The Left's Necessary Lie
The debates over Obamacare seem to be, like Ben Franklin's death and taxes, the only certainties in our lives. This has clearly been the case since Inauguration Day, 2009. Yes, President Obama called for an immediate "stimulus" of nearly $1 Trillion to prime the pump, to create shovel-ready jobs. We never heard that phrase shovel ready before Mr. Obama employed it. And, within the first two years after passage of the huge stimulus bill, the president himself acknowledged there was no such thing as shovel ready jobs.
But let's move on, as the Left is forever urging us. Let's not "re-litigate" the past.
You may have noticed that even when you are not meeting them in court, even when you are not having to sue them to defend your basic constitutional freedoms, the Left says you are trying to "re-litigate" the past every time you suggest that they might be held accountable for anything they said or did yesterday.
Here is something to talk about from today, right now. Noam Scheiber writes for the premier journal of the Left, The New Republic. In the current issue, Scheiber has penned "How Obamacare Actually Paves the Way Toward Single Payer."
It's a remarkable piece of journalism. Scheiber responds to the complaint of Michael Moore that Obamacare did not go far enough.
I happen to agree with Moore's basic sentiment...And yet I am much more sympathetic to Obamacare than Moore. He thinks it's awful. I consider it a deceptively sneaky way to get the health care system both of us really want.
Scheiber uses deceptively sneaky not as a conservative might use it. It's not pejorative. He uses the term as a compliment. He likes the fact that it is deceptive and sneaky. He approves of the lie.
So, we should not expect to see Mr. Scheiber upset about the president's false promise -- echoed by dozens of Mr. Obama's fellow liberals in Congress -- that "if you like your health insurance, you can keep it."
This, too, is doubtless part of the deceptively sneaky aspect of the federal takeover of health care that Mr. Scheiber and the Left want to see.
We can, of course, debate and differ on whether or not a single payer health system would be a good thing for America. Canada has a single payer system and Canada has not ceased to exist. (But you are not supposed to notice when Canadian premiers get sick, they make a bee-line for the Mayo Clinic in the U.S.A.)
We could have had that debate in 2008 or 2012. But that is not the debate we had.
Obamacare was the law they passed. That was the program they imposed on us. And now, this leading journalist of the Left lets the single payer cat out of the Obamacare bag.
President Obama is on record saying he would have preferred a single payer system. But only now, with this New Republic column, do we see this candid confession that deceit is the order of the day.
He, they, all of them wanted all along to force Americans into a single payer system, but they didn't have the votes -- in Congress, or in the nation -- to get what they wanted.
So they had to employ a deceptively sneaky ruse. They had to lie about our being able to keep our own insurance if we preferred it. They had to lie about where Obamacare might eventually lead.
This article by Noam Scheiber goes beyond any Republican talking points or any conservative critiques. It is candid, but candid about lies. And about the need to lie.
How can we react except to denounce it? It not just the measure we oppose, although oppose it we must. It is the deceptively sneaky way they went about imposing Obamacare on the nation that we must oppose. From the Cornhusker Kickback and the Louisiana Purchase, to the Christmas Eve sooty slide down the Senate chimney, to the absurd Supreme Court ruling that it must be a tax if it looks like a tax -- even if it failed to originate in the House of Representatives as the Constitution plainly commands; all of this we must oppose.
And we must oppose lying as a political practice. If we condone lying as Noam Scheiber condones it, our political life will end. We cannot expect to survive if the consent of the governed is fraudulently obtained. We may someday agree to adopt a single payer system. The British have accepted it. But in their defense (defence), the Socialists in Britain were honest and straightforward about what they wanted to achieve. They never deceived the British people at the polls about what they would do.
This move toward socialism by stealth will always de-legitimize the goals of the Left. Worse, it will de-legitimize government itself, even as it poisons the well of our political life.
Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison are Senior Fellows at the Family Research Council, in Washington, D.C.