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Dems want fundamental change at any price

Posted by Richard on March 8, 2010

A few days ago, I saw Bob Beckel argue that if the Republicans really believed that passing ObamaCare will be a disaster for the Democratic Party, they'd lay off a bit and let it pass to assure themselves of success in November. Beckel is a political hack, not a man of ideas. His argument is based on the assumption (itself no doubt based on projection) that people like John Kyl, Steve Shadegg, and Paul Ryan would put their party's success ahead of the nation's future.

The people in power in the Democratic Party aren't like Beckel. They're hard-core ideologues, and they're willing to sacrifice their strong majorities in Congress and even a second Obama term in order to fundamentally transform America. The inimitable Mark Steyn understands what's at stake: 

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. … The Democrats understand that politics is not just about Tuesday evenings every other November, but about everything else, too.

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 [ed.: the Republican equivalent of Bob Beckel] 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?"

A commenter at Big Journalism put it well: 

A lot of conservatives seem to grasp the idea of Islamic extremists who proclaim "we love death more than you love life", but don't allow for the possibilty that extreme leftists may cherish "the fundamental transformation of America" more than a reelection.

Don't sit back and say, "Just wait until November." And don't tolerate anyone who does. Our values, our liberty, our way of life — all the things that make the United States better than the sclerotic Eurosocialist states are at stake in this battle. ObamaCare must be stopped!

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