Author Topic: On Obamacare, Republicans Get in their Own Way  (Read 934 times)

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Offline sinkspur

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On Obamacare, Republicans Get in their Own Way
« on: September 26, 2013, 11:09:50 AM »
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-f-will-on-obamacare-republicans-get-in-their-own-way/2013/09/25/9b4e3a94-253d-11e3-b3e9-d97fb087acd6_story.html

On Obamacare, Republicans get in their own way

By George F. Will,
 Published: September 25

When Dwight Eisenhower asked Gen. Georgy Zhukov how the Red Army cleared minefields, Zhukov replied that it marched through them. Being profligate with lives is a perquisite of command and a luxury of those with an abundance of lives at their command. Some congressional Republicans, who do not command their party but can implicate it in their marches through minefields, might resuscitate Barack Obama’s presidency by restocking his pantry of excuses: The economy’s continuing anemia will ever after be blamed on any government shutdown.

The face of this Republican faction is Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, on whose boots glistens dew from the grass roots. Recently, he was making desultory passes at breakfast oatmeal after returning to Washington at 2 a.m. from a Manhattan television studio, where he exhorted conservatives nationwide to somehow force Obama to accept defunding of the Affordable Care Act. Cruz explained his thinking:

It is two minutes until midnight. On Jan. 1, the ACA’s insurance subsidies begin, like a heroin drip, making Americans instant addicts. The Obama administration knows that no major entitlement, once tasted, has been repealed. The administration is uninterested in enforcing the subsidies’ eligibility requirements. Hence Republicans must be prepared to shutter the government. Obama will be blamed for resulting inconveniences because he will have vetoed funding for everything rather than accepting denial of funding for one thing — the ACA.

Granted, Republicans, not President Bill Clinton, were blamed for the 1995 shutdown. But today’s circumstances are different because of the rise of the conservative grass roots. The defeat of Obama’s gun-control agenda, Rand Paul’s filibuster about presidential use of drones and opposition to attacking Syria prove that presidents and traditional media no longer dominate national debates. Since 1995, the burgeoning of conservative journalism, talk radio, the Internet and social media has changed everything.

Well. Those people who are best at deceiving others first deceive themselves. They often do so by allowing their wishes to be the fathers of their thoughts, and begin by wishing that everything has changed.

If the ACA is, as conservatives believe, as unpleasant in potential effects as it is impossible to implement, conservatives should allow what Lincoln called “the silent artillery of time” to destroy it. Obama is one of those who mistake their good luck for genius. Having been wafted into high office by gusts of Republican failures, he became the first president to win a second term with reduced percentages of both the popular and electoral votes. Nevertheless, Obama remains mesmerized by himself. He has not noticed that many objects of his rhetorical support — the ACA, scores of Democratic candidates, his gun-control proposals, his plan to attack Syria — have not become popular.

The government should not be closed; the debt ceiling will be raised. Republicans should, however, take to heart the last words of H.L. Mencken’s summation of Theodore Roosevelt: “Well, one does what one can.” Republicans can give Democrats a ruinous opportunity to insist upon unpopular things. House Republicans can attach to the continuing resolution that funds the government, and then to the increase in the debt ceiling, two provisions: Preservation of the ACA requirement — lawlessly disregarded by the administration — that members of Congress and their staffs must experience the full enjoyment of the ACA without special, ameliorating subsidies. And a one-year delay of the ACA’s individual mandate.

By vetoing legislation because of these provisions, and by having his vetoes sustained by congressional Democrats, Obama will underscore Democrats’ devotion: Devotion to self-dealing by the political class, and to the principle that only powerful interests (businesses), not mere citizens, can delay the privilege of complying with the ACA.

Arithmetic, not moral failings, makes Republicans unable to overturn Obama’s vetoes. So after scoring some points, Republicans should vote, more in sorrow than in anger, to fund the government (at sequester levels, a significant victory) and to increase the debt ceiling. Having forced Democrats to dramatize their perverse priorities, Republicans can turn to completing the neutering of this presidency by winning six Senate seats.

Republicans now making a moral melodrama over any vote that allows the ACA to be funded should remember Everett Dirksen of Illinois . The leader of Senate Republicans during passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act recalled, “Forty preachers caught me one afternoon there in that lobby. ‘I am not a moralist,’ I told them, ‘I am a legislator.’ ” It is good to be both; it is sterile to be the former to the exclusion of the latter.
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Offline olde north church

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Re: On Obamacare, Republicans Get in their Own Way
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2013, 11:15:22 AM »
Anemic, doddering George Will is still around?  I thought he ran off with some chippy, far too young for him.
Why?  Well, because I'm a bastard, that's why.

Online mystery-ak

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Re: On Obamacare, Republicans Get in their Own Way
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2013, 11:15:51 AM »
For every anti Cruz thread I could post ten praising him.... :thud:

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Offline sinkspur

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Re: On Obamacare, Republicans Get in their Own Way
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2013, 11:22:28 AM »
Anemic, doddering George Will is still around?  I thought he ran off with some chippy, far too young for him.

I have to laugh.  Now we see the Cruzites flinging the ad hominems. 
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Offline sinkspur

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Re: On Obamacare, Republicans Get in their Own Way
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2013, 11:23:36 AM »
For every anti Cruz thread I could post ten praising him.... :thud:

Go ahead.  There surely isn't nearly enough slavish Cruz worship around this place already.
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Offline andy58-in-nh

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Re: On Obamacare, Republicans Get in their Own Way
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2013, 11:44:45 AM »
Anemic, doddering George Will is still around?  I thought he ran off with some chippy, far too young for him.

I happen to like George Will a great deal. He is thoughtful, measured, erudite, and respectful. I generally agree with him in this regard: ObamaCare cannot be defeated in the short term because of the Senate's mathematical composition, and because of the man sitting in the White House.

I differ with him on two points: the case for doing away with the ACA had to be made and placed in the national record, and Ted Cruz made that case exceedingly well.  Secondly, our political system is broken and given to casual disregard of the Constitution, sadly abetted now by the Supreme Court. To simply hope that ObamaCare will fail of its own in time is to disregard both its foundational design and the character of its proponents. They are dishonest and destructive of liberty.
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Offline olde north church

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Re: On Obamacare, Republicans Get in their Own Way
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2013, 01:02:31 PM »
I have to laugh.  Now we see the Cruzites flinging the ad hominems.

Actually, it's I who needs to laugh.  I am to the far right of Cruz.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2013, 01:32:36 PM by olde north church »
Why?  Well, because I'm a bastard, that's why.

Offline Rapunzel

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Re: On Obamacare, Republicans Get in their Own Way
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2013, 01:26:04 PM »
I happen to like George Will a great deal. He is thoughtful, measured, erudite, and respectful. I generally agree with him in this regard: ObamaCare cannot be defeated in the short term because of the Senate's mathematical composition, and because of the man sitting in the White House.

I differ with him on two points: the case for doing away with the ACA had to be made and placed in the national record, and Ted Cruz made that case exceedingly well.  Secondly, our political system is broken and given to casual disregard of the Constitution, sadly abetted now by the Supreme Court. To simply hope that ObamaCare will fail of its own in time is to disregard both its foundational design and the character of its proponents. They are dishonest and destructive of liberty.



George Will and Krauthammer are both brilliant men, they also are not conservatives.. remember who Krauthammer used to work for ... and when I see anything from them in the back of my mind is always the knowledge they were among the first reporters Obama invited to dinner and wined and dined them..after which they were praising Obama.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline andy58-in-nh

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Re: On Obamacare, Republicans Get in their Own Way
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2013, 01:45:32 PM »


George Will and Krauthammer are both brilliant men, they also are not conservatives.. remember who Krauthammer used to work for ... and when I see anything from them in the back of my mind is always the knowledge they were among the first reporters Obama invited to dinner and wined and dined them..after which they were praising Obama.

I think it's a stretch to say that Will and Krauthammer are "not conservatives".

I continue to read the columns of both men because as you say, they are brilliant, and I would add: highly perceptive writers. George Will has a rare depth of historical perspective and in spite of his 1950's dress code appearance (bow tie and all), he has a firm grasp on modern American culture. Charles K., as an obvious consequence of his psychiatric training, is especially adept at getting inside Liberals' heads and explaining their behavior.

As you review the body of work of each, it is apparent that they both stand firmly on traditional conservative ground, favoring limited government, strong national defense, free enterprise and Constitutional adherence.

I have had my differences with both over the years; recently with Will as regards domestic surveillance, and with Krauthammer on foreign policy adventurism. But even a casual comparison with any Progressive writer or politician of one's choice makes it abundantly clear that both men sit on the right side of the aisle.

Never forget that reasonable people may disagree about many things and ought to be free to do so without recrimination, even as they ought to be prepared to support their beliefs in the marketplace of ideas. No such toleration presently exists on the Left, and conservatives distinguish themselves by maintaining open minds, especially in the shadow of a culture dominated by closed ones. 
Liberalism isn't really about making the world a better place. It's about reassuring the elites that they are good people for wanting to rule over it.

Offline Rapunzel

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Re: On Obamacare, Republicans Get in their Own Way
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2013, 02:04:45 PM »
I just have a difficult time equating the fact Krauthammer worked for Mondale and his continued insistence on criticizing conservatives in the GOP with him being a conservative.  I, too, pay attention to what he writes because the man is a genius (IMHO)... but many times I disagree with him on his assessment of some of our conservative candidates.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline andy58-in-nh

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Re: On Obamacare, Republicans Get in their Own Way
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2013, 02:19:04 PM »
I just have a difficult time equating the fact Krauthammer worked for Mondale and his continued insistence on criticizing conservatives in the GOP with him being a conservative.  I, too, pay attention to what he writes because the man is a genius (IMHO)... but many times I disagree with him on his assessment of some of our conservative candidates.

I understand. But of course there are many Republicans and conservatives who used to be Democrats and liberals.

National Review
in its infancy featured a coterie of writers many of whom used to be out-and-out Communists (e.g. - Whittaker Chambers, John Dos Passos, Frank Meyer and James Burnham). David Horowitz, now an indispensable force on the Right, was himself a radical revolutionary in the '60s. The trend continued over time as many southern and midwestern Democrats increasingly gravitated toward the GOP, with the election of Reagan in 1980 serving as the "tipping point" moment. Others have come around in more recent years - think about Jimmy Carter's former pollster Pat Caddell - he's still a Democrat I think, but when was the last time he sounded like one?   
Liberalism isn't really about making the world a better place. It's about reassuring the elites that they are good people for wanting to rule over it.

Offline Rapunzel

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Re: On Obamacare, Republicans Get in their Own Way
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2013, 02:36:55 PM »
Good points, Andy.  Actually I have known of Horowitz for many, many years.  He used to be a regular on one of our local TV stations when I lived in Southern California and when I was still forming a lot of my political opinons (aside from what I learned in college ) I paid a lot of attention to what he said. I respected him because he was so forthright about where he came from and how he got to where he is today... and I have grown to really respect Pat Caddell.  I like Bob Beckel even though I almost never agree with him, but at least he is honest about why he feels the way he does about his positions.  I respect people who are forthright and don't play games. 
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Online aligncare

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Re: On Obamacare, Republicans Get in their Own Way
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2013, 02:37:33 PM »
Got to disagree, Andy. The epithet "RINO" is used by many on the right to impugn those who are not in lockstep with real conservatives. Intolerance of differing opinion is common on both sides of the ideological divide.

But winning candidates know how to build consensus. Reagan did it, and Cruz, as well as Rand Paul, in my opinion, appear to have the right temperament to build coalitions that could succeed. Of course that remains to be seen.
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Offline Rapunzel

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Re: On Obamacare, Republicans Get in their Own Way
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2013, 02:41:08 PM »
Got to disagree, Andy. The epithet "RINO" is used by many on the right to impugn those who are not in lockstep with real conservatives. Intolerance of differing opinion is common on both sides of the ideological divide.

But winning candidates know how to build consensus. Reagan did it, and Cruz, as well as Rand Paul, in my opinion, appear to have the right temperament to build coalitions that could succeed. Of course that remains to be seen.

I think that is what has the moderate Republicans concerned.  They had their wagons hitched to Chris Christie and they are watching him fade into the twilight as these "upstart" conservatives grab the spotlight - same as Reagan did in the late 70's, early 80's... they were lamenting Christie yesterday on The Five - a few months ago The Five had him all but elected our candidate.
“The time is now near at hand which must probably determine, whether Americans are to be, Freemen, or Slaves.” G Washington July 2, 1776

Offline andy58-in-nh

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Re: On Obamacare, Republicans Get in their Own Way
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2013, 02:49:15 PM »
Got to disagree, Andy. The epithet "RINO" is used by many on the right to impugn those who are not in lockstep with real conservatives. Intolerance of differing opinion is common on both sides of the ideological divide.

But winning candidates know how to build consensus. Reagan did it, and Cruz, as well as Rand Paul, in my opinion, appear to have the right temperament to build coalitions that could succeed. Of course that remains to be seen.

I agree that the term "RINO" is overused, in that it sometimes unfairly conflates people who differ over strategy or tactics with those who do not truly share conservative principles. Yet there are some among the GOP congressional leadership who simply are not conservatives.
Liberalism isn't really about making the world a better place. It's about reassuring the elites that they are good people for wanting to rule over it.


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