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Obamacare: The Hate Canít Be Cured
The New York Review of Books ^ | April 22, 2013 | Garry Wills

Posted on 04/24/2014 10:56:05 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

I fear that the president declared a premature victory for the Affordable Care Act when he said that its initial goals were met, it was time to move on to other matters, and the idea of repealing it is no longer feasible. He made the mistake of thinking that facts matter when a cult is involved. Obamacare is now, for many, haloed with hate, to be fought against with all one’s life. Retaining certitude about its essential evil is a matter of self-respect, honor for one’s allies in the cause, and loathing for one’s opponents. It is a religious commitment.

I am reminded of an exchange that took place between the historian Francis Russell and John Dos Passos. In 1920, two Italian anarchists—Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti—were accused of killing a security guard and an employee of a shoe factory during a payroll robbery to finance their political subversions. Their trial, which resulted in murder convictions for both, was manifestly unfair, and it caused an eruption of sympathy and protest on the left.

Celebrities around the world rushed to the two men’s defense. One of the leaders in this movement, who wrote extensively about the case, was the novelist Dos Passos. Nonetheless, the two men were executed in 1927.

But in the 1960s Francis Russell produced new ballistics tests and interviews to prove that one man, Sacco, had killed the two men at the shoe factory; the other, Vanzetti, was innocent. He tried to show this evidence to Dos Passos, who had given up his leftist ideas by that time. Dos Passos told Russell he could not even hear evidence that would unsettle his personal stake in the matter. He had invested too much of his youthful energy and self-esteem in the case to reopen it even for the slightest reconsideration. It would destroy his very identity, which had been tied up in that passionate commitment.

That is the way people cling with ardor to causes they have felt honor-bound to maintain. In the mid-term elections this fall, evidence will matter little to the opponents of Obamacare. Like Dos Passos, they will refuse to consider anything that goes against their devotion. Such people understandably think their own best self was given over to defeating the hated thing. It is not only a matter of self-respect but of commitment to others. Dos Passos had crusaded with some of his most treasured friends for Sacco and Vanzetti. Some truly despicable people had been on the other side, tainting it forever in his mind. The case was, moreover, symbolic of other commitments—to the right to a fair trial, to immigrant rights, to free speech—which he could not dislodge by removing one brick from the structure.

That kind of commitment looks all the nobler to those preserving it as they resist attacks. I presume that Obamacare will become just successful enough to endure after adjustments and repair; but that will not make it any less hated by the people who have spent years encouraging each other to inveigh against it in extreme exercises of vilification (death panels, socialism, destruction of the Constitution, etc.). We have to remember that Social Security remained hated long after its success made it undislodgeable. As a symbol of the New Deal, Republicans have tried to defeat it down through the decades. Paul Ryan is still at it. George W. Bush tried to use his re-election mandate to privatize it. Once such a cause is made sacred by sacrificing for it, it will remain a cult object forever.

The irrelevance of evidence in the face of sacred causes explains the dogged denial of global warming, the deep belief that the Obama Administration was responsible for the killing of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens in Benghazi and that Obama is not a legitimate American. To go back farther, it explains the claims that FDR arranged for the attack on Pearl Harbor and gave much of the world away to Stalin at Yalta (an idea Joe Scarborough is still clinging to). Repealing Obamacare will eventually go the way of repealing the New Deal. But the opposition will never fade entirely away—and it may well be strong enough in this year’s elections to determine the outcome. It is something people are willing to sacrifice for and feel noble about. Creeds are not built up out of facts. They are what make people reject all evidence that guns are more the cause of crime than the cure for it. The best preservative for unreason is to make a religion of it.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: democrats; obama; obamacare
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Got that?
1 posted on 04/24/2014 10:56:05 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Compared to the overall rant, the last sentence is utterly ironic.


2 posted on 04/24/2014 11:00:02 PM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Garry Wills

Sarah Palin, Beware: The Evangelical Intrusion Is Over

by Garry WillsNov 13, 2008 7:46 am EST

The religious forces that helped elect Bush have lost their grip on American politics.

The best thing for the Democrats will be for the Palin cultists to keep her hopes alive, beating a dead moose. Her stands—anti-evolution, anti-stem cell research, no abortion for rape or incest, humans palling around with dinosaurs—will drive the religious extremists back to the margins they came from.

3 posted on 04/24/2014 11:08:51 PM PDT by kcvl
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I have had my insurance cancelled by Obamacare. None of the political elites talking about it have suffered that loss or know the fear it causes. This author, like all of those saying what a great deal Obamacare is, can all go to hell. Yes, the hate is palpable. And it will only get worse. I will detest Obama and the Dems who forced this terrible problem upon me till I draw my last breath.


4 posted on 04/24/2014 11:11:27 PM PDT by Lawgvr1955 ( Sic Semper Tyrannis)
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To: Lawgvr1955

Harry Reid says you don’t exist. Did you know that?


5 posted on 04/24/2014 11:12:18 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2M for Cruz and/or Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Harry Reid, evil personified. I was talking to a liberal the other day who had been an Obama supporter. Obamacare kind of did her in. She was telling me her father, like me, had his policy cancelled and was forced onto the state exchange. He applied, heard nothing for 3 months. No card, no info, nothing. He did not seek any medical treatment during this time, because he’d heard nothing. The other day he finally got contacted. It was a bill showing that he owed $2,400 in premiums for the 3 months he had no card, etc. What a travesty Obamacare is.


6 posted on 04/24/2014 11:18:17 PM PDT by Lawgvr1955 ( Sic Semper Tyrannis)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Repealing Obamacare will eventually go the way of repealing the New Deal.

Time to take the Doofus off the dime before Janet Yellen makes it not worth the trouble.

7 posted on 04/24/2014 11:19:07 PM PDT by cynwoody
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

PArt of the ‘creed’ that Mr WIllis doesn’t get, is that I still refuse to buy something which goes against my religious beliefs. That creed was well established long before Obamacare. I’m not going to toss aside eternity to make some damned Liberal happy.


8 posted on 04/24/2014 11:21:21 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I swear eternal hatred to communism. Suck on that, Gary.


9 posted on 04/24/2014 11:25:35 PM PDT by Argus
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
That is the way people cling with ardor to causes they have felt honor-bound to maintain. In the mid-term elections this fall, evidence will matter little to the opponents of Obamacare.

This is exactly what liberals do. The evidence that socialism is a failure is prevalent - but it doesn't stop them from thinking they can do it better.

And the typical liberal stance - ignore discussing the issue and attack the other side with personal insults. Kinda like the playground.

We have to remember that Social Security remained hated long after its success made it undislodgeable.

You mean that 'successful' program that will be going backrupt shortly? Inspite of increasing the age of eligibility and just recently, removing the ability to defer collecting it. All these little bandaids won't do anything to make the SS ponzi scheme sustainable.
10 posted on 04/24/2014 11:29:43 PM PDT by yorkiemom
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Obamacare ping.


11 posted on 04/24/2014 11:40:19 PM PDT by gleeaikin
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

No doubt about it! I will always hate communism and totalitarianism.


12 posted on 04/24/2014 11:46:24 PM PDT by TigersEye (Stupid is a Progressive disease.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
So, if you don't like ObamaCare you're a racist bigoted hater.

No, you're finding out (or have found out) that:
1. You can't afford the premium and LESS is covered.
2. You can't keep your doctor.
3. Your medical care facility isn't able to cover you.
4. Doctors aren't taking new Medicare or Medicaid patients.
5. You're paying more in deductibles and it is expected to be paid up front.
6. What's not to like as the hit list goes on and on.

13 posted on 04/24/2014 11:48:35 PM PDT by MasterGunner01
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Oh please, we’ve only seen the tip of the Obamacare iceberg. There’s a reason why Obama postponed the employer part of the bill for two more years. The RATS are delusional if they think everything’s hunky dory. When 60-100 million Americans lose their employer healthcare there will be hell to pay.


14 posted on 04/24/2014 11:51:41 PM PDT by Hugin
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The irrelevance of evidence in the face of sacred causes explains the dogged denial of global warming. . . . .

What an absolute idiot!


15 posted on 04/24/2014 11:59:36 PM PDT by eddiespaghetti ((with the meatball eyes))
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To: Lawgvr1955

” I was talking to a liberal the other day who had been an Obama supporter. “

As you may know, I wrote Harry Reid’s only biography. Send your friend these links of mine and watch her turns sick:

http://www.fuuturnamics.com/reid.php
http://www.fuuturnamics.com/reid_brown.php


16 posted on 04/25/2014 12:01:00 AM PDT by DaxtonBrown (http://www.futurnamics.com/reid.php)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Poor little Miss Wills. She tries so hard to make us celebrate fascism; she even fantasizes that her scribbling will persuade others she is telling the truth.

Obamacare WILL be destroyed. That is a cold hard fact.


17 posted on 04/25/2014 12:49:32 AM PDT by SoFloFreeper
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I almost LOL’d at this line:

“Creeds are not built up out of facts.”

Really?

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
Amen.


18 posted on 04/25/2014 12:52:46 AM PDT by SoFloFreeper
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Isn’t this the guy who made a career out of hating John Wayne?


19 posted on 04/25/2014 12:57:10 AM PDT by Rastus
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The left has so desperately wanted to impose socialized medicine on Americans, they have embraced this convoluted mess of fascism, and they are clinging to it no matter how bad it gets. They can’t let go, for fear of losing their faith. The problem is that Americans can’t afford it, and Americans can’t afford what Obamacare doesn’t cover. It is like not being insured, but sacrificing financial well being to pay for it. Sure, some people benefit from the massive redistribution of wealth, but most people have been plundered beyond their means.

Obamacare should fail, and it will. The longer it is forced to remain in place, the worse its failure will be. Obama acolytes, like this pedantic author, can’t see the inevitable failure of this catastrophic policy. We can take away Obamacare when we pry it from his clinging fingers. He doesn’t care about the damage it is doing.


20 posted on 04/25/2014 12:59:22 AM PDT by pallis
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