Mar 17, 2010

The Prize Is Now in Reach

Jack KinsellaBy Jack Kinsella
The Omega Letter

President Obama spent the day Monday in Ohio stumping for his health care reform bill despite overwhelming public opposition to the plan.

House Democrats know that voting in favor of the bill as it stands means being turned out of office come November. Yet at least 212 Democrats in the House of Representatives seem willing to take the risk. Why?

Well, if you are a true believer, it's a small price to pay.

Mark Steyn (a Canadian who fled Canada's universal health care system for the freedom of the US) offers this insight:

"Look at it from the Dems' point of view. You pass ObamaCare. You lose the 2010 election, which gives the GOP co-ownership of an awkward couple of years.

And you come back in 2012 to find your health care apparatus is still in place, a fetid behemoth of toxic pustules oozing all over the basement, and, simply through the natural processes of government, already bigger and more expensive and more bureaucratic than it was when you passed it two years earlier.

That's a huge prize, and well worth a midterm timeout."
It certainly is. One term is nothing compared to 100 years. That's how long the Progressive (Marxist) Left has been trying to impose a universal health care plan on America.

In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt's Progressive "Bull Moose" Party campaigned on universal health care, splitting the vote and handing the election to fellow Progressive Democrat Woodrow Wilson. Wilson's contributions to advancing the overall progressive agenda included the Federal Reserve, the progressive income tax and the League of Nations, (an organization the US Senate refused to allow the US to join.)

It wasn't until the Crash of 29 was over (and Republican Herbert Hoover got the blame) that FDR tried to revive universal health care as part of his overall 1932 campaign promise of a "New Deal."

FDR never really said what his "New Deal" was all about during the campaign, which probably got him elected. FDR ran a campaign long on the promise of hope and change but short of specific details.

When it got down to specifics in 1933, FDR's "New Deal" faced Senate opposition from within his own party, despite the fact FDR had large majorities in both Houses, (mirroring Obama's dilemma.)

The leader of the opposition was a conservative Democrat from Missouri, Bennett "Champ" Clark, who sponsored an amendment that would have allowed employers to opt out of Social Security.

The amendment enjoyed widespread support, passing in the Senate with over half the Democrats voting for it as well as all but three Republicans. The way FDR handled the Clark amendment was probably the inspiration for Pelosi's plan to get the House to "pass the Senate bill and then amend it later."

Roosevelt recognized that the Clark amendment would fatally undermine Social Security, but it at least got the camel's nose inside the tent. Now there was room for 'negotiation'.

Social Security was the Crown Jewel of Roosevelt's New Deal; universal health care was just one element. Eventually, the Senate traded off the Clark amendment and the Social Security Act passed the Senate, but without universal health care in 1935. But the effort was merely postponed thirty years. It was never off the table.

Ever wonder why Americans as a population are center-right - but virtually all of our public institutions are left of center, sometimes waaaay left of center? Because governments come and go. Bureaucracies are immune to voter discontent - but they are the true wheels of government. Control the bureaucratic agenda and you control the system, regardless of who temporarily holds the reins of power.

Roosevelt's "New Deal" created a system of bureaucracy that turned "civil servant" into the semantic equivalent of "civil master" - while making the individual citizen a virtual ward of the federal government.

Once federal officials had the power to hand out (and withhold) government entitlements, some of these newly-empowered bureaucrats found they LIKED the power.

Powerlust breeds bureaucracies; what good is power if you don't have subordinates? Bureaucracies tend to attract a certain type of mindset; bureaucrats are a breed unto themselves.

Bureaucracies are notoriously self-protective, which is why the first thing they do is inoculate themselves to ensure their continued survival. Therefore, it is practically impossible to fire a civil servant and impossible to fire a tenured civil servant.

The kind of job where you don't have to work, can't get fired, and have better pay and benefits than comparable jobs in the private sector tends to attract a certain kind of mindset as well.

Career civil servants are not all liberals. But their unions are. And their rank-and-file are represented by the unions.

FDR's New Deal created a permanent bureaucracy that perpetuates its existence and accumulates power by advancing the progressive liberal agenda that created it.

FDR was working from a blueprint that has been guiding the Left since Marx first introduced his impossible utopian vision of social equality.

That blueprint requires the imposition of universal health care for the structure to be complete.


FDR famously told a group of labor leaders in 1932 just after his election; "I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it."

Note all the great social causes of the 20th century; the labor movement, civil rights, the feminist movement, gay rights, immigration reform efforts, etc., all of them brought about by social clamor by those affected to some 'crisis' that demands legislative attention.

There is no corresponding social clamor for universal health care - indeed, nearly three in four Americans oppose it.

It wasn't any more popular when LBJ's "War on Poverty" tried to include universal health care. Rather than risk losing the war, the Left settled on winning a strategic battle.

The AFL-CIO created the National Council of Senior Citizens, made up of retired union members, to publicly campaign for Medicare. The organization soon expanded to include other retiree groups.

The AMA couldn't campaign against the elderly the way they fought FDR thirty years earlier, especially after the AFL-CIO marched 13,000 seniors down the boardwalk at the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City.

There was no grass-roots clamor behind it - it was the result of thirty years of liberal lobbying, but in July 1965 Medicare became part of the Social Security Act, thirty years after FDR used the Depression to push through Social Security.

The next effort was the famous Hillarycare of the early 1990s, but it was hard to invent a crisis when the whole world is working against you.

In 1992, the Soviet Union had just collapsed, the internet was just beginning to develop its economic potential, the peace dividend was burning a hole in Congress' pocket, and Hillarycare went the way of the National ID card. (Also coming soon).

Universal health care is a prize that has eluded them until now. Why is it so important? Because, as Steyn observed, it would fundamentally redefine the relationship between the government and the individual citizen.

Until now, government control has been limited to those the government has managed to make dependent on them on the unspoken understanding that the hand that grants entitlements can also take them away.

If the seniors balk, threaten Social Security or Medicare. If the poor balk, threaten welfare and other social programs. But that only covers a small segment of the population on any given issue.

Everybody gets sick. Everybody needs health care. That's why most sane people oppose handing it over to the government. And why the true believers in Congress are evidently ready to fall on their swords in order to seize it.

As I've observed in a number of previous briefs, the historical parallels with the 1930's are many.

We've got a whole slew of Hitlers-in-waiting, an Islamofascist movement that threatens our existence, an ineffective and corrupt UN and a population made complacent by a politically-correct leftist propaganda machine.

There are even uncanny parallels between the FDR agenda and the Obama agenda.

The 1930's gave us a handful of candidates for antichrist; Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin - but the time was not right.

There was no Israel, no "many" with whom to confirm a peace covenant, no Israeli borders to guarantee.

The West was still overwhelmingly Christian, the apostasy had not yet come to full bloom, and there was as yet none of the necessary global governing or financial institutions necessary.

Whether history does repeat itself, or whether it merely rhymes, it continues to track in the same direction as Bible prophecy.

Here is the point. We can already see the parallels and it doesn't take a genius to connect the dots and see where its all leading.
"And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh" (Luke 21:28).

Related Links
House leaders joust over use of parliamentary rule - AP
Democratic Rep. Kucinich backs US healthcare bill - Reuters
Obama to appear on Fox News, with healthcare reform down to the wire - Christian Science Monitor
Why we really need government health care - WorldNetDaily (Joseph Farah)
Critics Challenge Legitimacy of Plan to Avoid Direct Vote on Health Care - FOX News
America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It - Mark Steyn (Book)