When They’re Playing a Different Game
When people behave irrationally, there are fundamentally two possibilities: incompetence or calculation. I fear that Andy McCarthy may be right that we’re looking at the latter, in Washington:
I hear Republicans getting giddy over the fact that “reconciliation,” if it comes to that, is a huge political loser. That’s the wrong way to look at it. The Democratic leadership has already internalized the inevitablility of taking its political lumps. That makes reconciliation truly scary. Since the Dems know they will have to ram this monstrosity through, they figure it might as well be as monstrous as they can get wavering Democrats to go along with. Clipping the leadership’s statist ambitions in order to peel off a few Republicans is not going to work. I’m glad Republicans have held firm, but let’s not be under any illusions about what that means. In the Democrat leadership, we are not dealing with conventional politicians for whom the goal of being reelected is paramount and will rein in their radicalism. They want socialized medicine and all it entails about government control even more than they want to win elections. After all, if the party of government transforms the relationship between the citizen and the state, its power over our lives will be vast even in those cycles when it is not in the majority. This is about power, and there is more to power than winning elections, especially if you’ve calculated that your opposition does not have the gumption to dismantle your ballooning welfare state.
Actually, we’re looking at both calculation and incompetence. The Democrats are operating by ideological calculation, while the Republicans lack the competence to recognize the inevitable. They’ll take their victories, in November, and then attempt to moderate in order to pick up Democrat constituencies for the welfare/healthcare state. In the long term, it won’t work, and the statist Dems will have a huge head start as tea-party types find they have to build a political party from scratch in order to combat them.
Perhaps there’s still time to have hope that Republicans will start campaigning on repeal as soon as healthcare is rammed into the law… and then actually follow through when they’re elected.