Democrats have painted themselves into an ugly corner with their Health Care Reform Bill (HCR).
The Obama administration has managed to take what has been a standard Democratic vote-getting ploy -- promise government largesse to core constituencies and let the rest of the country pay for it -- and screw it up so badly that regardless of whether HCR passes or fails, Democrats will suffer heavy losses in the midterm election.
Problem is, it's not just Democrats in the corner; they've got the whole country held hostage with them.
Everything else in Washington is at a dead stop. Since late last summer, when details of The Bill began to leak, public support has declined and opposition sharply increased.
Consequently, the Obama administration moved all their troops to the Health Care eastern front. All other problems the nation faces have turned to weeds. The "official" unemployment rate hit 10% in November and has remained there. Iran is said to be months away from having a nuclear bomb. Diplomatic blunders have been committed with Great Britain, Israel, and South America. A would-be terrorist tackled by passengers while attempting to detonate an explosive device over Detroit was questioned by intelligence officers for fifty minutes, then whisked into the Miranda-ized world of the civilian court system. "Party crashers," in three separate incidents, got past security and attended White House functions.
The list goes on to include jihad lawyers hired into the Justice Department; the president's time-out to go to Europe to lobby in favor of bringing the 2016 Olympic Games to Chicago; the White House chief of staff twisting arms, naked, in the Congress-only shower; and a credible charge that a White House "bribe" was offered to a politician as inducement to get him to stay out of a U.S. Senate race. Just the other evening, President Obama, being interviewed by Bret Baier on Fox News, told America that we need to spend millions of dollars to clean up after the earthquake in Hawaii. What earthquake in Hawaii? And we're going to spend millions to fix it? Health Care aside, the POTUS clearly does not have his mind on his work.
Let's take a look at the corner Democrats have put us all in.
The president has staked his entire administration on getting his Health Care Reform Bill passed. If it fails, he fails. The United States will then be shown to have a hollow leader, and the whole world -- Vladimir Putin, Hu Jintao, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and every dictator and drug lord from here to Marrakech -- will know it. By postponing his trip to Asia, first for three days, then for three months, in order to twist arms and get HCR chiseled in stone, President Obama put his entire presidency on the line. He has no plan "B."
Meanwhile, the American people have gotten a good look at the administration's Chicago-style legislative techniques -- sausage-making at its ugliest. Wavering Democrats are being offered anything they want -- anything -- in exchange for their votes. But kick-backs and payoffs aside, when the roll is finally called, each congressman will have only a "yes" or "no" choice: this abomination of a health care bill, or leaving America without a president for three years. Some choice: heads, we lose; tails, we lose.
When independent-minded people away from the heat of Washington consider The Bill, the question then becomes "Can America get along without a president?" Will We the People be able to take care of ourselves while an empty suit keeps the seat warm in the Oval Office?
As anyone who has ever looked at a government program knows, if HCR is this junked-up at the start, then it will take no time after passage before it becomes the biggest bureaucratic mess ever inflicted upon a free people. We all -- or or at least most of us -- will rue the day. Never mind the lost jobs, tax increases, medical rationing; that's just the tip of the iceberg that we can see from a distance. This thing will be worse. America's medical system will become riddled with government inefficiencies, politically-correct tinkering, and endless corruption. A two-tiered medical system will emerge, each coexisting as separate worlds: one for well-connected elites, and one for everyone else. Chills will crawl up your neck the first time you hear that someone in this country had to "tip" a hospital staffer in order to make sure a loved one got clean bed sheets. If government-run health care is bad in Europe, it will be a disaster here in America, where that magnificently American concept, E Pluribus Unum, went out of fashion at about the time the Me Generation got its hands on the culture.
Democrats are holding the entire nation hostage while they struggle to pass the Health Care Reform Bill. They've wasted a full year on something that only 38% of the nation favors. Check the numbers. It is a dead thing. The Obama media may trumpet a triumph, but there will be little joy in passing it -- no band playing "Happy Days Are Here Again" in most neighborhoods.
There is only one way out of the corner: Open a window and jump. It is a long way to the bottom, and it will be a rough landing, but it will beat the alternative of leashing the American public to the dead hand of Big Government.
Democrats...vote "No" and jump. Leave the president and his acolytes in the corner. It is their mess; let them clean it up. Passing the Health Care Reform Bill will not get us out of the corner.
Jed Skillman photographed hundreds of political television commercials, first for one party, and then for the other, over a twenty-year span. He blogs at plumwoodroad.blogspot.com.