Skip to comments.Will Obamacare Be the Death of Liberalism?
Posted on 11/22/2013 7:47:20 AM PST by Kaslin
By 1968, Walter Lippmann, the dean of liberal columnists, had concluded that liberalism had reached the end of its tether.
In that liberal epoch, the 1960s, the Democratic Party had marched us into an endless war that was tearing America apart.
Lyndon Johnson's Great Society had produced four "long, hot summers" of racial riots and a national crime rate that had doubled in a decade. The young were alienated, the campuses aflame.
Lippmann endorsed Richard Nixon.
For forty years, no unabashed liberal would be elected president.
Jimmy Carter won one term by presenting himself as a born-again Christian from Georgia, a peanut farmer, Naval Academy graduate and nuclear engineer. Bill Clinton ran as a centrist.
So toxic had the term "liberal" become that liberals dropped it and had themselves rebaptized as "progressives."
Barack Obama, however, ran unapologetically as a man of the left. An opponent of the Iraq war, he had compiled a voting record to the left of Bernie Sanders, the socialist senator from Vermont.
And Obama proudly placed his signature achievement, Obamacare, right alongside, and in the tradition of, liberal giants FDR and LBJ.
This is the new progressivism of the 21st century, Obama was saying, and I the transformational figure who will usher in the post-Reagan era. Where Clinton failed, I will succeed.
But now that Obamacare is coming to be perceived as a political catastrophe, not only does it threaten Obama's place in history, it could invalidate, indeed, eviscerate the defining idea of the Democratic Party itself.
For Democrats are the Party of Government. They believe that government is more nobly motivated than a private sector that runs on self-interest and the profit motive, and that government can achieve goals private enterprise could never accomplish.
To liberals, government is us, the personification of the nation.
Social Security, Medicare, Medicare and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 are monuments to this belief. So, too, are the world wars fought and won under liberal presidents Woodrow Wilson and FDR.
It was 1968, the Tet Offensive, the assassinations, the urban riots, the campus anarchy, the smash-up of the Democratic Party in the streets of Chicago that caused the national recoil from liberalism that lasted for forty years.
Now consider what the rollout of Obamacare is doing, not only to this president and his administration, but also to the idea that government has the solution to America's problems.
Though they had as long as World War II to get it done, Obama's crowd could not even produce a working website. Now we learn the White House was alerted to the website problems in March but plunged ahead.
Obama's reputation for competence has been shredded, and, so, too, has his reputation for truthfulness.
With millions losing their health insurance because of Obamacare mandates, we learn that Obama and his team knew this was inevitable, even as they reassured us, "If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan. Period."
The brutal truth: Our president got his legacy program passed by deceiving the American people in a giant swindle.
Not only have millions lost their health care plans, tens of millions more may lose theirs at year's end when they learn that their employer's health care plans also do not meet Obamacare mandates.
Hillarycare cost the Democrats the House in 1994. Obamacare, the love child of Hillarycare, could cost Democrats the Senate in 2014.
But what makes this a disaster not just for a party but a philosophy is that Obamacare is liberalism incarnate. It is premised on the idea that progressives, starting from scratch, can redesign a health care system, 16 percent of the economy, and make it more fair, more just and more efficient for us all.
Obamacare was an act of hubris by an administration of talking heads most of whom never ran anything in their lives. And what we are witnessing is the antithesis of what we were promised.
So confident were they in the wonks that wrote the bill that Nancy Pelosi could say, "We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it."
Seven weeks in, the website is not fixed. Millions have lost their health care plans. Quality hospitals are being cut out of the program as too costly. Individuals are being offered plans inferior to what they had in terms of benefits, but with far more costly premiums.
The crisis for Obama, his party, and his philosophy is that this is not only a nightly national story; it is a daily story in every state. And the anecdotes of debacles have been piling up, one upon another, for seven weeks. They do not cease, and there is no end in sight.
Nothing, it appears, will interrupt the litany of personal woes before Democrats, in panic, cut themselves loose of Obamacare and try to swim away from the Lusitania.
It will likely be a long time before another Democratic president dares again another such Great Leap Forward.
One can only hope... maybe the pain will be wide enough and deep enough for even the dimmest of dimbulbs to understand.
I think Pat is a little too optimistic here. In the late sixties, anarchist radicals were on the fringes of the Demonicrat Party, not in charge as they are today.
The pendulum has to swing all the way to totalitarian Marxism now.
There is too much momentum to stop it.
There is a continuum from anarchy to total state control, and the inertia is always toward total state control.
We have long since passed the point of no return.
Wishful thinking. Liberalism is way too appealing to an ever growing greedy and Godless society.
NO. The free-sh*t brigade will be with us for generations, probably forever.
“Though you grind a fool in a mortar, grinding him like grain with a pestle, you will not remove his folly from him.”
I have no faith in Americans. If the pain isn’t constant, if the media drumbeat isn’t ever present, Americans will crawl back into their smart phone zone of oblivion.
Liberalism will never die. It’s relentless, and virulent.
Obamacare is a blip. The media will circle the wagons, and by election time, the Democrats will take some losses, maybe, but not a big deal. I suspect they’ll keep the Senate.
Yes, Americans are THAT stupid.
This is delusion. You have a largely compliant media mixed with the left’s virtual control of every government institution on the federal level. Combine that with the education system in virtual control by the left for generations, cranking out true believers by the thousands year after year.
The right has to do some fast educating. That has been our downfall. Reagan was the last national leader to even attempt this.
No, liberalism is ingrained in Western society because of Whitey’s unfounded guilt complex.
But Obamacare will be the death, unemployment, bankruptcy and other miseries of many American citizens.
Educating is the answer.
How to do it with the media in full blockade mode and with free speech as revered as the constitution, I don’t know.
But Pat is right, in the sense that the money WILL run out, and the truth is that Obama spent most of it.
And that’s considering printing out of control. There’s so much that can be done before enemies of the state are able to move in.
End the public schools monopoly. This would change the world for the better practically overnight.
The whole principle of self-reliance that is the bedrock of this country has been virtually destroyed. The left feeds on it.
Until this is reversed, we are in deep trouble.
The RATS are betting that they will sign up enough people for free insurance that they will overcome the Middle class loosing theirs or paying more. It is a numbers game and that’s why they have a voter registration drive running in the same system.
I have no guilt complex.
I find conservatives to be consistent in their no white guilt - ness.
They continue to be amazed, as well as not susceptible to, the idea that a guy can get away with all of this defiance, including getting into the white house on such a record, just by the color of his skin.
I think it’s the commonsense nature of conservatives.
I’d say self reliance is where the focus should be.
Not being a constitutional scholar, I’d say right off, self reliance what our foundation is based on.
Sorry - I won’t even read the article. The takers don’t care about the intricacies of the failure of ObamaCare, they just want their free stuff. And when the left trots out single-payer it will be fully embraced.
Without a massive shift away from the “looter mentality” now espoused by the majority, we as a nation are in a death spiral.
Sorry for unloading my pessimism on you...
Because of the cost of obomacare (the straw that broke the camels back), our economy has until the fall of 2015 (Sept., Oct.) if this isn't reversed.
All hell is going to break loose when those EBT cards stop working. Those people will no longer have politicians to steal for them, so they'll start stealing for themselves. (That's why it's very, very important the American people protect their Constitutional right of self defense.)
See, I agree with Pat. But with a BIG IF.
IF Obamacare brings about a victory for conservatives in the midterms and we control the house and sentate and IF Ted Cruz (or someone equal to him) takes the WH in ‘16, then yeah maybe. Maybe conservatives can control Congress and the White House. And soon we can replace the useless libs in the Supreme Court. And d-bags like Hillary, Reid, Pelosi and those suckers will be impotent.
The failure of FUBOCare can be the turning point. The proverbial straw. I hope so.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.