Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Keep Obamacare Front and Center for 2010 (and beyond)

Andrew Busch makes a powerful case for Republicans to keep the health care reform legislation debate front and center in the coming election and beyond. 

Upon first reading the title of his essay, I thought I was probably going to have to disagree, even if only slightly.  It's not that I disagree with him about the implications of Obamacare or that I don't understand what a problem it will be for the country if fully implemented, but I did wonder how and why this single issue could or should be the focus of GOP efforts.  There are many important issues before voters and this one is getting tiresome . . . Aren't people weary of it, I wondered?  I wondered that because in some ways, I suppose I am weary of it . . . I'm weary of the endless talk of mandates and premiums and the tiresome ideological preening that sometimes accompanies it.  I'm tired of the constant spewing of the mind-numbing details buried within 2000 pages piece of legislation and commented upon by "experts" who claim to understand it (but, one often thinks, maybe don't).  I'm tired of so much talk that seems at once to miss the point and, also, to be able to find it long enough to shroud it in an impenetrable fog.  So I wondered not only how Obamacare could remain front and center but, also, why Busch thought thinks that it should.  Then I read these two paragraphs:

The place to start [understanding how and why the GOP should keep Obamacare front and center] is by understanding what it is that people do not like about Obamacare. The answer here can be reduced to two points: Americans do not like the substance-mandates, taxes, spending, regimentation of health care. And they do not like the process-the way the bill was rammed through in a purely partisan vote against the manifest preference of the nation by members of Congress who made unseemly deals and did not even really know what was in it.

Health care reform is potentially such a powerful issue because it not only featured these flaws but has come to symbolize them. It is now a metaphor for both bloated and grasping government and sleazy, irresponsible government.

Bingo!  Busch goes on further to say, "As a result, it [health care reform] can be brought into the conversation any time either (or both) of those themes are present in other issues."  That's it.  Democrats have successfully created their "meme" and though it may not be the meme they hoped to create, it will be the one that they are forced both to lie and to lie in . . .

That's a good taste of the thing, but you should read all of Busch's article and digest all of his good insights.

Categories > Elections

Discussions - 1 Comment

A brilliant essay, but this was the highlight for me!
“...they should begin firing once every week or two with a series of coordinated ads and media attacks that could go something like this: An NRCC ad shows Nancy Pelosi famously promising that once the bill is passed, we can find out what is in it. The ad then pinpoints the exemption of senior staff, the plight of Caterpillar, or the new deficit estimates. Then, when the issue has to do with provisions that were largely hidden from view,… the Republican challenger issues a press statement ... asking: "Congressman X, did you know about this? … This strategy puts the "yes" Democrats in an obvious bind. They can either admit to voting for bad policy knowingly, or admit to voting for bad policy without knowing what was in the bill. It ties together one thing that people hate about the bill—that it was a bad bill—with the other thing they hate about it—that the process was highly flawed. And who can doubt that there will be enough ammunition to last the Republicans until November??”

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To add to Andy Busch's anti-Obamacare focus (highlighted by Julie below) read Matt Spalding on the connection between the Declaration's denunciation of the old despotism of Britain and the bureaucracy's new despotism:  The greatest political revol... Read More

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