Obamacare

Reason Writers Around Town: Shikha Dalmia on ObamaCare as the Democrats' Iraq

|

In her latest Forbes column, Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia notes: "Pushing ObamaCare was an astonishing misjudgment, the domestic policy equivalent of President Bush launching a full-scale preemptive strike against Iran after embroiling the country in Iraq and Afghanistan. But why don't progressives get that this is terrible economic timing?"

The answer, Dalmia says, is that, "both the Democratic Party and President Obama have mutually reinforcing blind spots that have rendered them incapable of seeing what's crystal clear to every other sentient being in the country: This was the wrong bill at the wrong time."

Read the whole thing here.

NEXT: You Can Hang Out With All the Boys

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. “But why don’t progressives get that this is terrible economic timing?” That is the funniest excuse for not having health care reform. It rather is the marital equivalent of ‘I can’t tonight cause I’ve got a headache!’

  2. The Dems are pushing this because it is their Holy Grail – state control of health care is not just a takeover of a big chunk of the economy, it is an open door to control of every aspect of everyone’s life. And a permanent and irrevocable shift of the country to the Left.

    Unfortunately, this fabulous strategic goal can only be achieved with the loss of a number of Democratic office-holders, and perhaps control of the House and Senate.

    Now, the ones in safe seats are eager to throw some of their colleagues overboard to gain all these prizes. The only question on the table is whether enough Democrats are willing to take one for the team to put this over the finish line.

    The best analogy I have seen for the current state of play is that the administration and Congressional leadership are trying to crash a disabled fighter on the deck of an aircraft carrier.

    1. RC, any more conspiracy theories? I’m bored with this one.

      1. What conspiracy theory? I’m just laying out the current political calculations.

        1. Any opposition to the left’s goals involves conspiracies.

          1. And speculators and hoarders. Don’t forget those two.

        2. RC, you’re the King of hyperbole. “…state control of health care is not just a takeover of a big chunk of the economy, it is an open door to control of every aspect of everyone’s life.” Every aspect? First the economy and then masturbation. That’s right, those lefties are after your dick. “… [T]his fabulous strategic goal can only be achieved with the loss of a number of Democratic office-holders, and perhaps control of the House and Senate.” Really, Massa was just some straight guy who just got caught in the ‘Holy Grail’ plot. ” [T]he ones in safe seats are eager to throw some of their colleagues overboard to gain all these prizes… to take one for the team to put this over the finish line.”. Your plot has everything: deceit, gold, and an A Tale of Two Cities twist.

          1. rctl, I suggest you review what has happened in Great Britain over the last few decades, and review the arguments for the recent expansions of the nanny state in this country.

            To the extent that the cost of your health care is the public’s business, the way you live your life becomes the public’s business.

    2. Maybe the Dems care about things like people who don’t have and can’t seem to afford health care. You know, you can disagree with someone and not think they are up to some evil plot to control the world.

      1. I am sure they do care. But it would be nice if they cared about things like the unemployment rate, and the fiscal stability of the country. Biggest financial crisis in 80 years and all they can think about is taking over health care.

        At best it shows a shocking political tin ear. And at worst it shows a party completely unconcerned with the problems facing the country and totally absorbed with ideology and “making history”.

        1. “Biggest financial crisis in 80 years”

          Yeah, those rascally Republicans left the economy in a shambles back in 29 too…

          1. And the Democrats were elected to do something about it. Imagine if this were 2001, the economy was this bad, there had been no 9-11 and George Bush spent his entire first year trying to privatize social security. Privatizing Social Security is to conservatives what socialized medicine is to liberals. You don’t think his and the Republican’s popularity wouldn’t have nose dived? You don’t think they wouldn’t have deserved it? The same thing is happening here.

  3. “This was the wrong bill at the wrong time” I guess you mean this will always be the wrong bill at the wrong time for libertarians.

    1. It always will be wrong for libertarians, but the point of the article is that the timing puts off many people who are not libertarian.

      1. Ridiculous, the point of this article is to reiterate the the libertarian position of fuck off and die.

        1. “the point of this article is to reiterate the the libertarian position of fuck off and die.”

          Umm, no. The point of the article is that President Empty Suit and the most open and ethical Congress ever are tone-deaf when it comes to the economy and the effects of the policies they have put in place and want to put in place.
          No liberal/progressive/statist desire is too big to inflict on the country regardless of cost. The dreams of decades of control freaks and statists can be put in place to mold this country into their brand of utopia. “Damn it, our election gave us a mandate” they say. Majority of the country be damned.

          My favorite part is that they hear the train coming out of the tunnel but refuse to get off the tracks. Of course it is a high speed train that carries few passengers at greatly subsidized fares. But a train that will splatter them none the less.

          1. He ran on issues including hc reform and is now trying to deliver. The public voted for him and that’s the way the cookie crumbles. I like my idiom more than yours.

            1. “He ran on issues including hc reform and is now trying to deliver.”

              He could have run on “free flat screen TVs for eveyeone” and then tried to delivered on that as well. Still wrong.

              “The public voted for him and that’s the way the cookie crumbles.”

              Are we talking President Empty Suit or his predecessor (President Empty Head)?

              “I like my idiom more than yours.”

              I believe you mispelled the 4th word. Ends in “t”, not “m”.

              1. Clever ending.:-)

  4. If the Democrats are this willing to destroy the very foundations of limited government and free markets, then they can fucking go away forever as far as I’m concerned. At least the stupid Republicans aren’t suicidal. Homicidal, perhaps, but not suicidal.

    If the LP were worth anything, it would be all over this opportunity.

    1. That is a great point PL. I have often wondered why the LP doesn’t point out things that the Republicrats are too scared to discuss. For instance the pandora’s box this will open. Once society is paying for eveyone’s healthcare it becomes society’s business what lifestyle choices everyone makes. Eating, exercise, sexual activities become everyone else’s business. That maybe a feature to a lot of folks, but to a lot of people it would make them think twice about socialized healthcare if this was brought up more often.

  5. This is a good bill. Insurance companies will do well. We need to make sure everyone is paying there fair share. These 25 year olds think they are invincible, we need to make them pay or else it will be expensive for the insurance companies to provide care.

  6. I made this comparison last year: Health Care Reform would turn into Iraq. Dems could pass it and lose long-term or not pass it and lose short-term.

    I compared it also to FDR stacking the Court. He learned a valuable lesson and found other means of passing his initiatives.

    Then Peggy Noonan compared it to the Bay of Pigs invasion: When presidents make clear, with modesty and even some chagrin, that they have made a mistake but that they’ve learned a lesson and won’t be making it again, the American people tend to respond with sympathy. It is our tradition and our impulse.

    Such admissions are not a sign of weakness. John F. Kennedy knew this after the Bay of Pigs. He didn’t blame his Republican predecessor, Dwight Eisenhower, or the agencies that had begun the invasion’s tentative planning under Ike. JFK made it clear he’d learned a great deal, which increased confidence in his leadership. His personal popularity rose so high that he later wryly noted that the more mistakes he made, the more popular he became.

    By now we know that President Obama will not exercise humility.

    1. No way that would work in the 24/7 cable news era. His enemies would beat him over the head with such an admission to no end.

      1. Nah, he’s just gotta do it right.

        Get Apollo Creed’s starsnstripes out fit, some big trumpety music, and some hot bitches. Then step to the camera and just lay it down:

        “Yo, Listen up America, I done fucked up. Know what I’m sayin? Peace Out.”

        The MSM would be too confused to know what to do.

  7. I thought this was supposed to be the Democrat’s Waterloo. But I think Stalingrad is becoming the better analogy:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4aQCiRjvZY

  8. If forced to chose a military analogy, I would not chose Iraq. I would chose the Battle of the Bulge. The liberal welfare state is dying. All over the world, countries are going broke and are about to face a day of reckoning. Like Germany in 1944, they control a lot of territory, but they are becoming a spent force. The government just cannot provide the kind of services that the modern welfare state requires without becoming a full on totalitarian state. The “Third Way” is just not sustainable.

    They know that government has to either recede or explode and pretty much take everything. So, they figure if they can get health care reform, that will mean the government will explode. If they don’t, then they are screwed anyway. They are like the Nazis throwing everything into one last offensive hoping to capture Antwerp.

    1. If forced to chose a military analogy, I would not chose Iraq.

      How surprising!

  9. To all the sock puppets–it’s not much fun during times like these. We’re in real trouble if this sort of nonsense actually gets enacted. Not just this bill, of course, but the ones that would follow.

    1. I read the other day that Austrialia passed this kind of nonsense back in the 1970s and it was later repealed. So there is hope that it would be repealed. One thing about it, if the Democrats throw the filibuster out the window to do this, then the bill can be repealed the same way. They will scream like stuck pigs and yell about they hypocrisy of it, but no one will care.

      1. So there is hope that it would be repealed.

        No way. Obama would never sign a repeal, and the House and Senate would never get a veto-proof majority to repeal.

        Repeal is a fantasy. Killing it and brutally traumatizing the Democratic Party this November for trying to pass it, is the only option.

        1. Obama would never repeal it. But his successor in 2013 would. IF the Democrats pass this, it will just get less popular. They will then own the entire health care system warts and all.

          So lets say they pass it and get killed in November. Then the Republicans repeal it and Obama vetoes it. Obama then has to spend all of his political capital in the second half of his term defending Obama care. The Republicans could play dirty and repeal pieces of it as attachments to other bills. They could make it impossible for him to do anything but veto bills trying to defend Obamacare. And then 2012 becomes another election about Obamacare. By 2013, Congress and the new President would have no choice but to repeal it. Even Democrats would want the thing to go away.

          1. They could make it impossible for him to do anything but veto bills

            That’s the kind of gov’t i can vote for.

        2. Also note that the benefits don’t start until 2013 anyway, so repeal at that time wouldn’t be taking something away from the voters.

  10. The Dems probably feel they have nothing to further lose by pushing it. Everyone who hates the bill already dislikes them for trying. By giving up they will add those people who really want it.

    It was a terrible bill wrought by a terrible process which was managed terribly, and the Dems will pay a terrible price for it for years. They’re probably trying to just cut their losses…

    1. See, I look at it another way: if they wanted to cut their losses now, they would back away from it rather than trying to force it through. They could at least campaign this fall on having been thwarted in their noble intentions by the evil obstructionist Republicans. Rather than having to own the piece of crap the bill is now.

    2. Pretty much. And interestingly enough Tom Daschle of all people told them to go for something small that could attract a few Republicans.

  11. incapable of seeing what’s crystal clear to every other sentient being in the country

    They’re like the Jehovah’s Witnesses who come to your door convinced of their righteousness. Nothing can dissuade them. They’ll talk for hours if you let them, and if they cannot convince you, they’ll go away happy nevertheless, for they are the chosen, and they know that the apocalypse is imminent.

  12. It was a terrible bill wrought by a terrible process which was managed terribly, and the Dems will pay a terrible price for it for years.

    At least one thing we can agree on.

  13. They’re like the Jehovah’s Witnesses Chony who come to your door is convinced of their his righteousness. Nothing can dissuade them him. They’ll He’ll talk for hours if you let them him, and if they he cannot convince you, they’ll he’ll go away happy nevertheless, for they are he is the chosen, and they he knows that the apocalypse is imminent.

  14. And I think Shikha Dalmia is, in addition to having a cool name, really attractive.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.