March 23, 2010
Dissembling, Death, and Deficits
This past weekend marked more than the passage of ObamaCare by the U.S. House of Representatives. It confirmed the revealed truth of Democratic Party politics: Dissembling, Death, and Deficits.
Democrats enacted the first step towards nationalized health care, where $500 billion of Medicare cost savings are fiction but $400 billion of tax increases to finance new entitlements will be very real -- depriving both from reducing the national debt. Deliberately misstating and sidestepping the devastating financial consequences of this fraudulent takeaway-giveaway, the Democrats were happy to construct their own alternative reality rivaling the best, from Lewis Carroll to George Orwell.
At the same time, Democrats abandoned any pretense to the "life" portion of "choice" by intimidating, steamrolling, and exorcising all remaining anti-abortion sentiments within the Democratic Party.
What was the point of the protracted charade of Rep. Bart Stupak? Wasn't he supposed to be the most courageous leader of the Democratic Party'S so-called anti-abortion caucus? Perhaps he was an idealist no longer able to tolerate the stench of Democratic Party coercion, opting for Nancy Pelosi's brand of cologne rather than disinfect himself in the cleansing shower of moral principle as the hot water ran out. Or was he trapped, exhausted, and finally brought to his knees in the agonizing choice between having universal health care at all or banning abortion funding from federal health care spending?
Such a choice now seems far from agonizing. In fact, it seems like an illusion. Banning abortion from national health care when population control is the final solution has never been an objective when Democrats are in charge. An outrageous inference, you say? Not if we recall Speaker Pelosi's response in January 2009 to a question from George Stephanopoulos of ABC's "This Week" on why funding for Planned Parenthood, the nation's leading provider of abortions, was included in the Stimulus package:
Well, the family planning services reduce cost. They reduce cost. The states are in terrible fiscal budget crises now and part of what we do for children's health, education and some of those elements are to help the states meet their financial needs[.] ...One of those -- one of the initiatives you mentioned, the contraception, will reduce costs to the states and to the federal government[.]
While courage and principle seemingly were priceless when Stupak held the line in November last year, they have now been devalued to a mere trifle of a vapid executive order issued by an unrepentant president happy to be the champion of partial-birth abortion when he was a state senator in Illinois. How is it possible that Stupak, the heroic last and most stubborn impediment, submitted in fealty to the Democratic Party death panels that are as violent at the beginning of life as they are virulent at the end of life?
In a phone interview two weeks ago with Robert Costa of National Review Online, Stupak had this to say:
If Obamacare passes ... it could signal the end of any meaningful role for pro-life Democrats within their own party. It would be very, very hard for someone who is a right-to-life Democrat to run for office. ... I won't leave the party. I'm more comfortable here and still believe in a role within it for the right-to-life cause, but this bill will make being a pro-life Democrat much more difficult. They don't even want to debate this issue. We'll probably have to wait until the Republicans take back the majority to fix this.
No kidding. Is there such a thing as being nominally heroic? Is that a congenital twin to being nominally pro-life?
The Democratic U.S. Senate already played its hand in December by defeating the Ben Nelson/Orin Hatch/Bob Casey amendment that would have duplicated the Stupak-Pitts amendment -- now a distant memory -- in the House that restricted federal funds for abortion. In a 54-45 vote to table the amendment, thus killing it, Democrat senators Nelson, Casey, Byrd, Prior, Conrad, Dorgan, and Kaufman voted against tabling as a fig-leaf maneuver. Yet these same lukewarm, fleeting allies of abortion restrictions were all amongst the enthusiastic 60 votes to finally pass cloture on the main bill, where abortion limits are nowhere to be found.
In utopia, universal health care is a given. But in utopia, also givens are life, liberty, happiness, and the unlimited supply of private property to pay for all of it. Absent utopia, universal health care without the means to pay for it requires one segment of the population to sacrifice its right to life, its liberty, its happiness, or its private property to provide health care to somebody else. As Walter Williams, the economist from George Mason University, wrote recently,
True rights, such as those in our Constitution, or those considered to be natural or human rights, exist simultaneously among people. That means exercise of a right by one person does not diminish those held by another.
Dissembling requires that deficits be denied and that death be described as advancing life. Democrats have taken such dissembling to levels not seen since LBJ oversold Vietnam and Nixon's apologists tried to obscure Watergate. But the American voters are buying none of it this time. Expect the Democrats to taste defeat in large measure come this fall as their dissembling and moral deficit spending peaks.