So there was President Obama giving his bazillionth speech on health care, droning yet again that "now is the hour when we must seize the moment," the same moment he's been seizing every day of the week for the past year, only this time his genius photo-op guys thought it would look good to have him surrounded by men in white coats.
Why is he doing this? Why let "health" "care" "reform" stagger on like the rotting husk in a low-grade creature feature who refuses to stay dead no matter how many stakes you pound through his chest?
Because it's worth it. Big time. I've been saying in this space for two years that the governmentalization of health care is the fastest way to a permanent left-of-center political culture.
It redefines the relationship between the citizen and the state in fundamental ways that make limited government all but impossible.
Compassionate statism: "We shut down the business that employed you, but now we'll give you bread. We feel your pain. Don't you love what we for you do on your behalf? We put your doctor out of business, but we'll take care of you. Now get to the back of the line."
Once the state swells to a certain size, the people available to fill the ever expanding number of government jobs will be statists — sometimes hard-core Marxist statists, sometimes social-engineering multiculti statists, sometimes fluffily "compassionate" statists, but always statists.
The short history of the postwar welfare state is that you don't need a president-for-life if you've got a bureaucracy-for-life: The people can elect "conservatives," as the Germans have done and the British are about to do, and the left is mostly relaxed about it because, in all but exceptional cases (Thatcher), they fulfill the same function in the system as the first-year boys at wintry English boarding schools who for tuppence-ha'penny or some such would agree to go and warm the seat in the unheated lavatories until the prefects strolled in and took their rightful place.
Republicans are good at keeping the seat warm. A big-time GOP consultant was on TV crowing that Republicans wanted the Dems to pass ObamaCare because it's so unpopular it will guarantee a GOP sweep in November.
Okay, then what? You'll roll it back — like you've rolled back all those other unsustainable entitlements premised on cobwebbed actuarial tables from 80 years ago?
Like you've undone the Department of Education and of Energy and all the other nickel 'n' dime novelties of even a universally reviled one-term loser like Jimmy Carter?
Andrew McCarthy concluded a shrewd analysis of the political realities thus:
"Health care is a loser for the Left only if the Right has the steel to undo it. The Left is banking on an absence of steel. Why is that a bad bet?"Read it all here:
Yuri Bezmenov points out that it only takes 15 years to fundamentally change a society by subverting education, which results in a generation of children who think according to how they're taught. If you make a generation beholden to government, they won't think any different.
Thomas Sowell talks about how he and his wife paid for their first child's birth in installments, how they lived without health care, and how before employers were nigh mandated to provide health insurance, people paid for doctors' visits with their own money. Thomas Sowell is of a considerably older generation.
Like social security, like unemployment, like any of these other progressive social programs that redistribute wealth and are viewed as "good" by the newer generations, all it takes is one generation raised on the handout to accept it and make it that much more difficult to discard.
The imposition of the chains will be such that people will forget what it's like to live without them. They'll wonder how they'll take care of themselves without government to tell them how to live. Progressives/leftists/statists seek it because it makes themselves valuable, and gives them power over the people.
Works on the personal scale, the local scale, and the national scale.
"Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the Government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character. . . . " - Grover Cleveland