heading toward the cliff

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is willing to sacrifice the political futures of her fellow House Democrats in order to get the health care bill passed.  That’s generous of her, and the Republicans will absolutely accept that result.  I just wonder how many left-leaning true believers are left in the Democratic Congress.  The answer to that question will determine the future of this health care bill.   Sure, there are a few like Nancy Pelosi who would sacrifice the rest of their political life to get this country-changing reform passed.  But I’m willing to bet that at the core, most Washington politicos value self-preservation over ideology.  They have seen the writing on the wall with the recent Republican victories and are considering future votes more carefully than they would otherwise.

Most Democrats will choose their jobs over following the Speaker over the political cliff.  That’s my prediction.

Even though our side seems to be winning the argument on health care reform, there’s still no reason to be overconfident.   There is still work to be done, and when the current legislation goes down in flames, we need to be ready to take advantage of that failure with our own vision and solutions.

choosing sides

There is nothing guaranteed about a possible Republican recovery in 2010.  In case fellow Republicans get too overconfident about our chances due to some current Democrat chaos over health care,  let me remind them that voters hate us too.   Perhaps that is a slight overstatement of our position, since there are many contributors on both sides to American discontent with our political system as it stands in February 2010.  But our hands aren’t all that clean.   The Republicans also contributed to our own demise by failing to learn the lesssons of the past.  It’s my belief that there have been Republicans who have acknowledged those mistakes and have committed to fix what’s broken.   With all due respect to Glenn Beck and his acolytes, blame should be applied selectively when choosing Republicans to criticize for our recent struggles.  We can’t just declare a pox on both of their houses, and consider starting a third party.    It doesn’t work here in America, because no third party has ever had the popular support or legitimacy to be a threat to the Republicans and Democrats except as a spoiler in contested elections.

About choosing sides– Why did anyone assume that Scott Brown would cast 100% conservative votes when he got to the Senate?   He’s a Republican from Massachusetts.   While he is a significant upgrade from the Democrats Massachusetts voters usually elect, he’s still not going to be a conservative Republican like Senator DeMint.   Time to lower expectations here.   If Brown votes against health care, it’s still important enough to forgive him for voting for the jobs bill, although that was a really stupid decision on his part.

Speaking of Massachusetts Republicans — or is he a Utah / Cali Republican now? —  former Governor Mitt Romney went out of his way to endorse John McCain in his AZ re-election bid.   Romney is choosing to have a short memory here.  He was absolutely trashed by McCain and his silent partner Mike Huckabee during the campaign, and Romney is still endorsing McCain?  Classy move.   Not so smart for his future political ambitions.  This could hurt Romney going forward, since many conservatives still don’t trust him, and this adds to the distrust factor with them.

On the other hand, Sarah Palin will probably get a pass for her endorsement of McCain.   Everybody understands why she felt that she had to do this.   It’s a loyalty thing, and I respect that.   But being stuck with the baggage of McCain is not a desirable position for anyone with future political aspirations.   If you’re anyone other than Sarah Palin, a McCain endorsement doesn’t do you any good anyway.   What could possibly be gained by the favor of a failed presidential candidate with limited future prospects?   I don’t know the answer to that.

can’t we all just get along?


There are principles worth fighting for in all these debates.  There are battles worth taking on here with health care, the future direction of our military, and how to create a business-friendly climate for the creation of much-needed jobs — all these need to have solid policy prescriptions.  When we feel that our concerns are not being addressed by the President and Congress, it is our responsibility and our obligation as citizens to speak out and demand alternatives.  It’s not about demonizing anyone or name-calling.  It’s about stopping bad policy before it’s too late to change course.   There are those who would say that unity is the ultimate goal and bipartisanship is the ideal objective in our politics.  I believe that America is strong enough to handle differences in opinion, no matter how passionately felt on either side.   We don’t get a stronger America by embracing groupthink merely to get along with our liberal / conservative friends and colleagues.

Some issues cannot be open to compromise if we care about the future of this great country.  Health care is one of those issues.   Giving government more control over that part of the private sector,  whether it is through excessive regulation or partial nationalization,  is a horrible idea.  Our battle is not with our fellow Americans.  The battle, my friends, is with the entrenched Washington insiders playing games with the federal budget and trying to force policies on us that will continue to damage our economy.   If that makes me someone who is mean, evil, and (oh no!) not compassionate, then I wear the badge with honor and distinction, and ask my fellow conservative malcontents to do the same.

Disagree?  Feel free to comment.

that’s a scary proposition

CBS newsman Bob Schieffer says that “Real security is built on trust in the government.”  He actually wrote that!  Read it here.

Trust in the government.  That’s a scary proposition if you really think about it.  The more bureaucracy you add to deal with a potential crisis, the more likely it is that the potential crisis becomes an actual crisis.  I get the point Schieffer was making about spin and how the feds should be honest with us when addressing terror-related events, but you can’t just depend on the government to protect you in these kinds of situations.  The flight crew and a brave passenger saved the day on Christmas Day.  Not the TSA or DHS.

Everything the federal government can and should do to improve our domestic security will not completely protect us from a future terrorist attack.  If we are completely committed to telling the truth to the American people, we should start by admitting this.

flawed concept

Reason’s Jacob Sullum says there should be no fundamental right to health care.

A right to health care thus requires the government to infringe on people’s liberty rights by commandeering their talents, labor, and earnings. And since new subsidies will only exacerbate the disconnect between payment and consumption that drives health care inflation, such interference is bound to increase as the government struggles to control ever-escalating spending. Rising costs will also encourage the government to repeatedly redefine the right to health care, deciding exactly which treatments it includes.

Enforcing this right demands an involuntary contribution from all taxpayers.   Once it is decided by our Congress that health care coverage is mandated for all of us and primarily funded by tax dollars,  then we are in danger of losing more than the ability to buy private health care coverage.  I used to think that the relationship between liberty and the health care debate was tenuous at best,  but it’s becoming clear to me how wrong I was about that.   Expanding the reach of government into health care beyond its current bureaucratic regulations and restrictions is something we need to consider carefully before going forward with such plans.   While I’m proposing all these radical things, how ’bout one more – if we are going to copy another country’s health care system, we might want to copy one that actually does what President Obama promised with expanding choices and competition for the health care consumer, and take steps to make health care more affordable for every American.   That’s not what the Senate and House are doing with their proposed health care legislation.  We need to start over from scratch and try again if we want a health care bill that is truly worthy of the claim of  “health care reform”. 

Read Sullum’s entire argument here.

lighten up scrooge

Now for something a little different and somewhat holiday-themed…

Eventually it would come to this – someone is compelled to attack the lifestyle and behavior of  Santa Claus.   Honestly, there’s just no good excuse for that.

Some “public health expert” in Australia says that Santa is a bad example for children.  The charges against St. Nick include encouraging obesity and drinking alcohol while steering his sleigh through the wide-open sky, where he is endangering no one but himself and the reindeer.  Seriously, dude, if you want to bring a more significant complaint, you might point out the greed it produces in otherwise sweet little children who produce gigantic lists of very expensive gifts which they fully expect to get on December 25th.   And God bless the parents who try to keep up with those expectations out of their own finite pockets, because there will never be enough money to cover that wish list.  This reminds me of a certain group of Americans who expect their fellow citizens to completely finance their health care bills…and believe that the federal government has an endless pot of money to meet their every need.

At some point, there needs to be a reality check for the little kiddies as well as the uninformed chuckleheads in the citizenry of this country  — the money has run out.  The credit cards are maxed.   Time to cut the spending.

Sorry to burst anyone’s bubble – but Santa Claus is totally fictional.  Focusing on his perceived sins is amusing, but unnecessary.  On the other hand, the financial damage this proposed health care “reform” will cause in this country, is quite real — and yet some Americans refuse to wake up to the truth that the federal government doesn’t have the money to do what our Congress has promised us it would do.

a couple quick thoughts

Yes, the wins by Chris Christie and Bob McDonnell were important. I don’t think that the loss by Corzine in NJ was completely surprising. Even in New Jersey, at some point the voters had to say to themselves, “We’ve had enough of Jon Corzine, and his total lack of ability to be a competent governor.” Corzine’s loss can mostly be blamed on Corzine himself. But in this current climate, friendship with President Obama is not a very desirable quality either. Creigh Deeds recognized that, but distancing himself from the President didn’t help him much. He still lost. Before my Democrat friends pounce on the Obama statement, let me clarify a bit here – I’m not saying that the President doesn’t maintain a reasonable amount of popularity on a personal level, but his policies are becoming more and more unpopular. This is a factor, I believe, in some of these Republican wins this evening – that, and the uninspiring candidates the Dems were running with in this election.

Here’s what I think Republicans can take from tonight, regardless of the result of NY-23. It doesn’t mean that conservatives could win everywhere they run a candidate like Hoffman, although I would like to see the attempt. What this says to me is that the idea of abandoning conservatism to follow the moderates / independents wherever it is they are going is deeply flawed, and the national Republican Party needs to reconsider its strategy going forward. I understand why RNC Chairman Michael Steele thought he had to support the decision by the locals of Dede Scozzafava, even though I disagree with it. I also know that, in addition to being moderate / liberal in political ideology, she was also a very flawed candidate. If he was really concerned about letting the locals in NY-23 decide this race, then he should have kept RNC money out of it. This goes for the RNCC as well.

Newt, my man, you have lost so much more credibility with this endorsement. I’ve written you even further off than you were before this endorsement. Congratulations. You will never be President.

One last thing — we don’t need more consultants, focus groups, political hacks, or so-called experts who aren’t looking out for the best interests of the Republican Party and for conservatism specifically telling us what we really want or what we really need. The first thing we must do to fix the Republican Party is to fire all these false prophets and get back to basics.

That is all.

no sale

I agree with Congressman Joe Wilson.  The President has misrepresented what the Democrats are proposing to do with our health care.   Unfortunately, the rules of decorum prevent Republicans from saying what they think out loud unless it agrees with what President Obama has already said.   After all, we know how well the Democrats follow the rules they impose on the minority party when THEY are the minority party, don’t we?  While I much prefer Senator DeMint’s opposition strategy and admire his restraint during the President’s speech last night,  I can tell you that there are many of my fellow conservatives who were yelling at our TVs and radios – mostly similar sentiments to those of Joe Wilson.  This doesn’t make Wilson a Super-Patriot or the next “Republican revolutionary”.  It just makes him someone who temporarily forgot that he gave up the right to challenge the President of the United States during his speech on national TV when he got elected to Congress.  AND he apologized for it.   Get over the indignation and let’s move on to what we were talking about – health care.

As far as the question of illegal immigrants getting health care under the House bill, sure the language forbids it, but when there are no explicit enforcement requirements, what guarantee is there that this won’t eventually happen? It’s happening now in the border states, especially in California and Texas. So that’s a legitimate concern.

There was nothing game-changing about the President’s speech last night. We will continue to oppose the proposals currently on the table, because these aren’t serious attempts to address the costs and inefficiencies we have with our health care system right now.