08 November 2009

Reason to mope and reason for hope

Last night, the House of Representatives pushed through the most fiscally irresponsible, freedom-infringing, legislative monstrosity in history. To compound matters, it was pushed through largely unread by members of Congress, completely unread by the public, and in the face of powerful public disapproval.

It was a reminder to any who needed one that this is a Republic, not a Democracy. For the two years between elections, members of the United States Congress can do as they please. Reportedly, that was more or less the message of President Obama's pitch to the Democratic Caucus on Saturday. Sadly, it is the nature of government programs that, no matter how monstrous, they never go away. I reject the rosy outlooks of those who say this is merely procedural, and the bill stands almost no chance of passage in the Senate, much less as a final bill. Let's be clear about this: every step closer is a step closer. Last night's vote was bad for America.

Yet there remains reason to hope that it can be stopped on a subsequent vote. Over at the Spectator, Philip Klein points out that 42 members voted both for the Stupak amendment, removing abortion funding from the bill, and for the bill's final passage. With pro-abortion Democrats already beginning to pledge a return of abortion funding, these are the democrats to watch. It is difficult to imagine that all would oppose a final version that included abortion, but the fact is, only three of them need to switch their votes to kill socialized medicine.

Speaker Pelosi and her minions deployed all their arm-twisting and deal-cutting tools and barely squeaked out passage despite a strong majority. Now, they can't afford to lose more than two of 42 abortion opponents and still win final passage.

I've warned before that I do not believe President Obama cares in the slightest what the electoral consequences of passing socialized medicine may be. He is a committed left-wing ideologue. He knows, as I already pointed out, that once socialized medicine is in place, it is here to stay. Yesterday, he got just enough people on board to push something through, and that's what he needed.

The forces of freedom need to view this battle the same way. There is no reason to compromise or offer alternatives. The only thing that matters is to kill this monstrosity. While I understand the reasoning behind supporting the Stupak amendment yesterday, that may, in the end, have helped passage of the bill. From this point forward, every conservative effort must be directed towards defeating any version of medical reform offered.

Sometimes you win by three touchdowns, sometimes you win on a blocked field goal. But either way, you win.

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