good, why were so many bribes and arm-twisting tactics and parliamentary tricks needed? Why do we need 16,000 new IRS agents to enforce it, if people think it’s a good thing?

If the administration were serious about reducing health care costs, which I am convinced they are not, they would free up government regulations, or at least ask states to do so, that allow one or two companies to dominate health care coverage in particular states. Market competition would lead to reduced costs, if there really was competition. They would support serious tort reform.

Eddie said...

Conservative Leftist:

Part 2 of 2
And if they wanted more people to have coverage, they could, in addition to the above, take real steps to get people back to work by encouraging private sector economic activity instead of stifling it. Maybe they want more people dependent on government for unemployment compensation, health care, etc. If more people could find jobs, they could provide their own health care.

Obamacare is only incidentally about health care. It is mainly about government seizing more control of the private sector, and about redistribution of wealth and income, Obama’s main priorities.

Obama is doing what he can to disable charitable operations by (1) having government take over their functions, and (2) reducing tax benefits for charitable giving.

As for covering preexisting conditions, that is like saying that I can wait until my house is on fire to buy fire insurance. I would like to see everyone get the health care they want, but not by forced confiscation through more taxes. Most cities have emergency rooms, charity hospitals and Medicaid available. Anyway, this whole responsibility belongs mainly to the states.

As for the CBO estimates, they produce the best information they can, based on the information given to them. But some of these assumptions simply aren’t going to happen. It is extremely unlikely that there will be a $500 billion reduction in Medicare, for instance.

Even if the law were deficit-neutral or better, just the fact of spending nearly a trillion dollars (or more, depending on who you listen to) makes plain that costs aren’t coming down (except for people who will receive subsidies).

Liberals seem to always want to be judged by good intentions rather than results. They may have good intentions, but I think this current group of majority leadership needs a refresher course on the Constitution and what makes America work.

Maybe conservatism and libertarianism (that which was once called “liberalism” because of the value placed on liberty) seem old fashioned. The fact that ideas are old doesn’t make them in any way inferior. The ways these principles are applied must change, but the principles themselves remain valid. The United States government was founded as an agency of the states, and given limited and enumerated powers. Over the next few years, I believe it is going to become evident that this is still the case, and that states are not units of the federal government.

The Conservative Leftist said...

Well we've had a good debate but now that what's done is done I will probably move on to other topics on my blog. I'll end with this:

If we as a society decide that we want to provide a basic degree of security to all American citizens with respect to necessary medical care, we are going to have to use the powers of government in order to ensure that this goal is truly accomplished.

The policies you propose would not reduce costs because the health care insurance industry does not lower costs in order to maximize profit; it doesn't have to because people with enough money will pay what they charge no matter how high it is. People who can't pay however better hope they don't get sick. Deregulation is not the answer.

From the New Deal until 2007 our economy was unprecedentedly stable and our citizenry unprecedentedly secure. And not until the era of deregulation and shadow banking did we become vulnerable to the devastating crisis our nation is now emerging from.

There is a reason every wealthy and free nation in the world has a large national government - the government has a legitimate role to play in improving the well-being of our society as well as the structure of our economy.

Our Founders provided us a brilliant framework for government that allows us to develop new solutions for new problems. Obama didn't declare health care reform by fiat. We've had this debate for decades. The specific proposals in this bill have been evolving for a year. Everyone willing to put in some effort could have learned of each proposal well before the bill was passed.

Hell, for the first time in our history, Americans could use the internet to watch pundits and politicians debate these proposals, we could email our congressmen (I emailed my Senators Shelby and Sessions), and a tough independent scorekeeper inspected the bill and scored it to the best of its ability. And after all was said and done, there was a vote, taken by the members of Congress elected by America in the last election. The pro-health care reform side won the vote. The President signed the bill, and it became the law of the land. This is not unconstitutional.

Since the bill was passed numerous Democratic headquarters have been vandalized, members have been threatened, and the family of at least one congressman has been targeted for violent attack. The reason? People are pissed off about the unconstitutional fascist government taking their guns and establishing a communist regime. You aren't doing much to mitigate this hatred.

Eddie said...

I have not said or done anything to encourage violence or threats. The fact that a few fringe cases have happened is very unfortunate. But Democrats hope to make some political points out of it. Republicans have received threats and vandalism as well.

Violence of this type is not justified, but anger is. A large number of Americans are angry with the government with good reason, yet are not doing anything violent. Except for a handful of unstable people, Americans do not condone or participate in political or any other criminal violence.

People have a right to be angry and are right to be angry. There are plenty of ways to peacefully express these feelings and opinions. Democrats expressed their anger toward G.W. Bush every day with no letup. The vote is over and my side lost, but the issue is not over.

We have had something of a debate. And there are other issues to write about.