Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The fate of the Union

“It’s not important to be perfect, but it’s important to move, to get the ball rolling ... The worst thing we can do is nothing.” –Bill Clinton

Obamacare delivered the “fundamental transformation” the president promised in 2008 as a candidate. It didn’t matter what was in Obamacare’s 2,000 pages. What mattered was that it was 2,000 pages. In those 2,000 pages was the infrastructure for totalitarian government.

No way Congress was going to be able to properly oversee and retain legislative control of such a massive bill. Obamacare has more mandatory provisions (700) than there are Jewish commandments (613). The Pharisees in charge of implementing Obamacare, led by nominal Catholic Kathleen Sebelius, rule by their “good” judgment, a dubious claim for those working in the upper echelons of the civil service.

Abusing the authority they illegally granted themselves, Sebelius and Obama have delayed and repealed parts of Obamacare and exempted hundreds of groups from its onerous mandates. Harry Reid and the Democratic majority in the Senate have stymied attempts by the House of Representatives to codify the changes into the law. The “anarchist” label he slings at the tea party with is perfectly represented in the executive branch’s unpredictability and unaccountability. Representative democracy, much less limited government, is dead.

Democrats aren’t shy about admitting Obamacare’s flaws. Whether they care to fix them is a different story. It took a 21-hour Ted Cruz speech on the Senate floor to bring enough heat on doofuses Joe Manchin, Mark Begich, and Mark Warner for them to start soft-pedaling “reforms” to Obamacare, reforms Democrats should have considered regardless. Remember they hail from the same party that eviscerated George W. Bush and Paul Ryan for their proposals to reform and sustain Social Security and Medicare.

Reid has done his job. The infrastructure for totalitarian government is in place. The precedent for government by fiat is set. Reid wouldn’t mind if the House never passes a bill again. A government shutdown doesn’t worry him. He’s been listening to the same establishmentarian pundits John Boehner has been listening to since assuming the Speakership of the House. “Republicans will be blamed for a shutdown,” they brayed, so he shut the government down, refusing to negotiate, refusing to compromise.

The showdown over funding Obamacare isn’t about Obamacare anymore. It’s about preserving the legislative process and the rule of law. Boehner could pass a bill saying two and two is four, and Reid wouldn’t let the Senate pass it. Reid figures the conditions are ripe for him to dictate to the House what they can and can’t do, and he’s using the shutdown to do it.

Privately, Boehner is shaking like a leaf. He did not want this battle. Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, et al. forced it on him. He doesn’t think the Republicans can win the politics of a government shutdown. He shares too much of the establishmentarian mindset of reptiles like Rep. Tom Cole. Ron Fournier writes:

On the other side of the GOP divide are conservatives who were already worried about the future of their party. Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, a campaign savvy conservative, wants the GOP focused on refurbishing its image rather than conducting kamikaze missions. “Let’s go win some elections,” Cole tells GOP voters.

Hailing from a conservative district in a conservative state, it’s easy for Cole to talk about “winning some elections.” How does he propose doing that on a national scale? What’s his election strategy? Implicit in his statement is the “kamikaze mission” of failing to advance a conservative agenda while letting liberals run roughshod over the Constitution. You’re not any good if don’t put up a fight.

In modern politics, the stakes have never been higher. On the one hand, Republicans face condemnation for being responsible for a government shutdown. On the other hand, an emboldened executive and his terrier in the Senate threatens the House’s relevance. The fate of the Union rests on Boehner’s mettle.

Further reading: “Defund it.”

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