Thursday, August 29, 2013
A remarkable piece by W. James Antle III in the Daily Caller diagnoses what's
(been) going wrong with the GOP. For example, Antle considers the party's threat to defund ObamaCare:
There was no effort to abolish the Departments of Energy, Education, Commerce or Housing and Urban Development, [Former New Hampshire Senator Bob] Smith observed. No attempt to defund the Legal Services Corporation or the National Endowment for the Arts.Antle notes later that even if Republicans were sincere about defunding ObamaCare, the political process for doing so would make it very difficult, and that the attempt would almost certainly backfire. But the above illustrates by precedent and implicit principle the fundamental reason this will not occur: Republican politicians are not generally sincere about doing what they were elected to do, at least when it comes to not redistributing wealth.
Think of those last two budget items in the context of today's Obamacare defunding debate. The NEA and Legal Services Corporation are two tiny expenditures. Between the two of them, they don't cost Uncle Sam $1 billion a year. Among their direct beneficiaries are lawyers and people who soak crucifixes in jars of urine, not uninsured kids with cancer.
If Republicans actually meant it when they mouthed such campaign slogans as, "It's your money," they would at least have a spine when it came to the small programs mentioned above. And, although Antle doesn't spell it out, I suspect that many of them would be able to make a better case against ObamaCare than its onerous "public" expense or the fact that it ultimately won't really help the "uninsured kids with cancer" (when they even do that much). This is because they would understand that the theft Obama's scheme requires is immoral, and should be stopped.
P.S. I am not familiar with Antle's work and suspect from the passage I quoted that he might be a religious conservative. I'll state for clarity that I oppose any and all attempts by politicians, Republican or otherwise, to introduce religion into politics. That's one thing I wish the Republicans would stop running on. Religion, with its calls for self-sacrifice, is fundamentally incompatible with a system based on absolute respect for ownership and disposal of private property.