Monday, April 29, 2013

Reports of the Obama Presidency's Death Are Exaggerated by Daren Jonescu

If, during the 2008 campaign, Obama and his mouthpieces had stood up and said, without reserve or qualification, that the primary intentions and ultimate achievements of his presidency would be: (a) taking America's definitive step off the cliff into the world of socialized medicine; (b) creating vast new regulatory bureaucracies to curtail what was left of the free market; (c) moving through back channels and white papers towards the nationalization of local police; (d) creating new national academic standards and pre-school programs designed to make non-public school options virtually impossible, setting the stage for an eventual outright ban on private child-rearing, as is the norm in Europe; (e) crashing the U.S. economy with runaway federal debt and unrestrained money-printing; (f) reorienting U.S. foreign policy towards open support of the Muslim Brotherhood, and of Islamist government in general; and (g) the humdrum-ization of every wacky campus leftist agenda item (transgender rights, pot party rights, Gaia rights, consequence-free promiscuity rights) -- if these intentions and others like them had been stated directly during the 2008 campaign, would Obama have been embraced as the redeemer, or dismissed as a well-dressed kook? 
And yet all of these agenda items are well on their way to completion, often with bipartisan support, as in the case of the Common Core curriculum, which has suckered many so-called conservatives with its (provisional) inclusion of a few good titles for literature class.  In fact, this example perfectly illustrates the problem with fantasizing that the demythologizing of Obama the Man will precipitate the undoing of Obama the Agenda.  The premise that government, at whatever level, ought to be in the business of educating children, and even that such education ought to be compulsory, is so deeply embedded in the contemporary consciousness that anyone who questions it is regarded as some kind of nut by a large swath of mankind, including most self-described conservatives.  (Trust me.)  And yet it was not so long ago that universal compulsory government schooling was just a twinkle in the eye of a few progressive power-mongers who understood that controlling what goes in gives one control over what comes out.
Having achieved such absolute cultural submission on the ownership of your soul, it was only a matter of time before the progressives moved to complete the transfer of ownership by claiming sole proprietorship of your body.  ObamaCare will face numerous challenges on its details and internal mechanisms in the coming years, but its underlying principle -- that government ought to have central decision-making authority in what is euphemistically called "healthcare," but is more properly named "self-preservation" -- will be far more difficult to challenge.  A large bureaucratic apparatus and funding mechanisms are already in place, new rules are already insinuating themselves into the economy, and a major constitutional hurdle to the law's practical implementation has already been cleared, thanks to a Republican-appointed Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. 
And this leads us to the Republican Party, which is daily bringing new meaning to the old parliamentary term, "the loyal opposition."  Immediately after Obama's re-election, Speaker Boehner conceded defeat on ObamaCare, declaring it "the law of the land."  Not that his declaration indicated a substantial change in the GOP's real position -- as opposed to base-baiting rhetoric -- on the subject.  After all, the GOP establishment took great pains to ensure that their presidential nominee would be the only candidate among the final eight primary contenders whose own position on government-run healthcare was so compromised that the entire party would be effectively muzzled during the presidential campaign regarding the single most winnable issue on the table. 

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