Friday, November 01, 2013

Getting It Right

David Frum makes his point, in an article by the same name as this post, over at the The Daily Beast about Republican obstructionism to the Affordable Care Act.
But of course, if you have the opportunity to prevent or mitigate a debacle—and you fail to use that opportunity—then, yes you do bear some of the blame. Maybe not the moral blame, but the real world practical political blame. Political action is judged by its consequences. The consequences of Republican radicalism since 2009 have been almost uniformly negative—for the country as a whole and for the interests and principles the radicals claim to champion. That’s the point I’ve been trying to pound into the heads of massive-resistance conservatives this past half-decade. Apparently, I must keep pounding.
His argument, apparently, is that the Affordable Care Act is here to stay and the Republicans should do what they can to make it better.  Respectfully, I disagree.

I've been a military officer, and I've had to make bad ideas less bad.  Just as Shaara details in his exploration of Buford in Killer Angels;
 The vision was brutally clear: he had to wonder at the clarity of it. Few things in a soldier’s life were so clear as this, so black-line etched that he could actually see the blue troops for one long bloody moment, going up the long slope to the stony top as if it were already done and a memory already, an odd, set, stony quality to it, as if tomorrow had occurred and there was nothing you could do about it, the way you sometimes feel before a foolish attack, knowing it will fail but you cannot stop it or even run away but must even take part and help it fail.
Fortunately, Republicans aren't always professional soldiers, but sometimes we see something so brutally painful, so God-awful wrong and destructive that we must try to obstruct it.  Frum argues that the politically best motive would be to try to mitigate the damage.  Perhaps he's right.  But in politics you have to stand on a set of principles and this act goes against most of the principles that I've come to believe will sustain the Republic.

No, sometimes it is enough to not participate in a particular disaster.  But, just as Buford fought to hold the high ground to give his army a chance to succeed, we must also fight from the high ground.  But, unlike the duty-bound soldier, we have no duty to take part and help it fail.  We have even less of a duty to mitigate a debacle when against the majority, we stand athwart the tide and yell "stop".

The Democrats own this mess, lock, stock, and barrel.  It's up to them to work it, but I believe that it's doomed to fail.  Nothing that I've seen so far convinces me otherwise.

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

This is just moving toward single payer... nothing else in my opinion...