As Randy Barnett noted,
If John McCain had been elected, we would have had something like this bill enacted last year in a bipartisan fashion - as was Social Security and Medicare. Such a bill would have been irreversible.I'm not sure this one isn't. Not by a long shot.
On the news all evening (as my wife kept flipping channels) there was story after story of how people had been denied care by insurance companies, or had lost their insurance and then come down with cancer or other disease, and this law was going to end all that! It's a full-court press - the Media is selling this as the greatest thing since, well, MEDICARE! (Never mind that Medicare is insolvent.)
So, what happens if the Stupid Party wins a solid majority in the House and a supermajority in the Senate?
I'm betting on "not much." Because if the last twenty years has taught us anything, it's that the Republicans' only response to the Progressive Left is to offer half of whatever it is they want. In this, the Republicans seem much like they did in the fight against gun control - half again, half again, half again onward!
Eric Scheie of Classical Values said today:
I was born in 1954, and ever since my brain began laying down memories of what was going on, I have watched the relentless, steady, constant growth of Big Government -- regardless of which party was in power.With gun control we've stopped that, and rolled it back, and we've done it by taking the initiative rather than rolling with the punches. We had the debate, and we educated people. Now when an anti-gun editorial hits the web, the comments are overwhelmed by people countering with facts - at least until "Reasoned Discourse™" prevails.
Yet in all that time, this country has never had an honest debate over socialism. The word has been avoided for decades, but now that it is upon us, there is no avoiding it.
We need to have this debate. Badly. It's so long overdue that I could scream.
Bill Whittle today made the point we all need to keep in mind - in real estate it's location, location, location. In politics it's the message, the message, the message. The Left dominates the legacy media, but they hold no such stranglehold over the New media, and the message must be something other than "half again, onward!" Bill said this:
What’s in a Big Mac? Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun! That's what's in a Big Mac. We have got to understand that saying NO! to this socialism is admirable and essential, but that from now on there has to be a counter-narrative to what these Marxists are selling, because like it or not the human brain is wired for stories — that’s how we learn (and why the real fight is not for Washington but rather Hollywood — but that's a story for another time.)I think he's right. And it will be our job to ensure that whoever gets elected does so either on this message, or they pick it up and run with it once in office.
If we want to win on health care, or any other issue, we need to have an answer to what they are selling and that answer needs to be as simple and comprehensive as the Big Mac slogan.
Our position on health care? Two tax incentives, health accounts, crossing state lines, tort reform, competition on an auto insurance bun. And if we don't learn how to do this we will lose.
No compromises, no half-measures. Repeal the damned thing, deal with the damage it caused, and pass something useful.
But with the Stupid Party?
I'm not holding my breath. I'm not being cynical, I'm being a realist.