Saturday, September 21, 2013

All-American Blackmail

It has been a life-long dream of mine to be the director of the CIA.

Likewise, Fidel Castro has pledged to not shave his beard until the world-wide victory of socialism.

But Karl Marx is dead and Coca-Cola is alive.

It looks like the comandante will have to hit the earth with his facial hair intact.

What Fidel and I have learned from our days on this green earth is that not all dreams are meant to be.

And it would be great if someone could convey this message to the Tea-Party wing of the Republican party when it comes to repealing Obamacare this year.

In effect their position is that a government shutdown or a default on national debt are preferable to Americans getting subsidized healthcare.

Forget winning elections to overturn laws, time is of the essence here.

Republicans are both portraying Obamacare as a disaster in the making and yet fear that gullible Americans might get hooked on it.

Obamacare is like crack cocaine. So bad and yet sooo good. And Republicans want to end the party before the pipe hits the lips.

I can understand the conservative position, the mid-century Austrian economist Friedrich August von Hayek proposed a theory in his book, the Road to Serfdom, where social programs enacted by liberals lead to dependence on government which leads to a totalitarian regime.

This of course has never happened in the real world. All dictatorships whether left-wing or right-wing came to power as a result of a violent struggle, the one possible exception is Hitler's Germany where the Nazis did win a plurality of the votes in a democratic election but then they rapidly seized total power (ironically one of their central tenants was combating the spread of communism).

Basically, in the history of humanity there has never been a welfare state that slowly devolved into a dictatorship.

There was never a gradual gentle easing into a totalitarian state. No more that you can gently crack a head with a hammer.

Lenin's slogan in the early days of the Soviet Union was, "he who doesn't work, doesn't eat." Which strikes me as a bit removed from the sentiments of the bureaucrats in charge of implementing Obamacare or the grassroots liberals who have their back.

But like all theories floating about in political movements, the one proposed by Professor Hayek did not need reality as validation. It survived because it suits the world-view of its adherents. It creates and ideological link between innocent-seeming liberals and evil humanity-crushing dictatorships.

The tree-hugging hippy mom isn't just misguided she is a useful idiot moving America into an atheist, socialist superstate.

Today Republicans control exactly one-half of the three branches of government. They rule the House of Representatives (though Democratic candidates had more overall votes, the way the legislative districts are drawn gave a resounding victory to the GOP).

If repealing Obamacare was a truly All-American crusade we would not have a second term of the Obama presidency nor the Democratic controlled Senate.

Tea Party crowd revels in their love of democracy. But their modus operandi is basically undemocratic. They don't view themselves as being on-par with other political movements that represent other parts of American society.

The Americans who voted the other way don't have a seat at the table. After all, if they voted Democratic, are they Americans at all?

On the contrary, Tea Partiers are the true Americans fighting for real Americanism against the forces of darkness. They have no more compulsion to compromise with their opponents than Bolsheviks had in working with other parties after Lenin seized power. Both movements saw themselves as the sole holders of the truth, the quintessence of history was in their grasp.

And so it is possible that the whole of American society, 60% to 70% of which doesn't identify with the Tea Party movement could be held hostage to that movement's religious demand to repeal Obamacare to preserve Western Civilization.

If the government shuts down or - even worse- if it defaults on its debt, the Tea Party movement would be like a guy shouting, "this house is on fire! this house is on fire!" and when the smoke failed to materialize, sets the house on fire himself to prove that he was right.

To defund Obamacare conservatives in the House have declared thermonuclear war on American economy, I can only hope reality will call their bluff.

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