Archive for January, 2011

4
Jan

The Great Obamacare Waiver Vote

   Posted by: Robert    in Politics

The news has been getting around this week that the Republican controlled House of Representatives is planning to introduce a bill to repeal Obamacare.  Getting rid of Obama’s health care regime is, of course, one of the main issues on which conservatives campaigned this past year and is, quite appropriately, a top issue for incoming Republicans.  I hope that the bill attracts every Republican and as many Democrats as possible.  That said, I don’t believe the repeal bill should have been introduced.

Current circumstances in government — which the liberal media won’t let us forget — are that Democrats control the Senate and the White House.  Even if the vote in the House of Representatives is unanimous, the Senate can still simply vote down the legislation or fail to vote on it at all, and President Obama is sure to veto anything that somehow manages to get as far as his desk.  Republicans haven’t got enough power to overturn a veto in either the House or the Senate.  Put it all together, and the chance that any Obamacare repeal actually happen is effectively zero.

So, why introduce the bill now?

Political cover:  Voting for the repeal right now gives legislators an opportunity to bolster their conservative credentials without actually doing anything.  This bill is excellent for liberal Republicans (and moderate Democrats) who need to bolster their conservative credentials but don’t want to risk actually pulling the law to the right.

For conservatives, however, it’s results that matter, and this bill at this time promises none.

When the only possible benefit is to the voting record of moderate leftists, I can’t help but feel like the American people are being set up.  Come next election, I’m sure we’ll see politicians who voted repeatedly to expand government power and further soak the tax paying public in red ink will be on the airwaves patting themselves on the back for having taken a stand with their vote against Obamacare.  They will do what they can to become indistinguishable from the true conservatives, and this vote will loom large in the picture they’ll paint.

And then, what happens two years from now?  “We tried to repeal Obamacare once, but it went nowhere.  Oh well.  Sorry.”  If they say anything at all.

With no chance of actual success, the upcoming vote on repealing Obamacare is nothing more than symbolic.  It looks good, and is sure to please the conservative electorate who came out in November hoping for just such a repeal, but the only people who benefit are leftists.   The goal for now, which I think the people understand, should be to defund Obamacare immediately and save the repeal until the voters can create a true conservative majority 2012.

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3
Jan

America: A Conservative Story

   Posted by: Robert    in Philosophy

Over the holiday weekend, I had the opportunity to watch America: The Story of Us.  In watching the series, I couldn’t help but be struck by the story it told about the history of America.  It’s been many months now since I read an article discussing the power of narrative in politics.  The article pointed out that how you tell history is important, and opined that the left has the more compelling tale.  In truth, conservatives have barely told any story at all, even though it is clear what our story should be.  America: The Story of Us is a good first step toward a conservative history of America.

America: The Story of Us begins all the way back in the pioneer days of American colonization.  The story begins with the first permanent colonies and the struggles faced by America’s very first generation of immigrants.  The story is, naturally, a story of success.  Interestingly, it’s the story of how one man’s fateful choice to bring tobacco to the colonies created America’s first thriving economy.  It’s a theme that would be repeated time and again.

Moving forward through history, The Story of Us would return time and again to how triumphs of ingenuity, risk-taking, sacrifice, and individual strength would drive the America forward to the modern age.  The series would hit all of the highlights of American history including colonization, the Revolutionary War, the struggles with slavery culminating in the Civil War, western expansion and the railroad, the industrial revolution, the Great Depression and World War II, our struggle with civil rights, and the dawn of the Internet.  Each segment would tell the story of the people who most changed America.

The focus on people is the great success of The Story of Us.  At every step along the way, the nation has faced serious challenges unprecedented in scope or scale.  Each struggle was overcome by a person or people who had the courage to go all-in on a solution, trusting themselves to succeed.  What’s more, it was often people from unexpected walks of life — people like slave-turned-liberator Harriet Tubman — who would have the greatest impact of all.

Personal sacrifice, rugged individualism, and a commitment to doing the best that you can with the hand you’re dealt are the bedrock characteristics of American conservatism.  America: The Story of Us shows us how those same characteristics are the bedrock of the nation.

With all that said, it is with great sadness that I can’t recommend watching America: The Story of Us.  Despite the brilliance of their narrative, The History Channel’s execution is awful.  The show, it seems, was produced on about half the budget it should have had; and while it was neat to see how they were able to reuse their graphics the first few times, it more than grew old by the last two episodes which barely had any new content at all.

The narrative, however, is timeless and powerful; so strong that it echoes despite the production failures.  We live not to subsist, but to accomplish great things for ourselves and our fellow Americans.  Courage and character run deep in our blood, brought here by every person to set foot on our shores and call this nation their home.  Time and again, we answer the call to do the extraordinary.  In peace and in war, we fight to win.

And this before all: We fight for freedom.