Why Obama, Pelosi, and Reid Won't Quit Pushing Health Care Reform
The current push for government-run health care via the nuclear option and last week’s Blair House TV snooze-orama are clear demonstrations that Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid share Vladimir Lenin’s tenacity to impose radical change where it’s not welcome -- in fact, where there’s downright hostility to change by a solid majority of Americans. And make no mistake, Lenin was first and foremost about the will to power.
Gale winds of public disapproval may be blowing against proposed government-run health care and its proponents, but Obama and congressional Democratic leaders plod forward with stolid determination, now extending by six weeks the time to work through an acceptable framework to pass so-called health care reform. If that extension fails to secure health care reform legislation, then these leaders may seek another extension, if possible, in an effort to wear down opposition to their designs.
Before liberals level charges of red-baiting, I’ll offer that the differences between Lenin and the Bolsheviks and Obama and left-wing Democrats are significant, many, and varied. Through skullduggery, battle, and blood, Lenin established a dictatorship of the proletariat, which history has amply shown was a thinly veiled dictatorship by Lenin and his Communist Party heirs. There was nothing “soft” about Lenin’s tyranny or Stalin’s. The mass graves of tens of millions of victims bear mute testament to these despots’ infamy.
Obama, Pelosi, and Reid are decidedly pale reds, or as was said in an earlier generation, “pinkos.” But all three have grand ambitions, make no mistake, to achieve through imposition the social -- or should it be said, socialist -- democracy that lies with deadening weight across the width and breadth of Western Europe. These three Democratic leaders are working within our system of government to fundamentally alter government’s relationship to the people. If these three succeed, the American experiment in liberty will effectively end.
The president and the two congressional leaders are so blinded by their ideology, so bullheaded in accomplishing a radical transformation of health care, that they’ve discarded the common sense and instinct for self-preservation that usually governs politicians’ actions. Instead, this triumvirate makes rationalizations for support of a proposal that’s been DOA almost from its inception.
Yet all three Democratic leaders are taking a calculated gamble: if they can impose govern-run health care, they’ll establish the framework for Democratic dominance for years to come, even if that means short-term election losses. Once government-run health care is a fait accompli, all three believe practical minded Americans will switch from outright opposition to trying to “improve” the government-run health care model, similar to what Americans have done for decades with failing public school systems.
Pelosi, Obama, and Reid also know that if they can successfully defy the will of the people and impose government-run health care, if they can then prevent the entitlement from being repealed in its early stages, then this massive program will foster dependency, and dependency entrenches entitlement programs, which keep government powerful and keep the advocates of entitlements in power, give or take the odd election, or until an economy crashes (see Greece, which is on the verge of collapse).
The president, Pelosi, and Reid are pulling out all the stops now to woo or cajole feckless House Democrats to see it their way on health care. Speaker Pelosi, in the fashion of a hardcore ideologue, offered this bit of reasoning in a recent Washington Times article:
Lawmakers sometimes must enact policies that, even if unpopular at the moment, will help the public, Mrs. Pelosi, [a] California Democrat, said in an interview broadcast Sunday [on] the ABC News program This Week.
And, in the same Washington Times article, this counsel from Pelosi to her House Democratic colleagues:
"We're not here just to self-perpetuate our service in Congress," she said. "We're here to do the job for the American people."
Pelosi’s remark may seem high-minded, or merely bromidic, but underlying her words are the intentions of a revolutionary who’s eager to sacrifice cadres in a glorious cause, however unpopular that cause may be (note that leaders of ideological causes rarely sacrifice themselves).
The other thing about revolutionaries is their sense of moment, and not allowing any opposition, including majority opposition, to come between the moment and them. Rahm Emanuel’s words, now cheap cliché, that crises shouldn’t be wasted, is illustrative.
Obama, Pelosi, and Reid appreciate that the nation’s faltering economy granted the Democrats a small window through which to push statist measures, hence, the legislative rush at the outset of the 111th Congress last year. Democrats had their moment to make changes at the beginning of Obama’s term, but the moment wasn’t as agreeable to exploitation as the president and Democratic leaders supposed. The moment, at best, lent itself to incremental change, baby steps on the road to socialism.
Instead, the president and Democratic leaders gravely miscalculated in two important ways. First, Democrats neglected to account for the lessons that history has taught Americans about the failings of big government and the success of President Reagan in rehabilitating a sputtering economy through tax rate reductions, taming inflation, and slashing regulations. Unlike the progressives in the early twentieth century, Obama, Pelosi, and Reid didn’t begin with a clean slate to write on; much was on the slate to start with, and Americans were suspicious.
Second, the Democrats’ triumvirate underestimated the attachment Americans hold, however vaguely, for the nation’s founding principles and the liberty that rests upon those principles. Perhaps, more accurately, after three-quarters of a century of dominant progressivism (liberalism), after repeated efforts by successive generations of liberals to reshape the American character, at its core, the American character remains firmly anchored to natural rights and individual liberty. There’s more American in Americans than Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and the entire left-wing estimated.
Having overrated the moment, and with the moment evaporating -- if not already evaporated -- what remains for Obama, Pelosi, and Reid are sullen defiance and a stubborn determination to impose their will on the majority who reject government-run health care and statism generally. That defiance and stubbornness were etched on the faces of Misters Obama and Reid and Madame Pelosi as they sat daylong across from the Republicans at Blair House. It’s on all three faces now as they push the nuclear option.
Lenin would be proud.