I really have no intention of talking about the health care fiasco in any real detail. It’s a bad idea, its going to cause huge problems, and in the end it’ll be a ‘cure’ that was worse than the ailment. That’s pretty much as far as Im going to go with that. Its being beaten to death in other blogs, and I’m just not interested in flogging a horse that’s already left the station.
However, what I am going to go on about isn’t the health care bill per se but rather how it was campaigned and what that campaign means to us. (And by ‘us’ I mean me and the missus but also those who share some of the same values and ideas as we do.)
I have no doubt, none whatsoever, that the recent ‘success’ of health care legislation will embolden Democrats and others into attempting to pass legislation that was previously ‘unpassable’. They (the Democrats) will regard their ‘success’ with health care as proof that even the most contentious and politically-charged legislation can be brought to pass if they adopt a scorched earth policy, circle their wagons, shoot the wounded, and twist enough arms. For me, I think this portends a new campaign in regards to gun control.
The Obama administration has not made it a secret that the assault weapons ban should be reinstated (with no sunset clause, Im sure) and that that darn ‘gunshow loophole’ needs to be closed. But Democrats were dodging, ducking and avoiding the issue like Bill Clinton at a NOW fundraiser and for that time we were ‘safe’. Tip O’Neil famously described Social Secuirty as the ‘third rail’ of politics – you touch it, you die. For the last few years gun control has been that third rail and though it wasn’t enough to outright kill a political career it certainly still had enough juice to jolt the hell out of it…maybe fatally, maybe not. But, just the same, no one wanted to touch it and find out if their rubber soled shoes were working.
But, the paradigm has changed. We’ve seen that even on a bill so distasteful the Democrats couldn’t even get all their own people on board with it there was enough will, determination and political suicidal fanaticism to spend every bit of political capital to get it passed. In the end, after all the incredible contortions, bribes, threats, procedural sleight-of-hand, name-calling, party-changing, pork distribution, kickbacks and bare knuckle brawling…..they won.
Imagine how that must have seemed to those involved. They must have gone home that night and, after climbing into their coffins to avoid the dawn, had the sudden realization that if they could pass this bloated injustice they could, utilizing the same schemes, pass anything. What a heady moment that must have been…like suddenly discovering how to make fire by rubbing two sticks together over a mound of unspent bailout funds. If they could rally the troops, muster enough backbone and disregard the cost they could pass whatever they wanted. Gun control? Global warming? Estate taxes? Alien amnesty? The sky’s the limit.
At the moment, I think the only thing holding these weasels in check is that theyre waiting to see the casualty list from this last battle…even weasels have a survival instinct. I guarantee you that right now Democrat strategists are working on ways to mitigate any fallout that may taint re-election chances. You’re going to see some awesomely impressive propaganda as November approaches. When November rolls around there will be intense scrutiny at the election results. They’ll want to see if people did, in fact, ‘remember in November’ and that more than anything else will affect their future plans to use these tactics again. However, once the election season is over, and if they retain their strength and numbers, the Democrats will have no reason to not employ the same tactics for whatever their noble cause du jour is. In fact, if anything, they’ll be more eager since they’ll have an entire two years for the public to quiet down before the next election…not the politically dangerous brief span of now until November.
I forget who it was during the American revolution who, after winning a battle at a tremendous and bloody cost, said that any more such victories would cost them the war. I very much like to think this is the victory that will prove so expensive it costs them the war. Unfortunately, people have short memories in the time it takes for elections to roll around again. It’ll be up to the angered citizens to not lose that anger and sense of outrage, perhaps even nurture it and remind others whose outrage has flagged, until the elections in November. I dislike predicting the future but I would hazard a guess that this years elections will have a fairly strong turnout. I think the political dormancy of the average voter has come to an end and we’re going to see, for who knows how long, a more politically charged climate than we have seen in quite a while…on both sides. Partisanship seems to have sailed, leaving only partisans behind.