The Progressive Mouse Trap

During his post-election press conference last week, the President was asked if he was concerned about exit polls showing 50% support for repeal of his health-care legislation.  He replied:

“Well, it also means one out of two voters think it was the right thing to do. And obviously this is an issue that has been contentious. But as I said, I think what’s going to be useful is for us to go through the issues that Republicans have issues on—not sort of talking generally, but let’s talk specifics. Does this particular provision—when it comes to preexisting conditions, is this something you’re for or you’re against? Helping seniors get their prescription drugs—does that make sense or not?  And if we take that approach—which is different from campaigning—I mean, this is now governing—then I think that we can continue to make some progress and find some common ground. …”

Here is the essence of the “progressive” mousetrap in a nutshell.  The President and his party seized a vast amount of un-Constitutional power over the private sector with the health-care bill.  The bill is an absolute disaster, destroying jobs and driving up insurance costs, as the astonished members of the AARP just learned.  Its cost projections have already been revealed as transparent frauds, pushing us closer to discovering what happens when the dying red star of our federal deficit collapses into a black hole … but all of that doesn’t matter, according to the President, as long as half the population isn’t clamoring for its repeal yet.

Note this doesn’t even mean half of voters energetically support the bill.  Energetic support is no longer necessary.  In fact, it wasn’t necessary when the bill was passed in the first place, as polls demonstrated firm opposition from the public.  As it turned out, the only poll Democrats were interested in was the one that gave them the White House.  No one who voted for Barack Obama’s messianic promises of health-care reform would have supported the corrupt, misshapen mess that crawled from the back rooms of the Senate, devouring opportunity and leaving puddles of poverty in its wake.  But the Democrats had the power to force their agenda through, and since the people could not stop them, the people’s opinions were no longer relevant.

Asked about the sleazy payoffs and special exemptions required to pass his legislation, the President said, “I think that making sure that families had security and were on a trajectory to lower health-care costs was absolutely critical for this country. But you are absolutely right that when you are navigating through a House and a Senate in this kind of pretty partisan environment that it’s an ugly mess when it comes to process.”  The progressive relies heavily on the gullibility and short memory of his audience.  Republicans weren’t the ones getting Cornhusker Kickbacks last winter.  Much of ObamaCare’s staggering cost comes from purchasing the votes of reluctant Democrats.

It took a historic beating in the midterm elections for the President to concede he might be willing to discuss a few of the worst provisions of ObamaCare, but that’s all he’s willing to do.  He and his Party have made it clear their removal from office is the precondition for undoing the damage they have done. 

The repeal of federal power grabs is very difficult, since even the worst programs accumulate feral packs of beneficiaries.  Contrary to the common belief that America is doomed once 51% of the population is getting benefits from the other 49%, it’s not necessary to accumulate anything like a majority of dependents to trigger the downward spiral.  Progressives need only an energized minority to hold the mousetrap back, while confused and apathetic independents lay their heads beneath the bar.  When Americans cast their votes in 2012, they’ll have a lot to think about.  It may only be necessary to distract them from their mistrust of ObamaCare for a few weeks.

The rusty creaking of the mousetrap’s hinges could be heard in the President’s dismissal of the repeal movement:

“You know, when I talk to a woman from New Hampshire who doesn’t have to mortgage her house because she got cancer and is seeking treatment but now is able to get health insurance, when I talk to parents who are relieved that their child with a preexisting condition can now stay on their policy until they’re 26 years old and give them time to transition to find a job that will give them health insurance, or the small businesses that are now taking advantage of the tax credits that are provided—then I say to myself, this was the right thing to do.”

The objections of those who must pay for those helpless waifs, who can now remain swaddled in their mother’s health insurance until they turn 27, are not important.  The will of those who will be expected to pay off Obama’s titanic deficits is even less significant.  Deficit spending is a tax on people who are not old enough to resist.  The promise of benefits lures us into the mousetrap.  When the time comes to pay for those benefits, we are told that crippling taxes and reduced quality of life are now sadly inevitable, and the trap is sprung.  Tomorrow’s objections will be dismissed as questions we should have asked yesterday—when we were loudly told that we were greedy and insane to ask them.

“Progress” moves us inevitably toward a larger State.  As the President constantly assures us through his tedious car metaphor, there is no reverse gear.  Not even the greatest political realignment in 70 years will persuade him to find it.  We are instructed to accept the elections of 2008 as the final time we would have any say over the control of our health care, and the result was a loss of liberty that can never be undone.  No argument to the contrary will penetrate the walls of the Oval Office.  If Barack Obama is not a private citizen in 2013, there will be no further arguments.  Remember this the next time a socialist tells you to focus on the bait he is offering, and pay no attention to the corroded metal lurking in the shadows overhead.