October 30th, 2009

Swallowing the leviathan: the House health care reform bill

The news is full of commentary on the House health care reform bill released yesterday. Since it consists of 1990 dense and legalistic pages, I’m not about to read it soon. Others will, however, and in days to come I hope to bring you their analyses and my own reflections. For now, I thought I’d just start a thread so that you could talk about it to your hearts’ delight in the comments section.

To get started, you might want to look at this, this, and these.

And here, Paul Krugman rallies the troops. He thinks he’s got the key to conservative objections:

For conservatives, of course, it’s an easy decision: They don’t want Americans to have universal coverage, and they don’t want President Obama to succeed.

Of course, Paul, you’ve got the picture; you understand the conservative mindset so well! The economic consequences of this particular bill, plus government expansion into realms of our lives previously unheard of, has absolutely nothing to do with their objections.

61 Responses to “Swallowing the leviathan: the House health care reform bill”

  1. Tatyana Says:

    “They don’t want president Obama to succed”.

    It depends of what the definition of the word “success” is.

  2. Artfldgr Says:

    imagine another state agency wrote it… gave it to them to pass, and has coached them to get the power they crave…. pretty much how it works in other countries who are victims of the same game. the tell tale sign is that it wasnt humanly possible to write that all up and discuss it in any way shape or form in the time span.

    it was written YEARS ago, like the other stuff, and the rest has been maneuvering till it could be applied to a certain end, and end that is not what is being proposed.

  3. Tatyana Says:

    Ok, to answer Mr. Krugman’s question: yes, I want the puppet to fail.

    Incidentally, that post of mine is in my top 3 that experience the biggest upsurge of outraged leftists.

  4. zfredz Says:

    This link via http://www.instapundit.com
    OH, GOOD GRIEF: “The House health care bill unveiled Thursday clocks in at 1,990 pages and about 400,000 words. With an estimated 10-year cost of $894 billion, that comes out to about $2.24 million per word.”

    Here’s the really scary part, though: “And for some members, that may not be enough.”

    Posted at 7:32 am by Glenn Reynolds

    $2,240,000 per word! How about $894,000,000,000 per word? The word is: NO!

  5. Artfldgr Says:

    under the scenario i put up, no nothings like B Frank, and pelosi… and obama… can get into power and have a placve at the table.. how?

    someone else is playing their moves, and all they have to do is listen and blindly follow the party rhetoric and waht they are given. as long as they do that, the manipualtors will help them, position them, attack their enemies, give good advice to get them in place, and all they ahve to do is sell their soul..

    in truth all they ahve to do is compare what their lives would be without that collusion, and so they are now the blind followers of some other higher force that is providing 2000 page documents and rewrites in a few days, that the peopel who are promoting it ADMIT THAT THEY NEVER HAD A PART IN WHATS INSIDE.

    frank was compromised long ago by a love who ran a prostituion ring from his home, then became a washington page.

    he stays in office cause he will do whatever they tell him to. his piccadillos are there, and if he opposed them, they would drag that out and make a big issue of it, and blame his demise on the awful right, but he would be out.

    people so used to never seeing soviet style manipulations, are people whose radar dont cmoe on when the most important clues stare them in the face.

    the average literary book sold today is 200 pages, and takes longer to write than the health bill!!!

    they are executing a plan that is decades old and has maneuvered to put a set of laws in place for a reason…

    we are talking about people that when they get together cand decide what to have for lunch, and they were able to knock off a health bill in how long?

    at what point does the obvious bite someone?

    at what point do we realize that they know what they want to pass because they spent the prior few years positioning their friends and family in a place where the biggest apples will fall on them once they are ripe…

  6. John Says:

    Get ready for higher taxes.


    If you want to take a look at the entire list, here it is(pdf)


  7. Occam's Beard Says:

    Contra Krugman, we support the President, but oppose his policies.

    Also his philosophy, agenda, purpose in life, goals, methods, and values.

    Kinda like you Reds and the troops. Small world, eh?

  8. jon baker Says:

    This will be supported by the ignorant masses yearning to be serfs………….

  9. Artfldgr Says:

    this is obamas immigration plan..
    make the US horrible so they stay home.

  10. ghost707 Says:

    Rome truly is burning.

    Welcome to the new banana Republic.

  11. TheCableGuy Says:

    We can debate the specifics of this bill or that bill until we are blue in the face, and it won’t change this most salient fact:

    They won’t quit.

    The sick reality is, they don’t have to. Generation after generation since the 1930s has been fed the whole “I’m from the government and I am here to help” line.

    People, intelligent well-educated people that I love and respect will, nevertheless, debate with me the merits– THE MERITS!!!!– of the coercive police power of the central government. They will tell me that the government must act for the “benefit” of the “people” (whoever they are.)

    They will tell me that they are proud to pay taxes, because they feel as if they are giving back to the country that “gave” them so much… as if the country sweated with them through undergraduate work and graduate theses. As if the government made them good with computers or talented writers or gifted speech therapists. As if the government made them great parents and brothers and sisters and friends.

    They will tell me, with great seriousness and total conviction that universal health is a civic duty.

    Quite frankly, I’d like to get this over with quickly. I’m beginning to think it all has to collapse before it gets better.

    One thing I do know. They won’t stop.

  12. betsybounds Says:


    You have the most comprehensive grasp of what I think is happening of anyone who posts here. I know some have little patience with your posts. But I find them invaluable. I might wish you had better grammatical and syntactical discipline, but still you command a scope that I can only wish for. You’ve been calling the alarm for quite a while, and I think you’re right. Keep it up, don’t be discouraged–and thanks.

  13. Thomass Says:

    The bill basically so regulates insurance that you won’t be able to pick your own policy. Your private policy will end up being the same as a public policy… and the other private ones. The powerline guys called it ‘national socialist’… private ownership totally regulated by the public. Which, is basically right… in my econ classes they taught we got the idea for the public utility from nazi germany…

  14. Geoffrey Britain Says:


    Just as “brevity is the soul of whit”, so to is the inability to explain one’s position concisely and clearly an indication of confusion.

    Talking and talking and talking is not an indication of insightful commentary but rather of ‘verbal diarrhea’.

  15. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    Mr. Krugman is either being obtuse or purposely disingenuous. If obtuse, he’s demonstrating his intellectual limitations.

    If purposely disingenuous, then he has demonstrated his intellectual bankruptcy, as intellectual honesty is the ‘coin’ required, to sit at the table of debate.

    In either case, he reveals himself to be ‘less than serious’.

  16. Oblio Says:

    The Democrats are caught in a terrible dilemma. For the moment, they are more terrified of not passing a bill than of passing the bill. On the other hand, they are also terrified of facing the voters without the fig leaf of a “bipartisan” label, no matter how risible the claim of bipartisanship might be. Conclusion, they understand the bill is a political and economic disaster and they don’t want to take responsibility.

    Come to think of it, that tells you all you need to know. If Democrats really believed that the bill is popular, they would treat this as the political opportunity of all time. The socialists in the Democratic Party may believe it is; the majority know better.

    Under the circumstances, no Republican should vote for the bill and any Republican who does should lose the party’s endorsement and support and should face a challenger with the party’s backing.

    I haven’t been one for trying to purify the party, but this is a case that allows no other conclusion.

  17. Scrapiron Says:

    Krugman is trying out for one of the few jobs that will be left in the media, Propaganda reader. He may be a smart man but he’s not smart enough to figure out all his money will be taken and he’ll earn at best $25 K per year. He’ll have to accept that or start training as a shi* shoveler in M.O. fertilizer factory.

  18. betsybounds Says:

    Geoffrey Britain,

    I take your point, and generally agree. But artfldgr, in what seem like ramblings, captures what is going on here in amazing ways. I do not know why his style is what it is. I will only point out that Neo bothers to encapsulate his points and thereafter quote them specifically sometimes, and posit this as a testament to his quality.

    Please realize that I say this as a general grammar, syntax, and coherence Nazi. I am usually hell on clear expression.

    But artfldgr is uncommonly fine in other areas, that’s what I think.

  19. betsybounds Says:

    Of course, when Neo does this for artfldge, she must also do a bit of translation. . . .

  20. ghost707 Says:

    Oblio brings up a good point; the Democrats know this “healthcare reform” is going to explode the deficit, which is why they front-loaded it – the payments start now and the actual healthcare coverage doesn’t start until 2013.

    It galls me to no end to watch Pelosi up there (as well as Obama) lying her head off knowing full well that this will be nowhere near deficit neutral.

    And yet we are supposed to believe that this time will be different.

    There is a very good possibility that our nation will collapse under the weight of the Federal Government with it’s fraud, waste and unsustainable debt.

  21. rickl Says:

    ghost707 Says:
    October 31st, 2009 at 1:36 am

    There is a very good possibility that our nation will collapse under the weight of the Federal Government with it’s fraud, waste and unsustainable debt.

    I’ve said before that I believe this is the Left’s deliberate intention. They are employing the Cloward-Piven strategy against the entire American economy. They are piling burden upon burden on top until the whole structure collapses. When that happens, the middle class (the bourgeoisie, in Marxist terms) will be wiped out. People who were used to lives of material comfort will find themselves unemployed, homeless, cold, and hungry. They will beg the government to do something–anything–to save them. At that point the Left will be free to rebuild society as they see fit, with draconian punishment for anyone who opposes them.

    Of course, once the economy collapses, we will no longer be able to afford our current level of military expenditures. Our military will be hollowed out and shrunken to the point where it can barely defend our own borders, let alone project power abroad. The Left definitely sees this as a feature, not a bug.

    The two greatest obstacles standing in the way of the Left’s fantasy of World Government are the American economy and the American military. Once those are swept aside, there is really nothing to stop it.

  22. rickl Says:

    Wow. I just spotted this post at Belmont Club about a new Peggy Noonan column. Both the column and post are must reads.

    Peggy almost–almost–redeems herself with this one.

  23. betsybounds Says:

    I agree that that’s their intention. I know of no other way to explain their actions. They aren’t stupid, they know perfectly well what will result from what they’re doing. People who try to fight them by pointing out what all this will cost are missing the point of what they’re doing.

    I also fear that, similarly, people who think what these guys are doing is going to be so unpopular that they will get booted in November 2010 are missing the point. They know their popularity is sinking like a stone. The only creditable explanation I can come up with is that they do not care, and the only reason I can think of for why they might not care is that there is going to be some kind of move to steal, nullify, or cancel the next elections. That’s the only reason they wouldn’t care what the American people think.

    I don’t like it at all. I’d like to believe those who think it won’t happen, that the Constitution is going to protect us, but I’m on the edge of saying that I can’t. They are going to render the Constitution irrelevant, it will be a dead letter that people go to view at the National Archives. And that’s if we’re lucky.

  24. J.L. Says:

    Oblio says

    The Democrats are caught in a terrible dilemma. For the moment, they are more terrified of not passing a bill than of passing the bill. On the other hand, they are also terrified of facing the voters without the fig leaf of a “bipartisan” label, no matter how risible the claim of bipartisanship might be. Conclusion, they understand the bill is a political and economic disaster and they don’t want to take responsibility.

    Come to think of it, that tells you all you need to know. If Democrats really believed that the bill is popular, they would treat this as the political opportunity of all time. The socialists in the Democratic Party may believe it is; the majority know better.

    This is very close to my view on the Dem’s delima. I’m not sure if the more left-of-center Democrats are actually aware of the mess theyve gotten themselves into in trying to ram through the gargantuan healh “reform” bill. (Iv’e taken to calling it the “health deform” bill.) But I’m pretty sure the more centrist, and less ideological Dems are now aware that theyre on a fast train headed for a clift.

    Theres a good article from Daniel Henninger on Real Clear Politics which eleborates on this a little further:

    . . . It’s starting to look like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are leading the Donner Party, the snowbound emigrants who bogged down in the Sierra Nevada winter in the 1840s and resorted to cannibalism to survive.

    The betting is that with raw political muscle and procedural magic, the Congressional Democrats will pass something, call it reform and hand Barack Obama a “victory.” Maybe, but I think what we are seeing with this massive legislation is that the Democrats in Washington have a bigger problem: Their party is looking so yesterday.

    In a world defined by nearly 100,000 iPhone apps, a world of seemingly limitless, self-defined choice, the Democrats are pushing the biggest, fattest, one-size-fits all legislation since 1965. And they brag this will complete the dream Franklin D. Roosevelt had in 1939.

    This article by Jonah Goldberg has a similar theme:

    One of the most macabre images I’ve ever heard described came in the aftermath of the Asian tsunami in 2004. Before the tidal wave crashed on shore, beachgoers stood around and idly gaped as the water drastically receded. Bewildered, they didn’t realize they were looking at the prelude to a calamity.

    The Democratic party looks more and more like those beachgoers every day, watching popular support recede, oblivious to the Perot tsunami coming our way.

    The Goldberg article notes that a central element in the increased opposition to the Dem’s is the awakening of the Center Right, a phenomenon he parallels to the Perot phenomenon of 1992 and the 1994 “Contract with America” Congress, and which is also noted by Neo in her post on the shocking radicalization of the center right.

    I think this awaked American public may result in stopping this health deform act, and appears ready to result in a political tsunamis against the Dems in 2010.

  25. Cincinnatus Says:

    He’s an inch away from calling Republicans pro-sickness. He knows better.

  26. betsybounds Says:

    J.L., I hope you’re right, I really do. I hope Huxley is right. I hope the Dems are all really just blind and stupid. But that’s getting harder and harder to believe, for me at least. I’m not entirely sure they’ll succeed ultimately, but I think they’re in it for the long haul, for the victory, they aren’t messing around. Who’s blinder: The Dems for going full-tilt boogie after this monstrosity, or the rest of us for thinking they can’t really be trying what some of us fear they’re trying? I don’t know the answer to that. It may actually come down to how hard we’re willing to fight, and that may actually include the near-total disruption of everything we’ve become accustomed to enjoying as our way of life. Are the alarmists among us panickers or prophets?

    We’ll find out, and sooner than maybe we’d like.

  27. Perfected democrat Says:

    It’s been said the cure for high oil prices is, high oil prices; likewise, its political corollary, that is, the cure for the “Democrats”, will be, as it was with the Carter era, the Democrats… Unfortunately, I’m only being redundant from earlier comments. There is only one hope now, that being for as many people as possible to throw more support than ever toward the Republican and Libertarian movements, to force a greater level of integrity from the MSM, and to change the equation in congress in coming elections, ie. http://allenwestforcongress.com/

  28. betsybounds Says:

    Perfected Democrat,

    Speaking of redundancy(!), I’m thinking more and more that the cure for our infection by these guys is not at the ballot box.

    I’m wrong, aren’t I? Please show me that I’m wrong.

  29. Tom Says:

    betsybounds has it right. The motivation of the Dems cannot be to commit political suicide, so their step in 2010 must be massive electoral fraud.

    We are approaching a violent tipping point, us v. them, and the role of the military in this remains critical, but in doubt. It may be that Baraq’s dithering on Afghan. may serve us well as one chip in this game.

    If it happens, no more Mr. Nice Guy.

  30. Perfected democrat Says:

    If your blood isn’t boiling quite up to temperature yet today, try these links of note:


    We definitely have a cancer in the White House….

  31. Perfected democrat Says:

    Betsy, I don’t at all, think we should be thinking, or worrying, about orchestrated violence as any kind of option to solve the current problems; but as a now minority population we do need to cram the constitution down the left’s throats, to protect our own rights of freedom of expression, property, etc. However, last spring I made a point of upgrading my revolver to something more practical and useful… and though I only renewed my NRA subscription for five years, I do think buying guns, bullets and memberships to the NRA helps send an important surrogate statistical message to Big Brother….

  32. br549 Says:

    Consider me an alarmist if it helps you think it can’t really happen here. But from my side of the room, consider yourself naive if you think it isn’t. It’s happening around the world. We (right of center) are gumming up the works and must be overcome.

    All things considered, if a majority thought as many do here, don’t you really think that McCain / Palin would have won? Of COURSE he was no one’s (who lives outside the beltway) first choice. But McCain or Clinton? McCain or Obama? There was no other choice, and still it he did not win. The left fears Palin much more than McCain. Yeah, I know. Call me mr. obvious.

    By the way, Soros gave Huffington 15MM dollars to keep her website rolling. This is old news, but perhaps many are still unaware.

  33. br549 Says:

    Mark Steyn gave America too much credit (America Alone).

    At best, it will be 1/2 America Alone.

  34. betsybounds Says:

    Perfected Democrat,

    Oh no, horrors. I’m not talking about orchestrated violence. Horrors. At least not orchestrated.

    However, br549 makes a good point about the halves of the American population (our half seems to be getting a bit bigger than their half, though–or at least bigger than it was last November). Occasionally some here have made worried noises about camps and the like being used against us, or to quarantine us, or whatever, and again some others are stunned and won’t entertain the idea, and deny that anyone else would either. But the American people are not sheep, and if it comes to it, many–certainly not all, maybe not even most, but many–will fight. We will not go gentle into that good night (pace Dylan Thomas). If that happens, we will have to be put somewhere, or dealt with somehow. They know this.

    Just sayin’.

  35. ghost707 Says:

    Peggy almost–almost–redeems herself with this one.

    Thanks for the link rickl.
    I have been reading the posts over there.

    Peggy’s gnashing of teeth is almost sophomoric in her singular, one-dimensional thinking of:

    The most sophisticated Americans, experienced in how the country works on the ground, can’t figure a way out.

    What Noonan fails to realize is that the “smart” people she continually refers to are people who have never run any sort of business in their entire lives.
    There certainly is a way out of this mess, but, it requires that the so-called “smart” people get the hell out of the way.

    Intelligence is not required to raise peoples’ taxes and spend money.
    What is really required in Washington is the will to stop the wholesale fleecing of the nation by political criminals.

  36. notherbob2 Says:

    Ever stand on a high place and, not just think, but feel like you might throw yourself off into space? You don’t really believe that you are about to do that, but the feeling is unsettling, isn’t it? I call that feeling to mind in order to give an appropriate background for my next comment.
    I was trained by the U.S. Army in the Fifties to kill Communists (Red Chinese or Soviets). Changing a nice, young, well-meaning high school student into a soldier who can kill other human beings is a challenge for the military and some of the training is … harsh. At any rate, at one point in the training one is faced with a photographic image of “the enemy” (who is preparing to stick a bayonet into the viewer) and one is supposed to respond with a strong desire to kill that enemy before he (this was before the gender integration of our forces) could fulfil his evil desire.
    Well, although I went on to serve on active duty in Southeast Asia (I could tell you where, but then I would have to kill you) in the Sixties, I never had to put this training to actual use. I did trash a couple of typewriters and one Enlisted Men’s (refer to integration comment above) Club… But, I digress.
    My point is that when I read comments like those of Betsybounds above, I feel echoes of my earlier training – I feel the same desire to kill the communists who are threatening America before their evil succeeds. Really. Well, not really; it is like the irrational suicide impulse noted above.
    So appropriate questions: Can we really be living in an age when the commies have taken over America? Are we being serious here? And are we in danger of becoming the right wing terrorists that the Government recently warned us about (and we laughed)?
    I don’t think so… yet. However, refer to the Peggy Noonan article so aptly referred to above by rickl. You talk about malaise! I see it around me too. And we have yet to see “Cap and Trade” (although no one I know calls it that). What will our spirits be after that is rammed down our throats after a secret Democrat caucus with a “budget reconciliation” of 50 liberal Democrat votes? And, by the way, how do they hope to stay in power after that travesty?
    I fear ( really) that, with what the Obama team learned in the last election (current Senator from Minnesota, ACORN “voter registration” and “get out the vote”, etc.) they feel confidant that they can ignore the real voters and that they can come up with the 52% they need regardless of the real-but-subverted, actual vote count. Yes, a distrust of our vote count system is part of the malaise. How did we elect these guys? I know I held my nose and voted for McCain/Palin, knowing that I would be feeling something very like the current malaise as he RINO’d his way along. But at least I believed that America would survive for a better day.
    Finally, on the positive side, note that Dede has given up the ghost in NY 23 and the mayor of San Francisco has given up his run for governor of California. These are positive signs that the stupid urban liberals who got us here are perhaps going to be overcome.

  37. ghost707 Says:


    Fist, thank you for your service to the county, I salute you.

    Second, I do believe the Democrats have over-played their hand. Obama is not who alot of people were expecting. The Democrats are doing a fine job of self-destruction.

    High unemployment and high deficit spending are already taking their toll.
    2010 will tell us for sure, but that also depends on the amount of ACORN voter fraud there is.

  38. ghost707 Says:

    If only my keyboard could type, because I sure can’t.


  39. betsybounds Says:


    Yikes! I have a fear of heights not because I’m afraid I’ll fall, but because I’m afraid I’ll jump. When I tell people this, they look at me like I’m kind of crazy. :)

    You ask, “Can we really be living in an age when the commies have taken over America?” I think that, in a certain sense, to ask the question is to answer it. Not that we are living in such an age, but that we could be. I understand why it’s hard to believed, but so far I don’t see anything to rule it out, either. I’m constantly bemused to see how many people think that simply because this is the United States of America, such a thing could never happen. It’s happened in other places–granted, with far fewer advantages in terms of an educated population and a great traditionally free society than we have. But it’s good to remember that Hitler and the Nazis rose to power via an electoral process in what was arguably the best-educated, most sophisticated country of its time.

    Well we shall see.

  40. betsybounds Says:

    Oops. I goofed on the HTML tags, there!

  41. br549 Says:

    “Can we really be living in an age when the commies have taken over America?”

    Ummm….yes, we can.

    OK, no longer funny. But we have indeed crossesd a threshold, have we not? All that is going on is different than before – in speed, intensity, even direction. And it’s only been about 9 months. Hell, how many months before I can pull a lever to change any of this change?

    Maybe it’s me, but I just can’t get my head around the fact that there are people I live next to or near, drive beside on the morning trek to work, even work with, who really want this to happen. Who are these people? Where did they come from? Who sold them on these ideas?
    Others have written these questions would be asked. That this would happen and many wouldn’t even know how it happened. Thought I’d just get things rolling along.

    The men who signed the Declaration had huge ‘nads.

  42. notherbob2 Says:

    As a libertarian, I never get exactly the candidate I want to vote for. Well, maybe Perot (after I read HW Bush’s lips). I am used to selecting the lesser of two evils. Most often, I want the social agenda of the Democrat and the fiscal agenda of the Republican. Since they both lie about what they will actually do when in office…
    Well, let’s just say that I can never really celebrate, whoever gets elected.
    As an independent, I worry about the Conservatives who believe that they are the real Republicans behaving like they did in the Schaivo situation and their putting up Christian Fundamentalist candidates who promise to return us to back-alley abortions. This type of candidate may irritate the Independents enough that they (the Independents) decide to vote for a Blue Dog Democrat instead of the Christian Fundamentalist Conservative candidate. In NY 23 Doug Hoffman seems to be a reasonable Conservative candidate and he should attract enough Independents to beat a liberal Democrat. That is the type of match-up we (Conservatives and Independents alike) should want across the board – a reasonable Conservative Republican versus a liberal Democrat.
    I worry about “Let’s take back America!” slogans. It is people of my political persuasion who were stupid enough to vote for President Obama who got us in this mess. Nevertheless, I like buying booze on Sunday and I don’t favor returning prayer to schools – just education. If “we” have a revolution going, I hope reason prevails.

  43. betsybounds Says:

    Oh no, notherbob, say it isn’t so. Please. The social agenda of the Democrats has brought us several generations in the inner cities nearly all of whom have been raised without fathers, and who are bereft of even the idea of what fathers might be for and about. Look at the results of that. We can thank these Democrats whose culture you’re so fond of for an entire culture whose designers think sex is and should be trivial. You don’t have to long for the back alley to think there’s something deeply unhuman about late-term and partial-birth abortions, something degrading to the culture that at most promotes it and at least ignores it. You are dealing in one of the very things left-liberal Democrats affect to hate: stereotypes. That Christian Fundamentalist Conservative you’re so leery of hasn’t controlled anything in this country for a very long time, and we are not noticeably the better for his banishment from centers of power.

    Mis-steps and miscalculations in the Terry Schiavo case aside, does it bother you not at all that a judge can decide that the best way to deal with such a woman is to starve and dehydrate her to death? Isn’t there at least a little something wrong with that?

    I’m appalled. Really.

  44. Tatyana Says:

    Notherbob2: thank you for your voice. Gratifying to realize I’m not alone.

  45. notherbob2 Says:

    Pragmatically speaking, There are not enough Conservatives for them to get what they want with Conservative votes alone. There are a heck of lot more Conservatives than there are libertarians. Ergo, if either of us is to get what we want and avoid what we don’t want, we must make common cause.
    The answer to your Schiavo case is: that is what judges do; as well as order people executed and deprived of their liberty for period of time. Ignoring our Federal system in order to have the Feds order state judges to do what they want them to is not the kind of government that Conservatives want. But, I digress.
    Saying that I am fond of Democrat culture is a very unkind thing to do. I assume that you have a negative view of libertarians. Notice the small “L”. And, I do not believe in late-term or partial birth abortions – for the same reasons you don’t, just perhaps less self-righteously.
    Also, trivial sex is a lot of fun.
    My point is that we needn’t agree on everything in order to agree on what we don’t want and how we pragmatically prevent it. We can thrash out our disagreements after we have combined to box out the liberals (progressives).

  46. betsybounds Says:

    notherbob 2,

    The interesting thing about our exchange is that I consider myself primarily libertarian as well (notice the small “L”). I favor serious changes in the drug laws, including elimination of the DEA. I think there should be now laws about marijuana–people should be able to grow their own. I support the Second Amendment (although that’s not strictly libertarian). I, too, like to buy my booze on Sunday, and I advance no particular brief for prayer in school.

    But I think that, while casual sex may be fun, sex itself isn’t trivial. Wars have begun over it (the Trojan War is a sort of archetypal one); murders have been committed over it; it is often at the root of some of the deepest and most consequential betrayals both in history and in personal lives every darned day. I stand by, and will argue, my point about the dangers attending the virtual elimination of fatherhood in large swathes of our society. It’s destructive. There are large numbers of young men in this country who have no notion of what it means to either have or be a father. It turns them loose, and they have no way to tether themselves to a meaningful role as participants in many of their actions and situations. This is not good.

    I don’t mean to be unkind, and the truth is I welcome much of what you say. But I think you misread conservatives if you think they simply favor a different set of coercions. And I deny that I am self-righteous.

    So there.

  47. betsybounds Says:


    I should add that the Schiavo case hit me pretty hard. During the time it played out, my brother was fighting head-and-neck cancer and couldn’t eat or swallow anything–a side effect of radiation. The only thing that kept him alive was a gastric tube like the one Ms. Schiavo had. Irrespective of a person’s mental condition, starvation and death by dehydration are awful ways to go. The notion that a judge could impose such a fate is anathema to me, most especially because she had parents who quite literally begged for permission to take her to their home and care for her themselves. The judge denied them. I cannot accept that as a way we should go.

  48. J.L. Says:

    betsybounds Says:

    J.L., I hope you’re right, I really do. I hope Huxley is right. I hope the Dems are all really just blind and stupid. But that’s getting harder and harder to believe, for me at least. I’m not entirely sure they’ll succeed ultimately, but I think they’re in it for the long haul, for the victory, they aren’t messing around. Who’s blinder: The Dems for going full-tilt boogie after this monstrosity, or the rest of us for thinking they can’t really be trying what some of us fear they’re trying? I don’t know the answer to that. It may actually come down to how hard we’re willing to fight, and that may actually include the near-total disruption of everything we’ve become accustomed to enjoying as our way of life. Are the alarmists among us panickers or prophets?

    I’ll say this. I have to admit that I’m not yet in the same state of alarm as certain other commenters. I still believe that the answer to the Obamaites lies within the Constitutional system (including the First Amendment), and the electoral process.

    BUT, I do believe that the defence of liberty requires vigilance. Although I may not agree with the most “alarmist” voices, I am glad that there are people in this country who care enough about its liberty to be alarmed about it… and to consider that drastic measures may be necessary to defend it. I admit, I am not there yet (alarmed and concerned, yes; believing drastic measures are necessary, no)… but I strongly respect your views.

    There is a reason for the First Amenment, and I am glad that conservatives and libertarians are now awakened to the fact that protest is a legitimate action. The left has always treasured and respected the use of protest as a way to change society, and I am glad to see that the right is now becoming more comfortable with that tool. As I said, the First Amendment is there for a reason, and I’m glad all the so-called “alarmists”, from Glen Beck to every poster here, is able to voice their concerns. I see it as one of the reasons this will never be like Chavez’s Veneuzela.

    The Second Amendement is also there for a reason, and although I am not yet ready to see us at the point where the use of force by the citizenry is necessary… I still thank God that we have the right to bear arms in this country, and that some are ready to use it should it come to that. I don’t think were there yet… but thank God that recourse is there.

  49. betsybounds Says:


    I agree with everything you say. I too am not yet ready to advocate the use of citizen force in these matters, except to the extent that protest and the ballot box may be viewed as a use of force. I hope that is a sufficient means for an aroused citizenry. As I’ve said before, I’m an old lady and would much prefer to sit back and knit (and read and surf), and watch my kids get on with their lives as I got on with mine.

    But there is something disquieting about what’s going on right now. It’s different in kind and in quantity from what we’ve experienced before. I hate it, but if it comes down to it, I won’t stand for it without a fight.

    You make a nice “sauce for the goose-sauce for the gander” point about the left’s heretofore reverence of protest as a way to change society. The right is maybe a bit late to the view, but shoot better late than never, that’s what I say!

  50. Oblio Says:

    For what it’s worth, betsybounds, I don’t read you as self-righteous at all. And you are right that sex isn’t trivial at all, and almost no one acts like it is. A fair number of people act as if it is the most important thing in the world, and indeed the only thing worth talking about. There is an old joke that an intellectual is someone who has found a topic more interesting than sex, but many of our modern intellectuals only think about sex.

    I also think this talk of the Left as the Defender of the First Amendment is ridiculous. These are the Speech Code people, and have been for 30 years or more. These have been the people who shout down conservative speakers on campus and try to physically intimidate students and administrators who have the temerity to disagree with them. This has been going on for nearly 50 years now. I’ll grant that you have always been able to find leftist lawyers who defend sedition and subversion, and to justify treason as the defense of civil rights when required. Doesn’t anyone remember the Lynn Stewart case?

  51. expat Says:

    I’ve noted that the discussion here is about “the Dems.” Maybe that is the problem. Are they really so monolithic? Sure, there are some absolute radicals who hate America and want to change it completely. But there are also blue dogs. There are probably also some who just grew up and were formed in a blue world and have never had the courage or reason to challenge their received wisdom. There are probably also those who think they are well informed because they read the NYT. And then there are all the young who found Obama cool and hadn’t enough life experience to doubt his promises.

    Perhaps the best way to oppose the plans of the radicals is to chip away at the edges of their support groups and to begin at a local level. When the MSM starts to doubt Obama’s determination on Afghanistan, then push this issue with those who may have their own doubts about his dawdling; don’t do a head on attack against Code Pink. Do the same thing with the young as they start to pay their own taxes. Identify vulnerabilities and wait till the time is right to move on them. (Obama is giving quite a few openings now.)

    Also, push the priorities theme. Don’t let people get away with a 10-page list of issues. Make candidates identify the most important and agree to put others on the back burner. Keep them aware of areas where their support is weak. You may not turn over congress, but you can at least make secure majorities a thing of the past.

  52. Oblio Says:

    expat, you are right: the Dems are not monolithic. I think they are split 60/40 non-leftist vs Leftists. Problem is, the non-Leftists are afraid of the Leftists, and the non-Leftists in Congress are also afraid of going home to face their blue dog voters.

    “The crackup of the Republican Party” is a favorite story of the Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself), perhaps because it allows them to focus on something other than their own internal tensions.

  53. betsybounds Says:


    The problem with regarding the Blue Dogs as potential renegades is that the people in charge (Pelosi and her crew) have honed enforcement of party discipline to a fine art. Most of the alleged Blue Dogs are susceptible to pressure from the Leadership, including Pelosi et al. We must remember that the party honchos have many control mechanisms, simply by virtue of the powers inherent in their positions. The conservative Democrats in the House of Representatives were, many of them, recruited as candidates and elected specifically because they are conservatives from conservative districts, based upon the premise that all politics is local (this, btw, is only occasionally true). They were elected as conservatives before they were elected as Democrats. But once they got to Washington, they were members of a now-liberal (Democrat) majority. They have no power beyond what the majority power brokers agree to grant them. They can either be traitors to the party that got them there, or they can toe the party line. It’s not a pretty choice for them, but nevertheless there you are.

  54. Tom Says:

    We are in a chess game here, people. We must look ahead beyond the adversary’s (enemy’s a better word) next move, and plan our further moves accordingly. We can plan if the 2010 election either reverses the Dem takeover of the American Way or does not. If it does not, due to vote fraud, what is our next step? And so forth.
    But to simply do nothing but wait for the outcome in Nov 2010 in expectation that it will set things aright is stupid, shortsighted; at worst, lazy. If we do nothing more, Artfldgr and I and others know what’s coming: They’ll be coming for us.

  55. betsybounds Says:


    I think you are completely correct. I wish I did not think so.

    But yes, they will be coming for us. We need to be thinking ahead. I don’t think those who are content to wait for the 2010 elections are lazy–I tend to think they are simply insulated by their experience. But in the end, that may be a distinction without a difference.

    Oh Lord. Please let this not be true.

  56. Tom Says:

    I tell the two kids who will listen that we are living in 1859. It sometimes feels like it’s playing out in slo-mo.

    I am a tad old for what’s coming, but I intend to pull a Charlton Heston before the enemy is done with me.

  57. rickl Says:


    Thank you for your service and for your comments earlier.

    I likewise consider myself to be more of a libertarian than a conservative. I’ve also been an agnostic for most of my life. Nevertheless, I would support a Christian fundamentalist over a socialist any day of the week, especially if they’re for free enterprise and limited government. I have no desire to live in a theocracy, but I just don’t feel threatened by them.

    (I’m not saying that you feel threatened by them, but a lot of people apparently do.)

    Now on the other hand, the present-day Republican Party does seem to be top-heavy with religious and social conservatives, and has a dearth of economic and limited-government conservatives. Politicians like Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum seem to be all too eager to use the power of government to “improve” people.

    I agree that I would like to see schools concentrate on education, but Judeo-Christian prayer hardly seems worse than the environmentalist religion that kids are now being force-fed.

  58. expat Says:


    I’m not exactly talking about putting our faith in the blue dogs. I’m talking about chipping away at the power structure from every side, no matter how small the individual chip. Reid is already losing some of his power because he can’t control the blue dogs. Take the issue of tort reform and ask every rep whether it’s true that Nancy Pelosi won’t allow it because of donations. Ask whether that is really what the Dems are all about. Make Congress justify refusing the reform. Do this before a local audience. Make them feel that Pelosi is making their life very difficult at home. The more questions and resistance Reid and Pelosi get from their own party, the more likely they will be to make mistakes and look incompetent.

  59. notherbob2 Says:

    Prior to last Saturday the Watertown Daily Times had endorsed Republican Dede Scozzafava for Congress in NY23. Here is a quote from:

    “In her statement …[Scozzafava] explained… “I hereby release those individuals who have endorsed and supported my campaign to transfer their support as they see fit to do so”…During the day Saturday, she began to quietly and thoughtfully encourage her supporters to vote for Democrat William L. Owens…. The Times [also] endorses Bill Owens for Congress.”

    The biggest liberal in the race, even though running on the Republican ticket, drops out, then encourages her supporters to vote for the next-biggest liberal [a Democrat] even though he was her opponent!

    Clearly, the conservative critics were correct to object so strongly to the NRCC running such a candidate in the first place. What kind of candidate, for whatever reason, recommends her opposing party opponent after dropping out? And what does this mean for all those Republicans who donated money to her party in support of her candidacy? I’ll tell you. It means that their dollars are now supporting the opposing party candidate! What kind of idiots put up such a candidate?

    Having gotten rid of Scozzafava, local Republicans should rid themselves of those who appointed her as the Republican candidate – and perhaps Newt Gingrich should be hung censored for being stupid enough to be roped into supporting her. End of story, right?

    Not so fast. There is more to this story.

    There is a large military base (Fort Drum) in the NY 23d District that is in danger of being closed. We can guess, if history is any guide, that simply because its survival is in question, it probably should be closed for the good of America. The loss of jobs, etc., however, would not be good in the short run for the 23d District of NY.

    The Watertown Times is worried that if a conservative is elected to represent their District in Congress, the military base will be closed. OK. Politics as usual (perhaps more so, given the Chicago Way regime now in power in Washington, DC). The Times is saying: “Let’s elect a liberal and maybe we can save our base.” Cynical, yes. But, hey, if one likes the way things are going in America, why not elect another liberal, Republican or Democrat? If one doesn’t like the way things are going, well, do you want the base to close? Either way, never mind what’s good for America, vote for the liberal and save the base. Disgusting. Now end of story, right?


    The real point in the current election in NY23 is that The Chicago Way is not the way that principled Americans of any party want America to go. Liberal Democrats in NY23 don’t seem to care about the Chicago way becoming the American Way. The main thing is to retain the military base in their District. Principle be damned. Compromise for the good of America be damned. Do the right thing be damned. Just get as much rent from the Feds as you can, any way that you can.

    I can hear the NY23 liberals now: “It’s“for the children”- of the workers who will be laid off if the base closes. “Have you no heart for these families”? Oh yeah, screw the families who don’t live in NY23 who are paying more taxes and getting nothing for it if the base stays wastefully open. “What? Are you some kind of rural rube who believes that we all should be patriotic and trim government waste even if it might hurt us personally? Sheesh! You probably are one of those rednecks who wants the right to bear arms too.”
    The Watertown Times doesn’t care:

    ”The Democratic candidate …Mr. Owens has remained focused on the economy and job creation throughout his campaign. At the same time, he has shown an understanding of the military,..”

    Yes, “an understanding of the military;”. Just in case their readers are too dense to get it.

    Now I can disclose my intent in making this comment, if it is not obvious. My comment is not about the schism in the Republican party and why it was wrong to run a disloyal liberal on the Republican ticket. That is obvious. My intent is to highlight the difference between conservatives and liberals using NY23 as an example.

    Who stands for principle? And who are cynical, sell-out, unprincipled [fill in the negatives included in the recent discussion here of what is wrong with liberals] rent-seeking dregs in our society? Hint: It starts with an “L” or a “P”.

  60. notherbob2 Says:

    Ooops on the html. Sorry.

  61. notherbob2 Says:

    Update: Scozzafava endorses her Democrat opponent:

    “…I am writing to let you know I am supporting Bill Owens for Congress and urge you to do the same…

    …I strongly believe Bill is the only candidate who can build upon John McHugh’s lasting legacy in the U.S. Congress. John and I worked together on the expansion of Fort Drum [!!!] and I know how important that base is to the economy of this region. I am confident that Bill will be able to provide the leadership and continuity of support to Drum Country [“Drum Country!!] just as John did during his tenure in Congress.”

    PS: no html http://watertowndailytimes.com/article/20091101/NEWS09/911019992

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.


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