On one level, the events of the last few weeks have been deeply satisfying. Who wouldn’t feel a certain vindication in seeing one’s predictions come true, and watch the perpetrators running for cover? But I’m having a lot of trouble feeling the requisite joy, because I’m not at all sure that the fundamentals have changed.
Sure, some people will experience an “aha!” moment when they find this particular emperor has no clothes. But plenty of people are still not paying attention—and won’t unless their own insurance is affected. And even then, many will swallow the “Blame the Republicans!” and/or “Onward and upward to single payer!” lines. To discredit an entire well-entrenched mindset takes—well, let’s just say that “a mind is a difficult thing to change.”
We’re talking belief here, and affiliation of the deepest sort. Self-image and self worth. I can’t quite imagine most of the people I know turning their backs on liberalism—or even, really, on Obama, more than feeling just a mild diminution of admiration—as a result of this. The “Democrats have good intentions, Republicans have bad intentions” template is too deeply engrained to be overcome by a mere program and its unfortunate design, and the fact that the president lied can be countered by the response that the poor dear just didn’t know because he was kept in the dark by his underlings.
Am I being too pessimistic here, or am I just being a realist about people? I honestly don’t know, but I do know we need to remain alert, press any advantages with vigor and intelligence, and not relax and think the fight is anywhere near over. But at least Obamacare has gotten the attention of more people than have the previous acts/omissions of this administration that should have gotten a lot more people incensed but did not.
You know what these acts/omissions are; I probably don’t have to list them. But one of the very first—one that most people don’t even remember—was Honduras, a crisis that occurred in June of 2009, only a few months after Obama took office. I wrote many many posts about Honduras at the time, because it seemed an extremely important indicator of where Obama stood on the issue of tyranny and power-grabs by an executive—and let’s just say it wasn’t on the right (correct) side.
And yet the MSM covered for him and twisted what was happening into something that sounded almost like the opposite, which was an even more alarming indicator of where they stood. From that point on, there wasn’t much question that Obama was intent on the tyranny path himself, and that the media would for the most part give him a free pass, a scout, and several guides along the way.
In my very first post on the Honduras crisis, I wrote the following:
A year ago [June 2008] I might have considered the statement I’m about to make to be a slide into tinfoil hat territory. But now I believe that [Honduran congressman] Mr. Aguilera may be giving Obama way too much credit. I suspect that Obama understands exactly what dangers Chavez and Castro pose, and that he either doesn’t care or that he actually approves.
Obama has said that he is “deeply concerned” by the news of the removal of Zelaya and that he calls on “all political and social actors in Honduras to respect democratic norms, the rule of law and the tenets of the Inter-American Democratic Charter.” So far it seems, however, that it was actually Zelaya who was violating those rules of law. It also sounds as though Obama’s definition of “democratic norms” might include “one person, one vote, one time.”
Zelaya was determined that Honduras follow in the footsteps of that stellar democracy, Venezuela, which not long ago…paved the way, in a similar referendum, for Hugo Chavez to become president for life.
A democracy can vote for tyranny—but that’s what constitutions are designed to prevent…And if Obama is defending the sort of “democracy” practiced by Zelaya, it’s a very ominous sign indeed.
What happened in Honduras may seem like a far cry from Obamacare—or, more accurately, from Obama’s statements about Obamacare and his changes to it by executive fiat. But the common thread is a president who thinks the Constitution is whatever he says it is, and who can flout it at will if it serves his purposes, and who supports the right of other leaders on the left to do the same in their countries.
[NOTE: By the way, in case you had any doubt about the staying power of the left, I just noticed that the wife of Zelaya (the leftist Chavez-wannabee whom Obama supported back in 2009, and who is barred from running again in Honduras) is campaigning for the Honduran presidency in 2013, and has a good chance of winning. Fancy that.
The election is on November 24, her name is Xiomara Castro de Zelaya, and in another irony her party is called “Libre.”]
[*If you’re not familiar with the origin of the phrase in the title of this post, please see this.]