After spending all day in the garage tinkering with a new engine for my old pickup yesterday I was beat. Hosed off, spent a couple of hours working on my now voluminous manifesto, and headed to my bunk early. I was awakened this morning to the sound of my dog, Ika, happily chewing on a rat she’d caught amongst the pizza boxes and fortified wine bottles piled around the back door. I thought I’d seen a pair of beady little eyes when I shuffled to the outhouse around three a.m. As I lay there staring at the Gadsden Flag tacked on the ceiling of my Unibomber-style shack an immense feeling of health and vitality settled upon me. As if a tremendous burden had been lifted. No aches, no pains, no more post nasal drip. Utter serenity.
Luckily Ika’s barking stirred me before I was completely overcome by the fumes from the barrel in the corner where I covered that Census worker in lime and potash. I meant to dump it this weekend, but with the rain on Saturday and freaking snow yesterday it just never happened. I figure Obama woke up pretty much the same way, except the guy in his barrel is a Secret Service agent he told Michelle was dropping butts around her organic garden. And that barrel’s not going anywhere as long as she’s sleeping on Posturepedic One.
On the plus side, if I throw my back out wheeling it to the curb in just four short years all my health care trials and tribulations will be over. Obama and Congress are just that good.
Let’s start by giving credit where credit is due. Through sheer force of personality and will Obama was able to muscle a health care bill through a filibuster-proof Democratic majority in the Senate and 70+ seat Democratic majority in the House without a single Republican vote. He (and the Democrats fer or agin the health care bill proper) now have their signature legislative accomplishment and fulfilled a lifelong dream of health-care-for-all. Certainly historic in scale. Historic in its partisan nature as well. Democrats own health care, for better or worse.
As I’ve said many times before, it didn’t have to be this way. Republicans are not opposed to reforming our health care system. It polls well in the abstract. But Obama had no reason to compromise and the fact he’s warming up his money pen for a Rose Garden ceremony vindicates that hypothesis. Why should he care if Dems get clobbered in the mid-terms? He succeeded where Clinton failed. Or hell, maybe he actually believes their monument to hubris will suddenly become well received between now and November.
I reckon we rubes will just have make our feelings known when the time comes. Don’t get mad, get even. If you’re mad, go volunteer for a campaign running against a local pol who voted for Obamacare. Get involved early. Make sure the small government candidates win their primaries first, then take on Obamacare. Where the hell are the Federalists when you need them?
The path to repeal will be a tough slog in the sense that killing even the most unpopular government program is virtually impossible. From a purely political standpoint – and assuming a Republican majority in the House – if they can maintain the same United Bundy Front and play disciplined hardball the stage can be set for repeal in 2012.
The House writes funding bills, right? First, explain to voters that the accounting gimmicks used to get an “acceptable” CBO “forecast” make Enron look like child’s play. Second, to prove just how dishonest the process was House Republicans should refuse to make any funding changes to Obamacare as it is written. Democrats wrote it, Obama signed it, let’s just see exactly what they have imposed upon the budget. Otherwise display a little bipartisanship, cooperate when necessary, and walk the walk on spending.
If Obamacare is the political loser we all think it is, and our best polling indicates, then why not let it soak in real good for a couple of years. When Obama goes on tv barking about Medicare cuts or higher taxes and higher premiums, God knows he would, gently remind the American people this is the man who said your premiums would go down, this is the man who said you wouldn’t pay one dime more in taxes if you make less than $250,000 a year, this is the man who said he wouldn’t cut Medicare, this is the man who signed the bill doing all those things.
It’s a winner if they can pull it off. Count me as pessimistic. Republicans don’t have the balls. They’ll crack, well we have to do it because blah blah blah but we’re not happy about it. Naturally, just as soon as Republicans have a big enough majority to overturn something like Obamacare they’d overreach on abortion and start a shitstorm to swing the pendulum the other way. It’s best not to think about it.
Small government as a single issue is doomed. Maybe Obamacare changes that, but the sheer number of ensconced ideologues in politics, bureaucracy, academia, and the media dwarfs the number of people willing to subject themselves to a run for office just to make the government smaller. I wish it wasn’t that way, but reality is what it is.
So enjoy the ride. We’re all playing with Monopoly money until the inevitable collapse of our economy and currency. Anyone who pays a monthly health insurance premium from here on out is a total sucker. Pay doctor visits cash (at a discount) out of pocket, if something big happens get a no-pre-existing-conditions-same-price-for-all policy, pay long enough to cover your last doctor visit, cancel, lather, rinse, repeat. It’s called gaming the system. When the IRS tries to fine you join a class action suit. If it’s good enough for Obama it’s good enough for me.
I’ve heard you get the government you deserve. So how did we get to the point we deserve what we’ve got?