The Politics of Repeal
lead editorial in the new issue of the Claremont Review of Books
appears today on Real Clear Politics. In it, Kesler takes up the question of what conservatives must do if some version of Obamacare does manage to pass through the Senate. Though not a foregone conclusion, it seems likely that something called "Health Care Reform" will be put into force with the most partisan majority ever to advance a major piece of social legislation. The notion that such a thing, once passed, must be accepted as the new reality is--as Kesler ably demonstrates--preposterous.
While it is a fair to point out that new entitlement legislation, once enacted, has proven near impossible to retract or even scale back, Kesler shows why the situation in this case may be very different. The first point has to do with the extreme partisan nature of the thing--which makes this move unprecedented. The second point has to do with the fact that "battles to reverse public policy considered unfair, unwise, and unconstitutional are a storied part of American history" and have often proved successful. Finally, our fiscal woes have forced even the most spend-thrift of Democrats to concede that there must be some show of an attempt to pay for these reforms. This means that there is likely to be a significant delay between the time of new taxing and the doling out of new benefits. This last piece of information ought to be especially heartening to conservatives and a cause for bolstering their courage to rise up against an already unpopular plan. It is not likely to become more popular as we spend more and get less . . .
1:16 PM / December 9, 2009