As a general rule, I like being right. Whether in politics, or when my child has “looked everywhere and it’s not there,” or whatever the occasion. It feels good to be right, especially when somebody else is insisting over and over that I am wrong.
The bestest part is when an opponent actually realizes his mistake. Awareness dawns; the arguments trail off . . . oh the joy of that moment.
What a shame I haven’t been able to enjoy being right about Obamacare. Vats of Schadenfreude are ready for drinking. It looks delicious, this German brew. Then the flood of painful stories on the internet, as well as first-hand accounts from friends, puts a damper on the mood.
Also, I can’t stop wondering. How will this play out? I’d love to assume that this train wreck will prove once and for all what a monumentally bad idea it is for the federal government to “fix” all societal woes.
“We’re talking belief here, and affiliation of the deepest sort. Self-image and self-worth. I can’t quite imagine most of the people I know turning their backs on liberalism—or even, really, on Obama, more than feeling just a mild diminution of admiration—as a result of this.”
A friend recently sent me an elated message about how her die-hard-liberal mom was now Officially Disillusioned with Obama. That’s practically a miracle itself, but here’s the thing. In order for the story to be a success, her mom can’t just be disillusioned with one politician. She has to understand the fact that federal bureaucracies shouldn’t control gigantic swathes of our economy.
If it were just a matter of website glitches, the media would be able to stay in protect-the-president mode. But “you can keep your plan” and “we will save you money” went straight into the toilet. And things will continue to worsen. So in order to preserve their beliefs, liberals will have to blame President Obama.
Bill Clinton has already demonstrated how to throw Obama under the bus. This editorial is another example. The editorial board is reduced to writing things like:
“With his presidency in grave peril, President Obama had little choice . . . .”
Watch out for those buses, Mr. President. And notice how the underlying belief in a totalitarian system remains unshaken:
“No doubt, this is an ugly chapter in the long march toward universal coverage. But a return to the bad old days would be worse.”
Ah ha. The long march toward universal coverage. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are in lockstep. The President says he isn’t, but previously said he was. Perhaps the President knew all along that Obamacare would fail, and in the midst of the crisis he intends to usher in a universal, single payer system.
If that is the case, it appears that implementation of the Obamacare failure is not going according to plan.
Hmm. What exactly was the plan? So far, it looks about as well-conceived as the underwear gnomes’ plan for profit:
- Phase One: Implement Obamacare
- Phase Two: ?
- Phase Three: Universal Coverage!
Poor planning notwithstanding, we may get there. After all, how much of a stretch is it to imagine the United States nationalizing the healthcare industry, when you consider these facts:
“We long ago socialized education. We’ve practically socialized home mortgages. We’re willing to socialize car manufacturing losses. We’ve accepted the socialization of big bank losses. We’re well on our way to socializing even groceries . . . .”
The Democrats assumed they didn’t have to plan that part. They thought the arguments against insurance companies and in favor of further government intervention would write themselves.
In my adult experience, I have never seen government malfeasance laid so bare. Charles Krauthammer is right; a tremendous opportunity exists.
We just have to keep hammering away at the lies (or broken promises, or misspoken words, or whatever works best for your audience). Most importantly, we have to hold all Obamacare advocates’ feet to the fire, not just the President’s.
If the pain of Obamacare is as big and bad as I think it will be, maybe we don’t have to convert the die-hard liberals, anyway. If there are still enough people out there snoozing their way past politics, maybe the pain will finally wake them up.
We can fill in Phase Two, and turn the plan into this:
- Phase One: Implement Obamacare
- Phase Two: Hold Obamacare Advocates Responsible for its Myriad Failures
- Phase Three: Repeal Obamacare and Implement Real Free Market Solutions!
Mayor Rahm Emanuel favors adding 75 per pack to Chicago’s cigarette taxes. On top of the federal, state, and county fees, this new tax, if enacted, will force Chicagoans to pay $7.42 in taxes–the highest in the nation.
As I am the Marathon Pundit, the only smoke you’ll see me exhale is the kind that came out of my lungs during today’s chilly morning run.
But increasing tobacco taxes effects everyone. Because when smoking taxes go up, a number of things happen. Some quit, which is a good thing, others smoke less, while others seek out their smokes in cheaper jurisdictions, such as Indiana. The southeast side of Chicago borders the Hoosier State.
Even worse, some retailers sell cigarettes without the local tax stamps–not only depriving jurisdictions of revenue, but making it more difficult for honest merchants to compete. For convenience store owners, tobacco sales account for 40 percent of their sales.
Chuck Goudie of ABC 7 Chicago remarked earlier this month about Cook County–where Chicago is and where I live–that black market cigarette profits “are as high as dealing drugs– all at taxpayers’ expense.”
At taxpayers’ expense? Yep. And because smoking tax revenues almost never match bureaucrats’ collection forecasts, eventually funds need to come from elsewhere. So other taxes eventually are hiked. As James Thurber titled one of his stores, “You could look it up.”
The Heartland Foundation quipped that Rahm’s proposed move is “a tax hike Al Capone could have loved.”
Scarface Al, arguably the most famous Chicagoan of the last century, knew a lot about smuggling and illegal markets.
If you remember the IRS scandal, where the IRS slow-walked unnumerable applications for non-profit tax status of conservative groups, you probably will see what is happening in Wisconsin as the next step. Last weekend, The Wall Street Journal featured a brief look at what is essentially legal persecution of virtually every group that helped Governor Scott Walker survive his recall election last year.
A bit of background is in order. Public unions had dominated local politics, especially school boards, for years. They had so much power at the school board level that the teachers’ union had their own health insurance company able to overcharge for health insurance. Further, even though the Milwaukee County public employees’ union did not ask for the pension enhancers that led Walker to run for and become Milwaukee County Executive back in 2002, they refused to give them up and were otherwise thorns in Walker’s side throughout his 8-plus years as County Executive.
Near the end of his run as County Executive, Walker asked the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office, headed by Democrat John Chisolm, to open a John Doe investigation into an appointee suspected of embezzeling funds intended for veterans. That morphed into a multi-year investigation of Walker’s county staff and donors to his 2010 gubernatorial campaign headed by assistant district attorney Bruce Landgraf. Despite the fact that the John Doe proceedings are supposed to be secret, many tidbits that were played by the media, and specifically the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, as well as the Democrat Party of Wisconsin as embarrassing to Walker leaked out during the run-up to his recall election in 2012. After plea-deal convictions of 6 low-level people including the original target, and rather questionable tactics against several people later exonerated, including jailing a businessman for contempt of court because he refused to break state law and turn over credit-card information, that John Doe investigation quietly ended shortly after Walker won his recall election.
Landgraf, apparently unsatisfied that the first John Doe investigation wouldn’t get Walker out of office, opened up a second John Doe targeting virtually every vocal group supporting Walker and the 11 Republican state senators who faced recall elections even before the 2012 set of elections. M.D. Kittle of Wisconsin Reporter has been doing yeoman’s work on the various aspects of this, and I will refer you to Wisconsin Reporter for the 13 pieces (so far) he has written.
In short, the groups are being targeted with subpoenas asking for all communications they made since 2011 and their donor lists, something that is, if memory serves, not a public document in Wisconsin. The fact that it is a John Doe investigation means that the targets are not to disclose that they are targets under penalty of law.
Three unnamed targets of the second John Doe have tried to get it stopped as an overly-broad overreach of prosecutorial power. A 3-judge panel on the Madison-based 4th District Court of Appeals shot that down yesterday. One of the judges was Joanne Kloppenberg, last seen failing to steal a Supreme Court seat from Justice David Prosser in 2011. A second was Brian Blanchard, architect of the Capitol caucus “scandal” in 2002 that attempted to make the Dane County branch of the DPW the dominant power in Wisconsin politics.
THE GOP & THE AMERICAN BLACK VOTER
Perhaps no other phenomenon has perplexed the Republican political establishment as to why it is that in every Presidential election of recent memory that upwards of 90% or more of the Black vote always seems to go the Democratic aspirant for President.
For years the Grand Old Party (GOP) has wondered what it must do to increase its share of minority voting participation. There was one time in which the (GOP) was the natural home of the Black American voter.
Perhaps a historical analysis would be helpful at this juncture. Let us take a brief look at American during the midst of the Civil War.
The year was 1863 and President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation that freed the blacks living in the Confederacy from perpetual bondage and servitude. Blacks – or Negroes as they were referred to back them were elated and proclaimed that Lincoln was mightily used by “Divine Providence” to set them free.
Over the next few years, the Republican controlled congress would pass landmark legislation which included sweeping changes to our national character:
- The Republican controlled 38th Congress that passed the 13th Amendment that abolished slavery; the Republican controlled Congress passed the14th Amendment that granted freedom to the former slaves; and the Republican Controlled 40th Congress passed the15th Amendment that conferred the voting franchise on Black Americans.
- Furthermore, from the end of the Reconstruction Era of 1877 to 1932, Black Americans identified the (GOP) as the party of Liberty, Political Freedom, and Economic Growth.
What happened to change this political paradigm within the Black American community where they left the Republican party and defected to at that time the party of the Ku Klux Klan and States Rights? This writer suggests that the Black vote was lost to the (GOP) due to three watershed Presidential elections – each sixteen years apart – from a 32 year period from 1932 through 1964 ( Presidential elections in 1932, 1948, and 1964).
1932 – America was in the midst of the “Great Depression.” The incumbent President was the Republican Herbert Hoover. Mr. Hoover was bewildered over why the economic downturn which began on Black Tuesday in 1929 was so persistent. President Hoover offered America a “balanced-budget” and Governor Franklin Roosevelt of New York offered America an unbridled optimism later to become known as his New Deal. For the first time in history, many Black Americans abandoned the party of Lincoln and cast their votes in large numbers for a Democrat for President.
President Roosevelt created his “ Black Brain Trust” which was an early harbinger of a “Black presence” in a Cabinet position and he signed an Executive Order 8802 in 1941 which banned discrimination in the Defense Industry. The order also established the Fair Employment Practices Commission to enforce this new policy.
1948 – The incumbent President was Harry Truman. Many political observers thought that the 33rd President of The United States was in over his head. Mr. Truman did not possess the natural charisma of Mr. Roosevelt. However, President Truman did several things that forever endeared him to Black Americans:
- 1947 – President Truman became the first sitting president to ever address the convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); this was an unprecedented step by an occupant of the Oval Office;
- 1948 – President Truman signed an Executive Order desegregating the nation’s military. Again, in Ancient Rome, one of the quickest way for a person outside of the empire to gain citizenship and credibility was by serving in Rome’s legendary army. President Truman knew that as Whites and Blacks served together in the military that the walls of Jim Crow segregation would eventually come tumbling down;
- 1948 – President Truman signed another Executive Order outlawing discrimination within the Federal Government
These bold moves by the 33rd President of the United States enabled him to gather 80% of the Black “Negro” Vote on Election Day in November of 1948.
1964 – Sixteen years later, President Lyndon B. Johnson was running for the office of the Presidency against Senator Barry M. Goldwater of Arizona. In the summer of 1964, President Johnson signed the historic Civil Rights Act which was one of the most sweeping pieces of “human rights” legislation passed anywhere by any government in history. The Civil Rights billed outlawed the remaining vestiges of “Jim Crow segregation” in both the North and the South and it prepared the way for Black Americans to fully participate in all aspects of American Political, Economic, and Social Life.
Unfortunately, while 80% of Republicans in both the Senate and the House voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Senator Goldwater opposed the bill on “Libertarian / Constitutional grounds.”
[This writer is a lifelong admirer of the late Senator and notes that Mr. Goldwater’s devotion to “Constitutional principles” was unassailable. However, while Senator Goldwater was “legally correct,” he was both “politically and morally” on the wrong side of this historic issue. In his native state of Arizona, Senator Goldwater worked tirelessly to desegregate the military and to integrate many of the institutions in his home state. Liberals often forget that Mr. Goldwater despised segregation, but his chief concern was the unwarranted accumulation of power by an overarching Federal Government (was he an early proponent of “Tea Party” convictions? Smile!).
On election night in 1964, President Johnson received 94% of the Black vote and the final nail in the coffin took place – Black American voters now solidly identified with the “Democratic party.”
If the GOP is to make inroads into both the Black and Latino constituencies, then there must be a carefully laid out and concerted long-term strategy – similar to the one carried out by the Democrats from 1932 through 1964 – that enables the GOP to stay true to its beliefs in “limited government,” but at the same time expressing to politically displaced minorities that the GOP – to quote former President Ronald Reagan – is a “big tent” that welcomes ALL PEOPLE who subscribe to the vision of our founding fathers in Free enterprise, Religious Liberty and Limited Government.
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