Once again, Obama has managed to astonish me. I thought people would be rioting in the streets over this example of what Andy McCarthy rightly calls “massive fraud.” But, no. His popularity has ticked down a bit more. Some of his vulnerable Democrat colleagues are panicking a little as they prepare to face what is certain to be a hostile electorate. But what will happen?
Probably nothing much. Which is too bad. The other day, I went to a launch party for David Horowitz’s new book The Black Book of the American Left. In the course of his remarks, David made a point I have several times made in this space: ObamaCare is only incidentally about health care. At bottom, it is about control—more specifically, it is about the federal government’s control of the lives of its citizens. That, indeed, is why the Internal Revenue Service has been enlisted to enforce the provision of this monstrous piece of legislation. This government agency, which was brought into being to collect taxes, has in intervening decades become an important instrument of governmental coercion. ObamaCare was custom-made for an agency like the modern IRS: meddlesome, bureaucratic, and minatory.
My friend Robert Bork was fond of quoting Justice Scalia’s mournful observation that “day by day, case by case, [the Supreme Court] is busy designing a Constitution for a country I do not recognize.” People tend to think that revolutions are violent and dramatic occurrences. Sometimes they are. But sometimes they happen almost by stealth, an imposition here, a regulation there, an ancient habit of probity or fair dealing quietly elided to make room for some new understanding of the relation between citizens and the state.
Over the last few years, the president of the United States has lied, publicly and repeatedly, about a matter of grave national importance to millions of people. His dishonesty, like Falstaff’s, is “gross as a mountain, open, palpable.” What will we, the people, do about it? I think Andy McCarthy is right when he suggests that it is “highly unlikely that Barack Obama will ever be impeached.” I am not so sure, however, that he is right that it is certain “that he will never again be trusted.” I wonder about that. Andy ends with the observation that “the American people will not think twice about taking out their frustration and mounting anger on those who collaborate in his schemes.” I’d like to think so. But I wonder about that, too.