Okay, we’ve dusted ourselves off; let’s start over

[Updated at 12:03 p.m., P.S.T. daylight savings version]

The wailing and gnashing of teeth must now end.  It’s time to move forward.  In my previous post, I gave San Francisco Bay Area residents information about the upcoming April 15 Tea Party.  I’m also collecting posts from far and wide telling us that, contrary to the Democrats’ deep desires, this egg can be unscrambled.  We don’t have to collapse fainting on the couch as if it is all over, forever.  America’s commitment to freedom and individualism allowed her to recover from a the Civil War, Wilson’s Progressive policies, the Great Depression, and Carter.  We did it before and we can do it again.  With that in mind, and if you’re looking for inspiration and practical advice, read (and listen to) the following:

Kim Priestap, the Up North Mommy:  Today we fight.

John Hawkins, at Right Wing News:  The Hawkins Strategy: Repealing Obamacare By Cutting Off The Funds

William Jacobson, at Legal Insurrection:  Pep Talk (h/t Lulu)

William Kristol, at the Weekly Standard:  Special Editorial — Repeal

Bill Whittle, at Pajamas Media:  Health Care — The sleeper has awakened

Bill Bennett, at the Corner:  We will show them in November what liberty means

Paul Ryan:

Send your links of inspiring words and practical suggestions, and I’ll update this during the day.

Melissa Clouthier on the fact that concerned citizens are speaking with their checkbooks (which, for better or worse, is one of the best ways to make ones voice heard)

And the Anchoress reminds us that anger is just fuel; it doesn’t actually do anything.  We need to be greater than just demonstrating the type of wild derangement that the Bush haters manufactured for so many years.

Doug Ross found someone who has seen it all before and warned against it a long time ago.  (H/t Sadie)

Not everyone is trying to find a silver lining.  Thomas Sowell and Mark Steyn both see Sunday’s vote as the beginning of the inevitable end.

Here’s a second helping from Kim Priestap, who’s appropriately ticked off by the fact that the party apparatchiks exempted themselves from this health care farce.

The topsy-turvey world of modern politics

As part of a longer rumination about the stability that the Cold War provided for our political system, James Taranto makes the following observations about yesterday’s House vote:

Why did it happen? Last November voters sent what seemed to us a pretty clear message by rejecting Democratic candidates for governor in New Jersey and Virginia, both states Obama carried a year earlier. It didn’t seem so clear to the Democrats in Washington, who were able to argue that in the one contested race for Congress, in upstate New York, a Democrat (assisted by a GOP circular firing squad) picked up a previously Republican seat. The House’s initial ObamaCare vote took place the following weekend.

But if November’s results left room for ambiguity, January’s did not. Scott Brown campaigned for a Senate seat in Massachusetts–Massachusetts!–by promising to be the 41st vote against ObamaCare. He won in a state that had not elected a Republican to the Senate since 1972. The voters sent a clear message: that the Democrats were going too far, jeopardizing their power.

Obama and Pelsoi, it now seems clear, took the opposite message: Our power is in jeopardy, so we’d better use it before it’s too late. A dispatch from the Associated Press’s Liz Sidoti illustrates the topsy-turvy results:

The initial blush of President Barack Obama’s health care triumph immediately gives way to a sober political reality–he must sell the landmark legislation to an angry and unpredictable electorate, still reeling from the recession.

Voters may not buy it.

Gee, ya think, Liz? Normally, politicians sell their programs to the public before enacting them into law. Representative democracy is premised on the consent of the governed, not the idea that it’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission.

The die is cast Open Thread

It’s a done deal, awaiting Obama’s signature.   I am truly too disheartened to write anything tonight.

Please use this open thread to share your thoughts, provide insight and inspiration, give practical advice, etc. I’ve already received several emails from conservative groups (the GOP, Republican politicians, etc.) urging fund raising.  (Just FYI, in less than 1 hour, the GOP has already raised more than $86,000 in its 40 hour fund-raising drive towards a $402,010 goal.)

In the fall, we were disgusted with Republicans, and some of us, after the election said that they didn’t deserve money.  I think that they’ve gone a long way to redeeming themselves with this fight.  They showed remarkable cohesion, intelligence, and savvy.  With a single issue burning before them, the Republicans proved that they could fight the good fight, even if they lost the first big battle. 

Since this same single issue will be what unites Republicans, conservatives, libertarians, and independents into the November election cycle, it is time for us to dig into our pockets and help out.  I know that I will.  Remember, the momentum is now, before we get resigned to a dismal, socialist status quo.

I’ll be back blogging sometime tomorrow, but for tonight I’m going to creep off and quietly mourn the end of the world as we know it.  In a day or two, I’ll be ready to come out swinging.

End of the world as we know it Open Thread

I indulged myself today by staying assiduously away from the computer.  If there was going to be a train crash, I didn’t want to see it happen.  What’s really irksome isn’t that Stupak is the usual Demo ho (pardon my language), but that he was willing to sell his soul for the political equivalent of Monopoly money.  Here’s Andrew MacCarthy on just how bad Stupak’s deal is:

But now Democrats are going to abide not a mere signing statement but an executive order that purports to have the effect of legislation — in fact, has the effect of nullifying legislation that Congress is simultaneously enacting?

The Susan B. Anthony List observation that EOs can be rescinded at the president’s whim is of course true. This particuar EO is also a nullity — presidents cannot enact laws, the Supreme Court has said they cannot impound funds that Congress allocates, and (as a friend points out) the line-item veto has been held unconstitutional, so they can’t use executive orders to strike provisions in a bill. So this anti-abortion EO is blatant chicanery: if the pro-lifers purport to be satisfied by it, they are participating in a transparent fraud and selling out the pro-life cause.

But even if all that weren’t true, how do we go from congressional Democrats claiming that signing statements were a shredding of the Constitution to congressional Democrats acquiescing in a claim that the president can enact or cancel out statutory law by diktat?

One begins to suspect that there’s little difference between this Bart and this Bart when it comes to either intelligence or decency.

Wondering whether Stupak will be a vertebrate or an invertebrate — and Open Thread

Stupak’s going to make his much awaited statement while I’m off working out.  So far, he’s had a spine and has distinguished himself from other Democrats by actually letting a principle guide him.  I suspect, though, that his 11:00 press conference will be a weasely explanation of why he’s caved completely on his pro-Life stance.  I hope time proves me wrong.

Victor Davis Hanson on the President’s and the Dem’s conduct with regard to the health care vote

Victor Davis Hanson sums everything up in one paragraph:

The president is pushing legislation that a clear majority of the people dislike, and whose details neither he nor his supporters can explain in simple language. Its ends-justify-the-means passage will require legislative gymnastics that border on the unconstitutional, and in Orwellian fashion are designed to reassure its sheepish supporters that they can appear not to be voting for the bill they vote for. And to achieve a House majority, Obama must offer an array of personal favors, political payoffs, federal stipends, and open threats, which, if done in the private sector, would be actionable acts of felonious bribery or racketeering.

Well, yes, there is all that….

UPDATE:  And a truly powerful Wall Street Journal editorial on the tremendous threat to American liberty if health care gets passed this Sunday.

Building government on the bodies of American workers

You’ve all heard by now about the 2300 “reconciliation” bill that the House won’t vote on but will simply deem passed, thereby, in a completely unconstitutional way, making the bill a law.  (Ahem.)

But did you know that Pelosi has been busy sticking in more than just student loan relief so that we can have fully government funded education?  The bill also adds in something called the PUBLIC HEALTH WORKFORCE CORPS.”

All I could think of after reading that announcement, given the talk of Death Panels and Obama’s known problems with the English language was :  “New Public Health Workforce Corpse.

I suspect that, if this non-bill becomes law, my interpretation will prove to be strikingly apt.

(Hat tip:  The Anchoress)

Beware the Ides of March– at least under a Democratic administration

Family commitments meant that I spent, perhaps, 5 minutes at my computer this weekend.  That wasn’t what I’d planned, but that was what I ended up with.  In today’s news cycle, of course, two days can be the equivalent of two decades.  Certainly, when I turned the computer on this morning and checked out the news, the headlines were grim:

The U.S. and England (the only two Western nations that significantly increased, rather than decreased, government spending during the recession) are failing.

Our great Leader, the one who was supp0sed to ingratiate us with the Muslim world, is the subject of protests . . . in the Muslim world.

The Obama administration is putting crude, thuggish pressure on Israel, America’s only true friend in the Middle East.  And I am very, very sad to report that this nastiness may be because the U.S. Military, acting through CENTCOM, which is linked to this blog, said that the Obama administration’s inability to control Israel is hurting America’s interests with Arab nations.  Invective, of course, is not the same as control or a game plan.  It’s tragic, though, that the weakest administration ever (and I do think Obama has easily overtaken Carter in that department) decides that, in lieu of getting responsible, it’s going to get vicious and fundamentally immoral.  Of course, that’s entirely consistent with Leftist “pragmatism,” which is always drawn to the bully coalition and which, historically, is antisemitic, to boot.

Pelosi pushes forward with a shell game aimed at putting 1/6 of the economy under government control and pretty much destroying medicine as we know it.  Although the Daily Caller writes that it’s possible that it won’t happen, I’m not optimistic because we’ve seen before that, once Pelosi goes into bribery/threat mode, Democrats fall like ninepins.  This is where you come in.  If you live in a district with a wavering Democrat, you must contact your representative.  People like me are useless.  Rep. Lynn Woolsey, my representative, has been a “head of the line” yes vote since day one.  People like me — a very unhappy Independent — are completely irrelevant to her.  You, however, may live in a district where your opinions actually counts.  If that’s the case DO SOMETHING! Call, and then call again, and call again.  And then, once you’ve had a nice hot cup of tea and rested a little, call again.

I think I need some chocolate.  Lots of chocolate.

In fact, though, after I finish with some actual work, I’ve had two posts which I’ve been trying to get finished for days now.  I’ve got them all lined up, but I haven’t had a serious minute within which to do something about them.

Wondering about the Blue Dogs’ pride *UPDATED*

Pride can make us do very stupid things.  Once we’ve committed to something (a job, a marriage, a principle, whatever), and once we’ve touted that commitment to the world as the most wonderful thing evah, it is extremely difficult to stand up to that same world and admit “I made a mistake.”

I’ve been thinking about this very human aversion to admitting major errors in judgment whenever I think of the Blue Dog Democrats.  I find it almost impossible to believe that the Blue Dog Dems aren’t perturbed by Obama’s radicalism and Pelosi’s insanity.  I believe that these men and women understand that the Obama/Reid/Pelosi triumvirate is advancing a political agenda that, while it may play beautifully on liberal White Papers, will destroy America’s economy.  While these Blue Dogs like liberalism, I don’t believe any really want to see America simultaneously remade and destroyed.

The question, then, is whether any of the Blue Dogs will have the courage to stand up and say “This isn’t right.  Back in November 2008, I thought it was, but the reality is playing out differently from what I imagined.  I’m going to accept that I erred, and place love of country ahead of ego-driven party loyalty.”  The alternative is to do what they’re doing now, which is to cower behind Democratic party loyalty, as if that’s some sort of moral pass for helping to be an engineer of America’s destruction.

Of course, if these people lack the courage to stand up and admit that things are not going as planned, but they still don’t want to buy into the insanity, they can always take Carol Perrachio’s advice (advice I also give my own children) and use the Senate Republicans as their shield:

When my daughter was a teenager, her friends would occasionally phone with an invitation  to a party or outing which she was reluctant to attend. I’d hear her say, “Let me ask my mom.” She’d cover the phone receiver and tell me about the invitation. I’d take one look at her face and ask, “Do you want to go?” She’d shake her head no. So I would give her some mom-cover. “Tell them I said no.”

My daughter would then tell her friend, “Sorry, my mom says I can’t go…yeah, you know how parents are.”

By the way, I don’t think Peracchio knew when she wrote the above that the Senate Republicans, all 41 of them (thank you Scott Brown and Massachusetts voters), had signed a letter assuring the House that Republicans will prevent the Senate from using Reconciliation to “fix” those clauses in the Senate bill that the House finds problematic.  The Blue Dogs can, with absolute certainty, state that they cannot vote for the Senate’s Obama Care Blue because the mean Republicans won’t let them fix it.  It’s not a noble way out, but it’s a way out.

UPDATE: Even as I was writing the above post, jj was writing an answer as a comment to another post, with both of us unloading our opinions simultaneously. Here’s jj weighing in on my post about things we can do to stop Obama Care:

You can’t do anything about Obamacrae, because they aren’t going to actually vote on it at all. The charming Louise Slaughter has come up with a way (it’s solid BS, of course, but there you go: democrats) “deeming” it passed, so there it’ll be – and no one will have to be held to account for a vote because there won’t be one.

But here’s an opportunity for everybody else to wake up. What would be called a “teachable moment.” The lesson to be learned is: There is no such thing as a “blue dog” democrat. There are no “sleeping dog” democrats, no “hound dog” democrats, “no “lap dog” democrats, and no “Siberian Malemute” democrats: there are only democrats. Under any (every) and all circumstances, they are democrats first, and they will vote democrat every single time, despite whatever line of crap they put out. When it comes down to it, they will fall into lockstep and vote democrat. Period!

It would be very nice if the republicans would learn that, and stop thinking they can work with these people, and stop allowing so much as a second’s complacency to creep in when dealing with these alleged people. Get over it: when democrats are in the room there are no rules (as this Slaughter deal ought to amply demonstrate); and they are democrats first, last, and always.

Dems may not have votes, but they’ve got constitutional disregard down to an art

Perhaps it really is true that Pelosi doesn’t have the votes for Obama Care.  After all, if she did, why would the Democrats be considering the “Slaughter Option” something that involves bypassing votes altogether:

The Slaughter Solution is a plan by Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), the Democratic chair of the powerful House Rules Committee and a key ally of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), to get the health care legislation through the House without an actual vote on the Senate-passed health care bill.  You see, Democratic leaders currently lack the votes needed to pass the Senate health care bill through the House.  Under Slaughter’s scheme, Democratic leaders will overcome this problem by simply “deeming” the Senate bill passed in the House – without an actual vote by members of the House.

An article in this morning’s edition of National Journal’s CongressDaily breaks the story, starting with the headline: “SLAUGHTER PREPS RULE TO AVOID DIRECT VOTE ON SENATE BILL.”  Excerpts:

House Rules Chairwoman Louise Slaughter is prepping to help usher the healthcare overhaul through the House and potentially avoid a direct vote on the Senate overhaul bill, the chairwoman said Tuesday.

Slaughter is weighing preparing a rule that would consider the Senate bill passed once the House approves a corrections bill that would make changes to the Senate version.

I mean, really, the whole concept of democracy is so out-dated. Tyranny is faster, easier and so much more efficient.

Friends, I feel tired.  Really.  Fatigue is my dominant emotion at this moment.

In the face of this overwhelming barrage of lies, doublespeak (“A bill can be bipartisan without bipartisan votes”), inanities (““But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it….”), and corruption (think Cornhusker kickbacks, union deals, etc.), it’s hard to keep ones energy burning bright.  This whole thing has felt like death by a thousand, not cuts, ’cause this is bigger than cuts, but death by a thousands assaults each of which, alone, isn’t quite fatal.

This doesn’t mean I’m giving up.  I’m just whining a bit.  Pardon me — or feel free to chime in.

Hat tip: Kim Priestap

Health care may well pass, and what will happen if it does

The American Thinker spells it out:

Richard Baehr, ace political watcher, thinks the odds are that Nancy Pelosi, through brute force, will get Obama Care through.  Once that happens, of course, it’s the law, and “reconciliation,” which is ostensibly meant to smooth away any lingering roughness, will die a’bornin’

Christopher Chantrill explains what government will look like once it passes — and that’s regardless of any efforts, successful or not, not repeal it:

There are a number of reasons why the outcome of Obamacare would be a lot less enjoyable than this rosy scenario.

First of all, in the period between passage and repeal, many damaging events will have taken place. Taxes will have gone up. Many employers will have terminated their health plans and accepted a tax that costs them less than their employee health plan. Seniors will have lost their Medicare Advantage. Doctors will have retired rather than deal with the hassle of Obamacare. Already the curtain will have rung up on a meaner, nastier America.

And we know today what that looks like. It looks like Greece, where the government is teetering on the edge of default and workers from a bloated public sector are rioting in the streets over the possibility of any reduction in their pay and benefits. It looks like Iceland, where the voters just voted by 93 percent to 1.5 percent against the government’s proposal to pay back losses suffered by British and Dutch depositors after its bank meltdown in 2008. And let’s not forget Argentina, which has lumbered from inflation to default and back again numerous times since it opted for the empty promises of Juan Perón and the lovely Evita back in 1946.

The squalor of this kind of government is dreadful. It is government that lurches from crisis to crisis, resorting to loans, IMF bailouts, and defaults on debt, followed by “restructurings” that deliver a 60- to 70-percent loss to bondholders. In the Argentine crisis of 1999-2002, the government blithely seized dollar deposits in personal checking accounts and replaced them with pesos worth about 25 percent as much.

Under government like that, you can’t be an independent soul. You have to work for the government, join a union, pay your dues to the local party boss. Otherwise, you will get run over. The glory of America is that most of the time, it has avoided this misery.

This is one of those cases where Obama and the Democrats break it, but we, the citizens, end up owning it.

My prediction, if the House Democrats swallow the reconciliation bait

I believe more and more strongly that reconciliation is a red herring, meant to induce the House to pass the Senate bill.  Once that’s done, this so called “reconciliation,” an alleged second bill that will smooth away the differences between the two chambers (especially the House’s demand that abortion, which is part of the Senate bill, be excluded from taxpayer funding), will vanish.  Instead, Obama will proclaim that Obama care is a done deal, with the outrageous, huge, convoluted, corruption-riddled Senate bill as the law, and let his Democratic House die in November.  End of story.