Obama and the Limits of Schadenfreude
Those are harsh words. But they accurately describe a harsh reality. In the end, what’s happening in Washington is no laughing matter. Sure, I feel a frisson of glee when contemplating the train wreck that is Obamacare. Jonah Goldberg, like many others, is right to invoke the operation of nemesis following ineluctably upon the career of hubris. But behind the folly, laughter, and ridicule is something that gives me pause. One of the most disturbing aspects of this entire affair is the stench of lawlessness that surrounds it like a miasma. President Obama carps impatiently that he will simply direct insurance companies to reinstate the policies that they, in an effort to follow the law, have been required to cancel. He says that he will direct that application of the law be delayed a year — but he says nothing about where he is supposed to get the authority for such actions. The president’s response to the embarrassment of the eponymous legislation he shoved down the throats of the American people is one of the most disturbing occurrences of his administration. Since Magna Carta in 1215, a test of legitimacy has been the extent to which the sovereign is subject to the laws of the land. Obama is not a sovereign, exactly, but he acts as though he were above the law, that the law (like taxes) were something to be imposed on the rest of us but which he and his magic circle of apparatchiks could ignore or “delay” or partially implement at their pleasure. The law is binding upon us little people, and upon insurance companies, which would be severely penalized should they fail to abide the provisions of that intricate legislation.
I suspect that one of the reasons Obama’s approval rating is in free fall is because of his obvious surprise and petulance in his public encounters over the disaster of Obamacare. He has made some grudging half apologies, but it is clear that the only thing he is sorry about is that he cannot — not yet, anyway — simply decree what happens with health care in this country. He believes himself above the law and is impatient about finding a means of achieving that discretion. For our own good, of course. Many observers on the Right have long known this about Obama. Suddenly, though, it is out there for all to see. The American people don’t like tyrants, even smooth-talking, Harvard-educated ones. The great trek away from Obama and what he stands for — above all, government unlimited — has begun. The journey will not be pretty, but I think it is all but certain to continue.
Also read: Obama's Poll Panic