Obamacare

The ObamaCare Quagmire

Launching an optional war against the American health care system will sink the Democratic Party

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Even if Democrats extract the votes to put ObamaCare over the top, it will at best be a Pyrrhic victory for them. Regardless of the outcome, this monstrosity might cost the Democrats the Congress this November, ruin the party for a long time, and prematurely render Barack Obama a lame duck president for the rest of his term.

So why didn't the Democrats pull back when they still had the chance? The reason 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.

The only comic relief in the otherwise grim, yearlong ObamaCare saga has been the spectacle of progressive pundits scratching their heads to explain the bill's nose-diving popularity: Betsy McCaughey is a lying bitch whose chatter about death panels has spooked Americans; the bill is too tame for Americans who really want a public option; Democrats are just too damn nice to engage in the gutter partisan politics necessary to push their agenda through; Republicans are nay-saying obstructionists; and, my personal favorite, President Obama, arguably the most gifted orator alive, does not have the communication skills necessary to sell this bill (of goods).

In fact, the real reason why ObamaCare is so unpopular is that it is proposing a giant expansion of the entitlement state precisely when this state everywhere is coming apart: here and abroad; at the federal level and the state; in the public sector and the private. Suggesting a giant government takeover of a sixth of the economy can't be a popular selling point in a country whose DNA has a programmed hostility to Big Government.

Even before President Obama rammed through his trillion-dollar-plus stimulus/bailout packages last year, there was a growing sentiment that the country's top priority ought to be tackling the entitlement programs whose liabilities are like a swelling aneurysm in the brain of the body politic waiting to rupture. The combined unfunded liabilities of Medicare and Social Security—the federal health care and the pension programs for the elderly—are $107 trillion, seven times the current GDP. Meanwhile, Medicaid, the joint federal-state health insurance program, is consuming on average 21 percent of state budgets, their single biggest ticket item even before ObamaCare dumps another 16 million people into the program, expanding the Medicaid population by 25 percent. Beyond that, state and local government have promised their employees a trillion dollars more in pension and other benefits than they have funds to deliver.

There are not enough taxpayers in the country or creditors in China capable of financing all these promises. Expanding this massive, multifarious entitlement state even more strikes most normal people as sheer lunacy—especially now that it is visibly coming apart at the seams.

General Motors and Chrysler—the corporate version of the public welfare state in which unions had negotiated the best wage and pension deals in the free world—have already been forced into a taxpayer-financed bankruptcy. California, America's most European state, is technically bankrupt, thanks to the ubiquitous influence on the state budget of its public unions and its entitlement spending. Meanwhile, the deficits and debt of the so-called European PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain)—the social democracies whose cradle-to-grave welfare policies are the inspiration behind ObamaCare—are on the brink of bankruptcy. Greece, the most vulnerable of the lot, has a deficit of 12.7 percent of the GDP—not that much higher than America's 10.6 percent.

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? Because this is the moment they have been waiting for since Lyndon Johnson enacted Medicare. Never mind that the economy then, unlike now, was booming. What matters is they have in the White House as sympathetic a president as they can ever hope to get—combined with sizable margins of Democrats in both chambers. Republicans, moreover, have been thoroughly discredited on both foreign and domestic policy having presided over two unpopular wars and a financial meltdown of epic proportions. In short, the political stars have never been—and likely never will be—aligned more auspiciously in the progressives' lifetime, and they will be damned if they'll allow quotidian worries about the economy or anything else to stop them. It is now or never.

There is no tactic too low to deploy—and no cause too sacred to abandon. If Americans are unenthused about universal coverage, screw 'em. If it is necessary to use reconciliation—meant strictly for budgetary matters—to ram the bill through Congress on a strictly partisan vote, then so be it. If filibuster rules that Democrats themselves restored in 1975 are now coming in the way, get rid of them.

The prize for the most bizzaro accusation, however, goes to Katha Pollitt of The Nation who blamed ObamaCare's woes on the two-senators-per-state rule that she alleged the Founding Fathers had enshrined in the Constitution as a sop to slave states, thereby diluting the voice of populous multiethnic powerhouses such as New York and California. But this fundamental principle of our bicameral constitution had nothing to do with slavery, a fact she was forced to finally admit. It was meant to give the underdogs of the day—rural, relatively powerless states—constitutional parity, a concern that one would have thought progressives would applaud.

But egged on by the progressive punditocracy, Democrats are behaving as if, once they jam ObamaCare through, nothing else matters. It's like they'll never have to worry about being the minority party in need of constitutional checks and balances.

A sensible president would of course step in and provide some adult supervision to a wayward party hell-bent on jumping off this cliff. But the problem is that President Obama believes in his own messianism too deeply for that. His goal is not to remake his party as it could be but "remake this world as it should be." In his book Dreams From My Father Obama gives the distinct impression that his gifts are too great for the smallness of our political stage. He regrets not having been born during the civil rights era when the grandness of the cause would have measured up to the grandness of his ambition. He is in search of something big that will allow him to make his mark on the world as Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King did. Hence, the defeat of ObamaCare would not just be par for the course in the rough-and-tumble world of politics for him. It would be sign of his ordinariness, his mortality, and that, to him, is unendurable.

But the rub is that even if ObamaCare passes, Democrats and President Obama will lose. Republicans have already vowed to make November a referendum on this bill and, by all auguries, Democrats are going to lose big time. The loss of one election if the larger cause succeeds wouldn't be a big deal. But this bill has little legitimacy and for years might be tied up in constitutional challenges against its individual mandate provision—not to mention the provisions that turn insurance companies into public utilities without due process. ObamaCare could well become President Obama's Iraq. Worst of all from the standpoint of his personal life story, it will exacerbate the crisis of the entitlement state, requiring someone else to step forward and clean up the fiscal mess he is creating.

Ironically, Obama is not only sowing the seeds for the destruction of his own legacy—but also for the creation of someone else's. Far from being the savior—he's the one who will be in need of saving.

Shikha Dalmia is a senior analyst at Reason Foundation and a biweekly columnist at Forbes. This article originally appeared at Forbes.

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        1. I would never take from you, Barry.

          1. Allllllllll riiiiiiiiiiiiight

  1. This is wishful thiking. Yes, Democrats will take a beating in November, but this massive entitlement will forever shift the political center in America, turning Republicans into Democrats and allowing the hard Left that has gained control of the party to push for further Stalinization of our economy. Just witness today’s Republicans stalwartly defending Medicare if you think I’m joking.

    The Democrats are kamikazis, sent by their Dear Leader to commit political suicide for the long-term good of the Party. But unlike the original Divine Wind, these guys will have succeeded.

    1. … until the money runs out.

      1. At which point people will clamor even more loudly for their state provided goodies. Or did we reduce funding to the FBI and CIA after the massive fuck-up of 911?

    2. . . . and now for the good news?

  2. I’m arguably the President.

  3. Shikha, I think I love you.

    1. So what are you afraid of?
      (You’re afraid that you’re not sure of
      A love there is no cure for.)

  4. Caption Contest!

    “Now where the hell did I hide those smokes?”

    1. “I’m a little teapot, short and stout…”

    2. “After all those meetings with Nancy Pelosi I just cant seem to get it up anymore.”

    3. “Geez, it seemed bigger last year…”

  5. Oh look, another industry/status quo apologist giving “advice” to Democrats on healthcare.

    1. Oh look, Tony’s got nothing to add to the discussion, nor anything to assert against the facts of the article.

      Go sit in the corner.

      1. Go shit in the corner.

      2. But it’s mostly just an assertion that Democrats are doomed if they pass healthcare reform.

        I’m sure the advice is sincere.

        She even gets in the line, “this is not the right time,” a favorite of antiprogressive business interests everywhere. I suppose this presumes there will be a right time in the future? Say, 50 years from now?

        1. As joe was to ACORN, Tony is to HCR.

          So how’d that work out for old joe?

          1. I love ACORN… it’s easy to see since it’s all caps, and that means it’s easy to tell on a comments board which are the sad Glenn Beck sheep.

            Ever think about directing some of the uninformed, quasi-racist, GOP-fellating scorn you have for ACORN toward some organization that’s actually been found doing something wrong?

            1. some of the uninformed, quasi-racist, GOP-fellating scorn you have for ACORN

              Oh that’s a good one. If ever there was a “quasi-racist” organization around, it would have to be ACORN itself!

          2. Maybe Tony’s sockpuppeteer is joe? That would be awesome.

            1. Nah. joe, tiresome as he was, could never pen such unimaginative drivel that we’ve all come to expect from Tony.

              Tony is William Calley to joe’s Genghis Kahn.

              1. What the fuck? I responded to this post, but it got posted above my 3:53 post!

              2. I think Epi’s going have a meltdown of some sort. Soon.

          3. I think it’s more that joe’s ego would never have allowed him to stay anonymous for so long. Plus, Tony doesn’t do joe-style victory dances, though he should, as that would be hilarious.

            1. He hasn’t had any victories yet.

            2. One of Joe’s favorite ploys was the “you scored on in your own goal”. Whenever someone pointed out a fact that didn’t fit Joe’s narrative, he would explain in a bizarre set of logical steps that almost but not quite made sense how it really supported his position and say “you scored one in your own goal”.

              No one could ever sock puppet Joe. Even trained professionals can’t fake genuine insanity.

        2. I suppose this presumes there will be a right time in the future?

          No.

      3. I always liked Tony’s “At least it isn’t forced sodomy” fact.

    2. Almost as persuasive as Tony’s “well, it doesn’t forcibly sodomize people, isn’t that reason enough to support it?” argument.

      1. You say that as if it were a bad thing…uh, it may be done with bad things. The thing is bad, its the guy with a thing.
        “Things don’t forcibly sodimize, people with things do!”

    3. For the millionth time, being against Obamacare is not the same as being against reform. Please shut the fuck up if you can’t refrain from strawmanning us to death.

  6. This may be one of the best articles I’ve seen yet on this whole issue.

    1. Agreed. The Dems own actions reveal that this is little more than a business plan for the Democratic Party.

      1. Unlike GOP voters, Dem voters know when they’re being sold a shit sandwich. If the bill is no good, Dems won’t get the political rewards.

        1. We could eat shit sandwiches all…day…

          1. We could will eat shit sandwiches all…day…

            FIFY

        2. Oh, I get it. This is a metaphor. Democrats’ Healthcare Reform = Shit Sandwich

        3. Unlike GOP voters, Dem voters know when they’re being sold a shit sandwich.

          So you don’t vote for Democrats, Tony? Learn something new every day, huh.

        4. It’s not about being good or bad, Chony, it’s about fostering dependency and strangling the alternatives.

          1. The alternative being the monopolistic and inefficient private insurance industry? How dare anyone compete with them, this is capitalism!

            1. There are on the order of 1,300 health insurance companies in America, Chony. How is that a “monopoly?”

              Do words mean anything to you?

            2. No one forces you to buy insurance, Tony – well not yet anyway.

            3. Binary thinking is for computers. And stupid trolls, apparently.

            4. No libertarian anywhere, including on this site, has posted a proposal to increase competition in the healthcare and health insurance industries. Nope, nobody at all. *Quietly slides free market proposals under the carpet*

              1. That one is easy – let insurance companies sell policies across state lines.

                1. let insurance companies sell

                  ZOMGWTFBBQ! Insurance corpations are not people! We have no time to waste before the earth boils! Piltdown man!

                2. Great, so they can compete to provide the worst coverage possible.

                  1. “Great, so they can compete to provide the worst coverage possible.”

                    Why would you choose the worst coverage possible? You would have at least 50 different regulation schemes to choose from. If you love heavy regulation choose a company located in a heavily regulated state.

                    1. Why would you choose the worst coverage possible?

                      Why do you engage the troll?

                    2. “Why do you engage the troll?”

                      I was in hopes I might be able to make this person think about the issue in a different way.

                    3. Meanwhile, all the insurance companies would find the least regulated state and set up camp. It’s a guaranteed race to the bottom.

                    4. “Meanwhile, all the insurance companies would find the least regulated state and set up camp. It’s a guaranteed race to the bottom.”

                      Why? Why would people choose crappy insurance? This has never been explained to me.

            5. Tony, the monopolistic and inefficient private insurance industry wrote the very bill you’re promoting.

            6. Tony, I’m sorry…Normally, I would be polite, but after whiskey and that dumbass comment, I have to unload. Define a monopoly, show me why it’s bad, and prove that it has ever happened without government intervention, and then we’ll talk. It’s your system that creates the very thing you despise. It’s amazing that you’re so blind, but you’re so caught up in Repubs causing everything from global warming to innocent polar bear death that you’re blind as hell.

              This is not capitalism, no matter how much you and Michael Moore claim it is. It is corporatism, funded by your dream state of “sensible” regulation.

              1. There is no such thing as capitalism if you define it as the absence of government. There will always be a government. It will always influence commerce. Some people think it should do so in ways that fix the obvious, egregious flaws in a free market.

                Why is a monopoly bad? Uh, because it subverts the very mechanism by which capitalism supposedly generates all the magic you attribute to it: competition. Tell me why you think they’re impossible without government help? Seems to me monopolies would be the natural result of some pathways in capitalism.

                I agree that corporations have far too much influence on government. There’s a reason for that, and it has more to do with Republicans than Democrats, and your laissez faire nonsense have given them all the philosophical cover they need to excuse what is, in reality, not free market capitalism but plutocracy.

                1. “There is no such thing as capitalism if you define it as the absence of government.”
                  False. There are areas of life, even today, where government does not intervene. Does government tell you who your friends can be? Does it tell you what you can do inside your bedroom? The areas of life that are the most rewarding are precisely those areas of life that government does not control.
                  “There will always be a government.”
                  On what basis do you make this claim?
                  “Tell me why you think they’re impossible without government help?”
                  Because without government interference there will always potential competitors. It is the collusion between large corporations and governments that keep out new competitors via what is sometimes called the “Iron Triange” effect.

                  1. “Does government tell you who your friends can be? ”

                    So that’s an example of commerce on your planet? Interesting.

                    1. “So that’s an example of commerce on your planet? Interesting.”

                      Actually, in a sense it is. It is trade. You get something out of the relationship and so does that person. Why do you assume all “commerce” must involve physical objects?

                  2. I`m very open to idea of getting rid of govt from things like patents, trademarks, copyrights etc..let those private enterprises protect their patents, trademarks, copyrights etc on their own

                  3. I`m very open to idea of getting rid of govt from things like patents, trademarks, copyrights etc..let those private enterprises protect their patents, trademarks, copyrights etc on their own

        5. “Unlike GOP voters, Dem voters know when they’re being sold a shit sandwich.”

          GO TEAM BLUE!!! [waves pom poms] GO TEAM BLUE [waves pom poms]

        6. Tony|3.12.10 @ 3:34PM|#
          “Unlike GOP voters, Dem voters know when they’re being sold a shit sandwich.”
          And you’re more than happy to gobble them down.

  7. “This was the wrong bill at the wrong time.” This is twice I have read this quote. I guess we all know what the new libertarian talking point is this week.

  8. [T]his is the moment they have been waiting for since Lyndon Johnson enacted Medicare….In short, the political stars have never been?and likely never will be?aligned more auspiciously in the progressives’ lifetime.

    That’s it in a nutshell. They can taste it, and economic and political realities be damned.

    1. Except that they just don’t quite have the stars aligned enough. It’s like saying “I can almost gain enough speed to jump that bridge…but not quite. Fuck it, I’m going for it anyway!”

      I mean, you probably won’t make it, and the consequences for failure are pretty dire.

      1. Hey y’all, watch this!

      2. Well, it IS Teddy Kennedy’s lifelong project, so you’d expect misjudgement when going over bridges.

        1. Tulpa|3.13.10 @ 10:45AM|#
          “Well, it IS Teddy Kennedy’s lifelong project,…”
          Yeah, and he finally died.

        2. dare I speak the love that dare not say its name…
          Mary Jo (no way I can spell her last name)
          Actually, the analogy is pretty apt…liberals truly believe in heath care, and we truly end up underwater.

  9. Can they also get Tom Friedman to predict every 6 months that the next 6 months will prove decisive in the battle for the hearts and minds of the taxpayers?

  10. The Republicans have maybe a 5% chance of taking back either house of Congress in 2010 and maybe a 1% chance of taking back both of them. They also have about a 5% chance of retaking the presidency in 2012. For Congress, the math simply fails. For the presidency, their likely candidate list resembles that of the Democrats’ in 2004-a bunch of losers that have no chance, no matter how unpopular the incumbent is.

    Now, the Republicans will make significant gains in both houses of congress in 2010, but if you think they get to party like it’s 2002, you will be sadly mistaken.

    1. “Exactly 49 Democratic House members represent districts where John McCain beat Barack Obama on the presidential level.”

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/comm…..-democrats

      I don’t see how any of those guys win re-election. If you are offering 20 to 1 on the Republicans taking the house, I will take that action. How much money you got?

      1. You are highly underestimating the power of incumbency, especially in the House. The Republicans would need to gain 40 seats to get to 218. That’s a very steep hurdle to climb, even if there were slightly more than that went Dem Rep/Obama.

        But, no, I ain’t betting on such. But I would still be extremely surprised if the Republicans flip 40 seats.

        One factor that hurts the Republicans is a lot of their candidates, especially challengers, are completely looney tunes. Birthers, tea baggers, racists, morons, etc.

        I don’t deny that the Democrats are losing; it’s just that the Republicans aren’t winning, and a tie goes to the incumbent.

        1. Denial is not just a river in Egypt. You honestly think that a District that voted for John McCain is going to re-elect a Democrat who voted for TARP, and the PORKULUS just because they are the incumbent.

          And the Tea Parties are drawing all over the country. They are only discredited in whatever fever swamps you swim in. In the rest of the country the Tea Parties are doing just fine. And as far as morons and loons. Yeah, just like Massa, Pelo si and Reid. That is a group of mental giants there.

          Go ahead though. Don’t let me stop you from whistling past the graveyard. November is going to be the biggest bloodbath in modern history. Forget 1994. This is going to be 1946. Had enough? I think most of America has had enough of the Pelosi and Reid show. And further, most people look back at the days of a Democratic President and Republican Congress pretty fondly. If McCain were President, you would be right. Incumbency would probably save the day. But with a Democrat in the WhiteHouse, it will nationalize the election and make it about getting rid of Reid and Pelosi and giving Obama some adult supervision.

          1. I’ve seen no proof that the Tea Partiers are electorally successful. I suspect the opposite is accurate.

            They are a lot like Ron Paul. Their supporters have a lot of volume (loudness), but not a lot of volume (sheer numbers). And you need sheer numbers to win an election.

            Also, there is a high chance of one of them running as a third party in some districts, as in NY 23.

            But I certainly could be wrong. And things can change before election day (in either direction). We shall see in a few months.

            1. Off year elections are about base and motivation. In 2008, the Democrats had a popular presidential candidate and a historic reason for people to come out to vote. None of that is true in 2010. Further, the Democratic base is pretty disenchanted right now. And imagine what it will be like if Obamacare dies? Meanwhile, the Republicans who were very unmotivated in 2008 are extremely motivated now. All those reps who won in 2008 on the basis of the Obama turnout and disenchantment with Bush, will be left alone with an angry base in Districts that voted for McCain even in 2008. It is a recipe for disaster.

              1. If the health care bill dies, especially if it takes several months before it does so, that certainly will hurt the Dems chances. But it’s not like every Dem is going to vote for it. The last time, something like 35 or so Dems voted against it in the House, mostly those in the toughest districts.

                1. I have to go home, so I don’t have time to look, but earlier this week I read (I think via Drudge) a poll (Gallup) that showed 49% said they would not vote to re-elect THEIR OWN CONGRESS PERSON in the upcoming election. I was stunned as in the past it has always been that they hate congress but love their own district’s representative.

                  1. things are different this year.

                  2. But some current members of Congress are Republicans. Obviously, anti-incumbent sentiment hurts the majority party more than the minority one, but that doesn’t mean the minority one comes unscratched. If, say, 30% of all incumbent House members lose, that’s only a gain of about 25 seats for the Republicans, because lots of Republican incumbents will lose too.

                    The public’s mood is anti-incumbent as opposed to anti-Democratic, IMHO, so this is possible.

                2. But a lot of them voted for the stimulus and TARP, which are just as unpopular.

                  1. “But a lot of them voted for the stimulus and TARP, which are just as unpopular.”

                    Yes, I agree. I live in Vern Buchanan’s disctict in Florida. He is a Republican who voted for TARP but against the Stimulus. We also have Bill Nelson in the Senate who is a Democrat who voted against the TARP bill but for the Stimulus bill. Our own governor (a Republican) will probably not get the Republican nod for U.S. Senate because he openly supported the Stimulus bill. I could not bring myself to vote for any of these people.

    2. I’ll settle for partying like it’s 1994.

      We should create a new drink called the Gridlock. Any suggestions?

      1. You certainly will get gridlock. Heck, thanks to the 60-vote rule in the Senate and the Republicans’ willingness to filibuster every single damned thing, you have it now.

        1. How exactly do Blanche Lincoln and Mary Landreu and Harry Reid win re-election? And Barbara Boxer is slipping in California. We have 10% unemployment and a monumental federal deficit. And the Congress has spent all of its time trying to pass an unpopular health care plan. What are they going to run on? George Bush?

          1. What are they going to run on? George Bush?
            yes

            1. Since Bush has been out of office for two years and they have been in charge, that doesn’t sound like a winning strategy.

          2. The first three will probably lose, although Lanbrieu isn’t running until 2012, so that’s only 2 seats down. Boxer won’t, though, unless Bruce Willis decides to run against her.

            The Dems will end up with between 52-55 Senate seats, IMHO. I dunno about 2012 yet, but Obama is probably a shoo-in for re-election so that will help the Dems.

            1. Obama is a shoo in? In bizzaro world maybe. The economy is terrible and is not expected to improve much. Further, his approval ratings are at 44%, three percent below his disapproval ratings. And the strongly disapprove number is up around 30% well above the strongly approve.

              Seriously, what color is the sky in your world?

              http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..54136.html

              No President in history has won re-election with those numbers. And how are they going to change? Unless you think there is some economic miracle that no other economist sees, I don’t see how they change or don’t continue to get worse.

              1. Name a Republican candidate who can beat him.

                Let’s go down the list:

                1. Romney
                2. Huckabee
                3. Gingrich
                4. Palin
                5. Jindal

                …need I go on? Maybe a “generic Republican” could beat Obama-but the whoever the guy (or gal) the Repubs actually nominate will go down in flames.

                Obama’s numbers today are in the same neighborhood of Reagan’s or Clinton’s at this time during their respective presidencies.

                Again, it’s not that Dems aren’t weak, it’s that the Reps are weak as well, and a tie goes to the incumbent.

                1. Who had ever heard of Bill Clinton in 1990? How many people thought much about George Bush in 1998 or Jimmy Carter in 1974? Presidential elections are referendums on the incumbent. The challenger doesn’t have to be challenging two years out.

                  1. +1

                  2. I was already tired of Clinton by 1990.

                2. Obama is at the same level as Clinton and Reagan. That is true. But Clinton and Reagan both had the economy to turn around. If the economy hadn’t turned around, they both would have been toast. If the economy doesn’t turn around, Obama has no chance. I don’t care who the Republicans run.

                  1. The economy will turn around prior to November 2012. That much is nearly certain.

                    1. No one else seems to believe that. And even the ones who think it will turn around, think we are years away from better unemployment numbers. I wish you were right. But it seems unlikely. This is a different recession than the ones in the past.

                    2. You base that on what exactly? Maybe the Republicans take over and become fiscally conservative. Not so sure about that.

                3. Where was Obama on the short list way back when people were wondering who the hell would be able to beat Hillary?

              2. Two words: Mitt Romney.

                1. Romney’s main problem is that Southern Baptists won’t vote for a Mormon. He’ll have a hard time winning the nomination because of this, and turn out amoungst whites will be bad in the south if he does win the nomination, allowing high turn out amoungst blacks to overcome. This is basically why he didn’t win the nomination last time.

                  1. And white America will never elect a black man.

                  2. “Romney’s main problem is that Southern Baptists won’t vote for a Mormon.”

                    This may have been true 20 years ago but most Southern Baptists I know have no problem with Mormons. Many I know are huge fans of Glenn Beck.

                    I don’t care what religion Romney is but I could never vote for him because, a governor, he signed a bill inflicting socialized medicine on the people of his state.

                    1. That’s a factor too.

                  3. I could vote for a Mormon

              3. “””Obama is a shoo in? In bizzaro world maybe.””

                In bizzaro world, Obama is a shoo in, because he did 3x better on the deficit than Bush.

                In the real world tripling the defict of the last guy is political suicide. If Obama can’t seriously reduce it by 2012, he’s screwed. He can try to claim he’s a fiscal conservative and the stimulus was a must now (we’re laughing), but if everything doesn’t pan out by election time, he’s holding an empty bag.

          3. Chuck Schumer and others are already jockeying for Reid’s Majority Leader job. Read is polling like a sack of dirt.

        2. You say that like it’s a bad thing.

  11. Ironically, Obama is not only sowing the seeds for the destruction of his own legacy?but also for the creation of someone else’s. Far from being the savior?he’s the one who will be in need of saving.

    Oh man! Wouldn’t that just frost his ass?!

    1. Obama is going to spend his entire ex-Presidency writing OPEDs explaining how nothing was his fault. He is going to be worse than Carter.

      1. He is going to be worse than Carter.
        FIFY

    2. Food for thought: will a 3rd party finally have its moment in the US if Obama destroys the Democratic Party from within, kind of like how GW Bush destroyed the Republican Party?

      1. Only if Obama really destroyed the Democratic party not just damaged it. Bush didn’t destroy the Republicans. A year later they were making a come back and winning in Massachusetts. But if Obama really destroyed the Democrats and made so the country refused to trust them anymore, a new party would arise in its place.

        I actually like the idea of a fourth party. Have a radical leftist green and a real libertarian party to go with the other two.

        1. The only reason the GOP was able to come back so quickly has been the utter incompetence and tone-deafness of the Dems. Of course, the only reason the Dems were able to come back from their absolute humiliation in the 2002 and 2004 elections was because of the foolishness of the GOP.

          Unfortunately for us, they’re both lucky in their enemies.

          1. Yes they are.

          2. Unfortunatly for us, this is the best the present uneducated voters in this country can do.

            Feels like we are on a canoe in the ocean. back and up and up and down and up and down and down and up and down and up. I’m going to go throw-up now.

            1. “Unfortunatly for us, this is the best the present uneducated voters in this country can do.” said the elitist Bryan.

              1. Most voters are uneducated because they’re busy putting food on the table and raising families and don’t have time to look behind the curtain of the puppet theater presented by the MSM. Trust me, I wish I didn’t have to concern myself with it — it’s awful for my digestion.

  12. He regrets not having been born during the civil rights era when the grandness of the cause would have measured up to the grandness of his ambition. He is in search of something big that will allow him to make his mark on the world as Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King did. Hence, the defeat of ObamaCare would not just be par for the course in the rough-and-tumble world of politics for him. It would be sign of his ordinariness, his mortality, and that, to him, is unendurable.

    You mean he wants to get himself shot? I wouldn’t be surprised if he were nutty enough to stage his own assassination and martyrdom – or if some of his own cohorts did it for him (just in case he wasn’t really the martyr type afterall.)

    1. He would have lasted 10 minutes in the Jim Crow South. What a joke. What an insult to the people who really did stand up back them.

      1. Yes.

  13. If the Democrats loose big in November I would not put it past them to still try to cram it down our throats ? even if it was clear that Obamacare was the reason they lost big.

    1. I mean during the lame duck session.

      1. They would try, but thanks to Brown, they wouldn’t have 60 votes.

        1. Unless John McCain, after losing the Republican nomination, decides to make himself part of history by adding his name to yet one more hyphenated law.

        2. “”They would try, but thanks to Brown, they wouldn’t have 60 votes.””

          You can’t bank on Brown. If they consult with him and make it more to his liking, he’ll vote for it.

  14. “Betsy McCaughey is a lying bitch whose chatter about death panels has spooked Americans” Hmm, this remark may lead to a bitch fight. Reason needs to start printing the t-shirts

  15. Considering that they’re busy warping the rules of both houses to pass this pile of shit, this midterm election is probably going to be “historic” as the media likes to say.

    Chairwoman Slaughter is preparing a rule that “deems the Senate bill passed” by the House once the Senate passes through changes in reconciliation. That way Dems can vote for a rule change rather than for the Senate bill.

    If this works, I don’t see why you can’t just pass a rule change saying any bill supported by the Speaker only needs 30% support to pass.

    1. I don’t see how that is Constitutional. The pesky document says “Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United State”. The bill would not have passed. The rule would have. I can’t see the courts upholding the law. But then again maybe that is what they are hoping for. That way they can get out of the horrible law and tell the liberals the courts killed it.

      1. I don’t know about that. Nothing in the text says that a bill must receive a majority vote to pass. The text is more specific about the process of overriding a veto, but normal passage is not defined.

        Since the text also says that “Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings” the door is left open for a rule change that defines passage in a non-traditional way.

        1. Politicians are such short-sighted creatures. Later the dems will complain when the republicans use those rules for their ends.

      2. And I guarantee the courts will punt on the question if it comes to that, deeming it a political matter. Have the courts ever overturned a law based on the procedure by which it was passed?

        1. “”Have the courts ever overturned a law based on the procedure by which it was passed?””

          Good question. Anyone have an answer?

          I could see a conservative court calling it strictly a Congress issue and not usurping seperation of powers.

  16. From here:

    [W]e [must] prevent the exploitation of the poor as an excuse to put everyone on the dole, e.g., the invocation of the number of Americans without affordable health care — yes, a very real problem — to justify a move to “universal health care,” the popular Orwellianism for what really gets delivered: total government control of medicine. With that, we can begin to explain how government interventions (cartelization of the insurance industry and the Newspeak redefinition of “malpractice” to include besides negligence other things [e.g., fallibility], to pick but two) have only contracted the supply of quality medical care. From medicine we’ll move to other areas; now the forces of freedom will be gaining ground….

    1. “From medicine we’ll move to other areas; now the forces of freedom will be gaining ground”

      http://mises.org/books/TRTS/

  17. Its kinda funny when you think about it. The Dems kept saying that the Obama mid terms werent going to be like 1994 since they werent going to touch guns. Not so much now

  18. “President Obama believes in his own messianism too deeply for that… In his book Dreams From My Father Obama gives the distinct impression that his gifts are too great for the smallness of our political stage.” … Hence, the defeat of ObamaCare would not just be par for the course in the rough-and-tumble world of politics for him. It would be sign of his ordinariness, his mortality, and that, to him, is unendurable… Far from being the savior?he’s the one who will be in need of saving.
    So basically your saying he has a God complex, narcissistic, delusional, conceited and mentally ill. Are you sure your not writing a sequel to Vanity Fair?

  19. This is the stupidest U.S. government since the Civil War.

    1. Union or Confederate?

      1. Pro Libertate already told you – Union. If he meant Confederate he you have typed “C.S. government”.

  20. Worst of all from the standpoint of his personal life story, it will exacerbate the crisis of the entitlement state, requiring someone else to step forward and clean up the fiscal mess he is creating.

    You have me all wrong: I’m not the One.

    I’m John the Baptist, preparing His way.

    1. Then who is Rhamn Emanuel?

  21. One request: Would “Reason.com” please publish the names of all the Congressmen who vote for this healthcare bill if and when it goes to the floor. As one of the 75% of Amricans who do not want this bill to pass, it brings this country one step closer to socialism, we will vote these Congressmen out of office. They will become unemployed when their re-elections come due.

    1. A recent Rasmussen poll has it at 53% against.

      I’ve had the suspicion that more people are ok with it than we think. The same poll has 40 something % approving of it. Some of these dems may keep their jobs.

      Personally, I think everyone would hate it if they really knew how it would work. I don’t think the real zinger will happen before they get re-elected, by design.

      I’ve recently spoke to someone who is in favor of it. When I explained her taxes would increase first and get the money back at tax time, I got a blank stare as if she was trying to figure out if I was serious. I made that point a couple of times for effect, it seemed as if she didn’t want to believe Obama would do that to her.

      I think some cognative dissonance is in play. Obama ran off the Robin Hood platform. He will give services to you, and make the rich pay. I think many are clinging to that belief and discounting any information to the contrary.

  22. Obama and his transformation of America to Socialism:

    http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/20912

  23. You know, there still IS a civil rights movement going on, Obama. Maybe if you stopped listening to the socialists in your party you could actually make a name for yourself in gay rights.

    Nah..

    1. No point in debating with Obama and his followers until the Democrats are diminished and less ruthless as a result.

    2. He’s a good Democrat with strong socialist leanings. That’s not the same thing as a left libertarian.

  24. I like the title of the article, but nothing in the article has convinced me that the Democrats can’t recover from the results of passing Obamacare. Anyone can point to the polls, and the polls don’t look good for Dems. But I think the Democrat party, the party of patronage and demagogy, is a party with more than nine lives. I was hoping the author had something more to say about Democrat’s sinking fortunes than the usual idle complaining about Obamacare.

    1. You noticed that too.

      This won’t kill the Democrats. They can afford it, because the Republicans just got done fucking up so bad.

      In politics you can always get away with sinking to the level of your opponent. Usually, you can get away with sinking just a little lower.

  25. Look, I’m gonna go score all platinum on the “non-stop infinite climax” setting in Bayonetta. Hopefully, by then, this stupid shit will be over, or at least Obama won’t be president anymore.

  26. You morons. Single payer roads are working out okay. Single payer post office. Single payer educations is awesome. Single payer wars are all good. Single payer currency is working out fine. You people are knocking down strawmen.

    1. 49ers suck!

    2. “Single payer educations is awesome.”

      Nice grammar there…

    3. Willie are you unaware that every single government program you named is a failure, and responsible for causing every social problem from illiteracy (your personal problem), to unemployment, to inflation, to recessions?

  27. Why do people predict that the GOP will have huge victories in November? Are people’s memories THAT short?

    When will the majority realize that both parties have totally wrecked this country? You can’t trust either.

  28. “Single payer currency is working out fine.”

    ROTFLMAO

  29. It already has.

  30. Please sign the petition to “Stop Obamacare”:

    http://www.grassfire.net/r.asp?u=26081&RID=23057113

    1. Problem is, that’s about abortion, not Obamapork.

  31. Man that was a great article. Very crafty

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  33. How is Obamacare like a stool sample?

    You have to pass it to see what’s in it.

    Public flushing on March 16

    http://teaparty.freedomworks.o…..&page;

    1. +1

  34. We are seeing increases in medicare as in no cost of living increases and a new deductable that rose over 25% this year alone. We pay 20% of all medical costs, so its not free as a lot of people think. There is also a monthly cost that depends on when you retire which amounts to over $130 per person. Why in the world would you increase costs to the elderly. I can not begin to think this so called health reform is going to be any better. Don’t be fooled to this plan because it will cost us all a lot of money and the rich get richer, a lot richer! I hope all who read this live to a ripe retirement age and will not be able aford to pay for it. Rember it is not government for the people but for the greedy. Rember Wall Street and who is not in jail.

    Jim

  35. I recently saw a photo of a civil-rights era protest — a group of white adults/seniors holding signs that read “Race Mixing is Communism”.

    We now have the same group of white adults/seniors parading around with equally-stupid signs like “Keep Government out of Medicare” and “Health Care is Communism”

    My wife just went to the E.R. with extreme abdominal pain. We were there 2 hours, received no diagnosis and had no problem solved, were released and then given a bill for TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS.

    Ten. Thousand. Dollars. For a single CT scan, five minutes of a doctor who couldn’t care less’s time, a tylenol and a room for 120 minutes (most of which was spent waiting for the doctor).

    After insurance we were out $3,000 out of pocket. We are both employed and both insured, her on a pretty good plan at that.

    So we are young, healthy, employed and insured. Theoretically the “best case” scenario. Yet we are still now straddled with an extra $3,000 of debt.

    Tell me we don’t need health care reform with a straight face. You can’t. It’s broken. We have to fix it. Either lend a hand or get the hell out of the way.

  36. How is it that with the largest government power grab in modern American history occurring Reason has this article (a Forbes reprint) from 6 days ago as their only comment on their front page. Forgive me, but I thought Libertarians were against this type of outright government corruption. I guess a few Drew Carey videos from Cleveland are much more important than government unscrupulously seizing 1/6 of the American economy. Where is the outrage?

  37. “the domestic policy equivalent of President Bush launching a full-scale preemptive strike against Iran after embroiling the country in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

    An odd, off-topic metaphor. If Bush had invaded Iran in the first place, Iraq and Afghanistan would have been unnecessary. The same might have been said of Reagan in 1980, who could have saved us 30 years of grief.

  38. Well thought out article, especially on the motivation behind the lunacy, couldn’t be more in agreement.

  39. I just need this, Well done! Many thanks.

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