Monday, March 8, 2010

Mark Steyn: Obamacare worth the price to Democrats

In the March 5, 2010 Orange County Register, Mark Steyn warns that some Democrats are quite willing to incur voters' wrath by passing ObamaCare (including a temporary loss of control of Congress), because they know it will give the government a permanent stranglehold on the American people for the foreseeable future.

Here's an excerpt from his piece, "Obamacare worth the price to Democrats":
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.

...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.

...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.
(Read the full text of "Obamacare worth the price to Democrats".)

The big question is how many House Democrats will buy into that logic. I don't think anyone knows yet. But we'll find out soon.

Steyn is right that once government programs are put into place, they almost never get repealed even by allegedly "conservative" politicians. (The American experiment with alcohol Prohibition is one of the few examples I can think of a successful political repeal.)

On the other hand, we must not commit the fallacy of treating laws of Congress as if they were laws of nature. Even if ObamaCare passes, Americans can and should demand that their politicians repeal it. It may be difficult but it's not metaphysically impossible. And whether it happens will depend on whether Americans have the courage, stamina, and determination to stand up for their individual rights.