Of all the analysis and criticism conservative pundits and bloggers have made about the president’s decision to press ahead with his statist healthcare overhaul, perhaps the most instructive exchange has been between Andrew McCarthy and Ed Morrissey.
McCarthy believes the Democrats will press forward at all costs, including the loss of Congress, in order to fulfill their their age-hold dream of government health care, increasing federal control over one-sixth of our economy. He thinks Republicans lack the will to repeal the monstrosity should Democrats pass it. Morrissey, by contrast, doesn’t think Democrats will get away with it because not all their fellow partisans share the vision of their far-left leaders from deep “blue” enclaves of our richly diverse country.
Being an optimist, I side with Morrissey, but aware of the liberal impulse for control, I get where McCarthy’s coming from and understand why the Democrats press on even as opposition has solidified against the overhaul, with strong opposition increasing and intensifying as the president’s poll numbers take a tumble every time health care tops the news.
First, given that right now, “there is no health care bill currently under consideration“, it’s not certain Democrats can come up with something which can pass both congressional chambers and pass muster under the Senate rules of reconciliation. Second, even if Democrats do find a way to pass it, Republicans might finally find the stomach to repeal it, given that they’ll owe their majorities to popular opposition to the legislation and outrage at the way it has been (and likely will be) rammed through Congress.
In making a point similar to my second point (and so helping me frame my argument), Moe Lane offers this telling observation:
People like to talk about how government programs and agencies never die, once instituted, with the Great Society and the New Deal being the most used examples. What’s not mentioned is that both of those programs were popular. People wanted a Social Security program. They wantedMedicare. They do not notably want this monstrosity of a health care bill*.
And that’s why it may not only be the straw which breaks the statist camel’s back, but which finally turns the tides on big government, giving small government conservatives the will not just to repeal this boondoggle, but to start taking a crack at other outdated pieces of the federal leviathan.