We live in interesting times – again…

Yesterday's vote on the health care reform bill was the result of political machinations, arm twisting and outright bribery on a scale we didn't expect when Barack Obama was elected to bring "new transparency and bipartisanship to government".

It was a beautifully coordinated series of actions that cut through the time-tested defenses of our Constitution and our long history as a well-intentioned Republic. Those who pulled it off consider it a victory, but it may mark a turning point that will have unexpected results.

I have to feel that somewhere in the Democratic Party, some of those in touch with their constituents are wondering if this has "awakened a sleeping giant" of grassroots rebellion against the excesses of government.

From my perspective as a conservative, but not politically active voter, the giant woke up some time ago but was getting its wits together as ordinary citizens kept meeting and exchanging views while most "mainstream" media figures kept their eyes averted and kept praising almost every move by the Obama Administration.

While media figures of uncertain gender applied racial and sexual epithets to the tea party attendees, the tea parties kept gaining adherents and pulled in potential leaders while remaining essentially conservative, anti-big government, and anti-incumbent. This last characteristic may bring about a major change in the makeup of our Congress and Senate over the next four years.

The thing that makes this more than a remote possibility is the historical fact that a splintered group can be united by an attack by an external force. Our present US government has divorced itself from us taxpayers by behavior as alien to ours as Marie Antoinette's was to French subjects in 1789.

The rumbling in the streets is not tumbrils this time, it is the angry voices of people who have woken up to the fact that they were not watching the shop and the people they elected were partying like there was no tomorrow.

If all goes well, that may be exactly what happens…we will know more in November.

Keep your eye on the Internet because that is where history is captured as it is being made.

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0 Responses to We live in interesting times – again…

  1. Perspective says:

    I have non-group medical coverage now. I pay high rates and have absolutely no faith that it will provide for me when it’s needed. I assume that both my taxes and insurance rates will be going up. I assume that my access to medical care will go down. (Some of the 32 million people who didn’t have coverage will be seeking non-emergency care more often) I assume a good number of doctors are fed up and will retire or enter boutique practices for the wealthy.

    It’s very difficult to know what’s coming. I read a lot, but still have little insight into the actual language of the bill and what will result. I suspect that most people in Congress who voted for the bill have not even read it.

    Lots will be uncovered in the coming weeks.

  2. You and I disagree mightily on most political issues, as far as I can see, including this one. So I won’t waste your time or that or your readers discussing why I think insuring 32 million people is a good thing.

    But as an objective observer of politics — and I mean that; politics as a phenomenon fascinates me, right or left — I am far less confident than you that the tea party movement has traction.

    Here’s why:

    1) Our two-party system is infamously skilled at co-opting (GOP absorbing Wallace after 68, GOP/Perot after 92) or marginalizing (Dixiecrats after 48) nascent 3rd parties. Any tea party “big issue” will be grabbed by one of the two parties (probably GOP).

    2) The tea party people are, as you say, “conservative, anti-big government, anti-incumbent.” But what are they for? What would they change? If they defeat every single incumbent in November, what then? If you replaced Fred Boucher what would you do?

    3) The tea party movement is incoherent. It has no policy, no leaders, no agreed goals. Individual tea party-ers have specific hobby horse issues, for sure, but either they are “big” issues already owned by the GOP (“lower taxes”) or so fringe (put the Confederate flag back on the SC Statehouse) as to be irrelevant.

    For me, that adds up to a footnote in political history. Why do you think it will be different?

  3. Margaret says:

    I am totally with you on this! Makes it harder to decide what to plan for in the future.

  4. mattbg says:

    It is kind of sad what is happening to your country, but it is the one country I have the most hope for out of all the Western countries. It is not as far gone as the UK, where reform is politically infeasible.

    Let’s hope you can find a way out!

  5. Can you comment on this development? Not being a business person, I get the gist of it but not the on-going ramifications:

    http://blog.heritage.org/2010/03/30/morning-bell-1-billion-att-headache-is-just-obamacares-first-side-effect/

    “In the closing days of the Congressional health care debate, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told the National Association of Counties: “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” Today marks the end of just the first week of life under Obamacare and Speaker Pelosi has been proven right: we are just now finding out what is in it. This past Friday, AT&T, the biggest U.S. telephone company, announced that it would take a $1 billion charge against earnings thanks to tax changes buried in the 2,300+ page bill. $1 billion. That is a full third of AT&T’s $3 billion earnings for the fourth quarter of 2009″…

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