Aug 01 2009
The nation is coming of age politically this year. It is shedding its naive ‘follow the experts’ mentality that had us a nation of drones listening with awe to the talking heads (media and pols) who saturated the air waves since the days of World War II. With control over the message the nation the political industrial complex – made up of politicians, their media lackeys, the media’s preferred list of expert opinion makers and the power brokers behind the scenes pulling all the strings – basically had the nation under a trance. They told us what to think and made gobs of money for themselves.
But now in the age of the internet, the 24 hour news cycle and a blogosphere that can bring to bear the largest number of sharp and experienced minds outside of DC (and probably on the planet given our cultural and technological edge over the rest of the world) we see that trance breaking. We see the nation not only waking up but finding its voice. And it is not happy with the Political Industrial Complex that has grown up inside the snobby, elite halls of DC and NY City and LA. I am a product of this rarified community, and I can see quite clearly that these people are attempting to batten down the hatches behind their gated communities, they are hoarding their ill gotten gains and trying to throw their opposition to the sharks anyway they can.
It is a nauseating but needed spectacle, not unlike lancing an infected wound.Â
The Political Industrial Complex has survived by pitting us against ourselves. They rail against the Military Industrial Complex – which provides a majority of our technological edge in the world markets. It rails against the Hollywood Industrial Complex – which has many times provided us vision, historicÂ perspectiveÂ and morale lessons. The Political Industrial Complex has railed against religion – which gives many the faith and energy to make it through hard times and heart breaking events. Â They go after educators, power companies, etc. They are professional whiners nagging everyone else doing the work of this great nation.
They are now railing against our health care system – which has saved lives and made life better for millions upon millions of people. All in a transparent effort to transform our nation into their idiotic vision of what it should be. No one gave the authority to implement their personal world views by hook or crook, but that is what they are doing. We have a snobby, elite, clueless and inexperienced group of know-it-alls running this nation from their Political Industrial Complex (where they all pretend to fight then go party at night as best of friends), and they spend all their time trying to dupe us into not knowing what they are planning to do.
But they are now butting up against the actual heart of this nation – the people who make it great every day in millions of ways small and large. The Political Industrial Complex is run by the extremists – the fringes. They do not like the center, in fact they despise it. For all their spouted claims of revering this great nation and its innovative answer to tough solutions, the Political Industrial Complex does not like us to make our own choices, come up with our own solutions, voice our own ideas that typically bridge the gap between the extremes.
Â One large indication of the battle between the liberal old guard inside the Political Industrial Complex and the rest of the country is the compromise made in the House Energy and Commerce committee:
Seeking to dampen liberal anger about deals cut with centrists, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said House leaders have agreed to allow a floor vote on a government-run, single-payer system.
“A lot of members on our committee want a vote on that,” said Waxman said in an interview. “I believe their wishes will be accommodated.”
Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) offered a single-payer amendment in the Energy and Commerce Committee on Friday, but withdrew it after Waxman said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had promised a floor vote.Â
This will be rich to watch. A government monopoly on this nation’s health care is only desired by a small and extremely naive element of the country. 80% of this nation are happy with the quality of their care and would not trade quality for saving some money. This concession indicates an important break between the liberal extremists and the rest of the nation. Now these liberals will have to convince the immutable opposition inside the GOP and centrists Dems to not get slaughtered in a floor vote. Yeah. like that’s not going to happen.
But the GOP part of the Political Industrial Complex is just as much at risk for credibility damage. I really, really admire Mark Steyn, but today I think his paranoia got the better of him as he put out the worse political advice possible for Republicans:
Health-care â€œreformâ€? As weâ€™ve seen this past week in the House of Representatives, put not your trust in â€œBlue Dog Democrats.â€ And, as weâ€™ll no doubt see in the weeks ahead in the Senate, put not your trust in â€œmoderate Republicansâ€ whose urge to â€œreach across the aisleâ€ is so reflexive it ought to be covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The president needs to get something passed. Anything. The details donâ€™t matter. Once itâ€™s in place, health-care â€œreformâ€ can be re-reformed endlessly. Indeed, youâ€™ll be surprised how little else we talk about. So, for example, public funding for abortions can be discarded now, and written in â€” as it surely will be by some judge â€” down the road. What matters is to ram it through, get it done, pass it now â€” in whatever form.
If this seems a perverse obsession for a nation with a weak economy, rising unemployment, and a war on two fronts, it has a very sound strategic logic behind it. As I wrote inÂ National ReviewÂ a week or two back, health care is the fastest way to a permanent left-of-center political culture.Â
I don’t think allowing for insurance collectives or pools for small businesses and individuals will be the end of western civilization as we know it. The Medicare Rx benefit enacted under President Bush which is a purely market driven benefit is not the end of the world, but is the kind of free market alliance with the federal safety net programs which serves both interests well – not to mention all the people getting the benefit.
Steyn is fallowing the Amnesty Hypochondriac path which destroyed the GOP governing coalition in the first place. You can find imperfections in any approach and then exaggerate them into end of the world scenarios all day long. That takes no talent or genius or leadership. I hate to say it this bluntly, but losers and failures always find excuses not to take a risk and possibly succeed. It is the security blanket of the status quo types – find some reason to be frozen in place.
The Political Industrial Complex is now under attack and off balance. It is, once again, attacking the centrists with end of the world nonsense. And it is attacking anybody from Main Street ready to take the risks to move this country forward. And the best example of this fear based lashing out is Sarah Palin, as John Hawkins accurately notes today:
Then along came Sarah Palin, whom most conservatives viewed as the lone bright spot of the 2008 campaign. Hereâ€™s a woman that many conservatives identify with not only because they believe she really shares their values, but because she is genuinely what so many other politicians pretend to be. Sheâ€™s a person who got where she is based on merit and she found success without the advantage of being born in the right family, being wealthy, or being given a break because she went to an Ivy League school.
Even after the GOP lost the election, the all-out assault on Sarah Palin and her family continued. Why attack a mere governor of Alaska as opposed to Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, John Boehner, Mitt Romney, or Mike Huckabee? Because Palin managed to generate more enthusiasm amongst conservatives than all of those people combined. Liberals correctly identified Sarah Palin as the biggest danger to them in the entire Republican Party and theyâ€™re doing everything they can to eliminate that threat.
An unspoken assumption was made by many conservatives: Palin is like me and the real problem that Palinâ€™s enemies on the right have with her is that theyâ€™re snobs and they donâ€™t accept common people like me in their leadership.
Given the way that conservatives are regularly betrayed and the contempt for them that some Republicans have shown over the last few years, that assessment is probably correct more often than not.
Thatâ€™s why a lot of conservatives react to criticism of Palin from the right the same way that they react to criticism of Reagan. Granted, Sarah Palin is no Ronald Reagan. But one of the seldom discussed reasons conservatives love Reagan so much is because he was the personification of their principles. This was the man who put what conservatives believed in to the test in the real world and proved the worth of their ideas. An attack on Reagan from the right was not just considered to be a slap at a politician, politician, but was also treated like an assault on the value system of â€œReagan conservatives.â€
Sarah Palin has become the lightning rod for the panicked Political Industrial Complex. They know if Palin succeeds there is an army of normal Americans who will stand up and run against the idiots now in power. They know the entire Political Industrial Complex would be re-staffed. They know if anyone like Palin ever gets a foot hold their golden goose is cooked.
And if you doubt that look what has happened to Obama – who is about to be sacrificed on the altar of self preservation of the Political Industrial Complex. I agree with John at Powerline that the damage to his credibility that he took over his failed stimulus package, the jaw dropping deficits and his Obamacare debacle have left him permanently damaged goods:
As a candidate–especially, as a candidate almost wholly unscrutinized by the press–he could try to be all things to all people, with some success. But a mere six months in office have revealed the real Barack Obama: a hard-left liberal. HenceÂ this surveyÂ from today’s Rasmussen Reports. Seventy-six percent of likely voters now classify Obama as a liberal, with a remarkable 48 percent terming him “very liberal.”
I don’t believe anyone who was generally regarded as “very liberal” has ever been elected President; not since Franklin Roosevelt, anyway. So I don’t think it is unreasonable for us conservatives to hope for the best of both worlds: a modest recovery in our 401Ks, and a new President in 2013.
What will happen to liberals after their floor vote on a government take over of health care fails miserably? The only way to pass thatÂ abominationÂ was under the cover of a ruse, to dupe America into believing it was something else – like lowering cost and increasing access. But now it is going to be out in the open, naked to national scrutiny.
When the polls start coming in showing America would prefer a war with Iran over nationalized health care, what will happen? Centrists are the targets of both fringes right now. Both fringes are pushing the panic button, screaming the end of the world is nigh if centrists rule the day.
It is a strange time for our nation when DC is basically at war with the nation it pretends to represent. What will be the result? Will the political industrial complex, in sheer panic, pull a coup d’etat? Or will the centrists rule out and bring the nation back into balance. Time will tell.