Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: Liberal Congress, Politics — Rick Moran @ 8:57 am

The post election spinning has already begun on the left about just what this election is going to say about the ideological direction of the country. Dominated by the far left, the netroots are already rubbing their hands together in anticipation of altering the foundations of American society, overturning the intent of the Constitution, while sticking it to the “rich” and conservatives through a variety of punitive measures.

But will that really be the case now that the the Democrats have made large gains in the house and senate while winning the presidency?

The unpalatable choices at this point are: Does a Democratic landslide mean that the radical New Left “progressive” agenda - a holdover from the 1960’s with a patina of populist rhetoric and soothing bromides to make the medicine go down (while obscuring the true, radical nature of the change being contemplated) - will be triumphant or will there be a more pragmatic, center-left kind of governance that will certainly be bad enough but stop short of revolution?

The key, of course, is Obama himself. As a candidate, he has talked the talk of a moderate leftist, seeking to alter the tone of political discussion while reforming the political culture by reducing the influence of lobbyists, making ethics reform a top priority, and taking some other unspecified actions that will make Washington more accountable to the people.

Obviously, the devil is in the details. And surprisingly, these issues are not necessarily indicative of a radical leftist revolution that would sweep away the old America and replace it with a socialist utopia. John McCain wanted to do basically the same thing and I doubt whether there are too many on either side of the political divide who would disagree that it would be a good thing if our elected leaders were held accountable for earmarks, pork barrel spending, gifts from lobbyists, and other practices that make Washington such a cesspool of cynicism and corruption.

It is in Obama’s agenda on the economy, health care, education, and social welfare issues that America is to be transformed and where “progressive” ideas that have been percolating for 40 years will finally get a tryout in the real world.

Take health insurance - and by extension - the health care industry. Most advocates of national health insurance agree that unless a very large percentage of the uninsured are induced - or forced through mandates - to buy insurance, health care costs are going to continue to skyrocket.

In fact, as national health insurance supporter Ezra Klein points out, there can be no universal coverage without forcing people into an insurance pool:

I’m hearing a lot of hating on the individual mandate* — and I don’t get it. Some are complaining that the mandate “criminalizes the uninsured,” others are saying “”The uninsured shouldn’t have a financial penalty onto top of the health and financial consequences of being uninsured.” So let me try and say this clearly: Single-payer health care is an individual mandate. The enforcement mechanism, in that case, is taxation. If you don’t pay your taxes, you’re breaking the law. If you decide to withhold the portion of your taxes that go towards health care, you’re a criminal. In fact, there is absolutely no universal health care system that wouldn’t include a mandate of some kind — that’s how you make it universal. Indeed, without a mandate, you can’t have a decent health system: If the healthy can opt-out until they get sick, coverage will be unaffordable for everyone. For a risk pool to work, it needs members at low risk.

Klein drives the universal mandate idea home by pointing out that the federal government will have to subsidize those who cannot afford to buy into the pool.

The question with an individual mandate is subsidization and affordability. If we pass a law levying an individual mandate and subsidizing premiums down to $50 a month, there’ll be few complaints. A mandate with no subsidization, however, is an impossible burden on millions of families. When evaluating an individual mandate, that’s where liberals need to focus: The generosity of the subsidies. The Wyden Plan, for instance, subsidizes up to 400 percent of the poverty line. The Massachusetts plan subsidizes up to 300 percent. The Schwarzenegger plan subsidizes up to 250 percent. That looks too low, and I’ll talk more about it later today. But for now, folks need to keep in mind that you can’t simultaneously demand universal health care and reject mandates. Universal health care is a coverage mandate — whether the enforcement comes through tax receipts or proof of premium payment is not a relevant distinction. Either one can be an overwhelming burden on the poor or the foundation of a progressive, generous system. The focus, always, should be on telling the two apart.

Now Obama swears that he has no mandates to buy health insurance for anyone except parents with children and that he only wants to make health insurance more affordable. Hillary Clinton criticized him heavily for this stance in the primaries. She quite rightly pointed out that without mandates, there would still be millions of uninsured Americans and that the cost of health care (and thus health insurance) would continue to rise. Obama countered that his plan would bring down the cost of health insurance significantly and that every child in America would be covered.

But do you really think the new, far left Congress is going to stop there?

Klein sees subsidizing people 400% above the poverty line as “too low.” Think about that for a minute and you’ll see where this entire mess is heading. Each year, that subsidy will increase (as will the cost of buying into the pool for those unlucky enough to have made a success of their lives). The inexorable rise in health care costs will be matched with higher and higher buy ins to the pool. Eventually, everyone will not only have to be subsidized but the government will be buying their insurance for them. This will necessitate the takeover of the health care system by government bureaucrats who will rationalize this power grab by claiming that since they’re paying for it, they should have a say in how it’s run.

And who enforces this entire draconian system?

Well, it would have to be a federal agency used to going after deadbeats and scofflaws. It would have to have an enforcement division already active and experienced. And they would have to possess a list of taxpayers so that they could check and make sure everyone is with the program.

Roll out the red carpet for our new IRS Overlords.

Universal health insurance has been a goal of the New Left since the 1960’s (pretty much a liberal dream since Henry Wallace included the program in his 1948 Progressive Party platform). There is no doubt that adoption of mandates as a means to achieving universal health insurance would be a radical transformation of the relationship between the citizen and the government. It would place vast new powers at the disposal of the IRS - an agency already bloated and drunk with power. And, despite its backer’s claims to the contrary, it would limit and even eliminate choice in selecting health care providers and treatments.

This is the real danger of an Obama presidency - a vastly more leftist Congress who will push the neophyte president farther to the left than he wants to go. The Pelosi-Reid-Waxman-Boxer-Frank wing of the Democratic party will be in charge and unless Obama stands up to them - something he has failed to demonstrate in his short time in the Senate - we are going to get a revolution not just in health care, but education, environmental policy, social welfare issues, and a host of other areas.

Energy policy is another area where a radical Congressional majority might push Obama further than he wants to go. The new President should probably rename his energy policy the “Global Warming Prevention” policy because everything in it will be geared to reducing our carbon footprint on the world rather than creating growth by supplying industry with cheap oil or its alternative. There will be no growth or slow growth unless we increase our energy supply. This is a fact of economic life and by ignoring it, Obama and the Democrats will condemn us to a stagnant economy for years to come.

Why? Obama wants to reduce our emissions by 90% by 2050. Think about that for a moment. OBama wants to reduce our emissions to where they were in approximately 1930 in 40 years time. He wants to propose this drastic change at a time when there is absolutely no proven, viable alternative to fossil fuels that can be utilized on a continent sized scale. Solar would work - for some. Wind power - for fewer.

Geothermal? Never tried on an industrial scale. Hydrogen? Promising as an alternative to powering vehicles but a long way off - and even longer to mass produce the vehicles and make a dent in the 120 million gasoline burning autos and trucks on the road now. Fusion? Interesting developments in the last few years but as a power generating technology, it is decades away. (Going nuclear is doable and we could replace every existing oil and coal fired plant with the nuclear alternative in less than 20 years. But does anyone expect that the Democrats will do that?)

All of this means that the one means of producing the energy we need to grow our economy - fossil fuels - will be taxed, the companies that pull it out of the ground and sell it will be taxed, we consumers who use it will be taxed, and everything possible will be done to discourage its use. Meanwhile, our dependence on the Iran’s and Venezuela’s of the world will increase while we wait patiently for government bureaucrats to invent the hydrogen powered car or come up with the technology to burn coal more cleanly.

Why can’t we do both? And all of it, the whole shebang? Why can’t we drill for every drop of oil while vigorously working to find alternatives? This idea that we must do one or the other is just plain nuts.

The reason is that we are basically dealing with people who have a bias against business - and especially big business. Why should we think this attitude on the part of liberals will change? Profits are evil and the only way to redeem this dirty money is to “go green” and slavishly adhere to an arbitrary set of rules about how much a company is allowed to make, what it must do with its profits. And God help you if you make “excess” profits (defined, of course, by people who know nothing of profit, loss, meeting a payroll, or re-investing profits to find more energy). Furniture stores routinely mark up their products 400%. I don’t hear too many calls to seize “excess” profits from Joe’s Furniture Emporium, do you?

Of course, none of this nonsense will produce a single erg of energy or lessen our dependence on foreign oil by one drop. But at least it will feel good if we grab money from big oil (who will then pass the increases down to us which is the plan anyway - make energy more expensive by punishing the American people for using it.).

The goal is not more energy but more sanctimony. And in that, liberals are well stocked.

Then there’s Big Labor’s attempt to use government as kind of a super-labor organizer. How liberals can look at us with a straight face and not call the fascist “card check” program undemocratic only shows how much hubris there is on the left. Taking away a workers’ right to a secret ballot, only requiring him to sign a card in the presence of a “union representative” is unconscionable.

In practice, the program will be used to aggrandize organized crime who still today see as their main source of income and money laundering union dues and union pension funds. Those “union reps” in many areas have historically been mob goons. Even the unions that this piece of legislation has been crafted for - government and health care unions - are not immune to mob infiltration. And I guarantee with this legislation enacted, it will only get worse.

These are but a few of the things we have to look forward to when Congress convenes in January. We should consider finding ways to fight all of them as they promise to remake America in ways the Founders never intended.


  1. The question, IMO, is, which of Obama’s associates is he more inclined to promote? The Ayers types, or the Rezco types?

    The selection of Emanuel makes it clear to me, the Chicago Machine has come home to DC. The other clues are: his willingness to throw associates under the bus when they get in the way; his ability to lie in direct contradiction with evident conviction; his facility in telling whoever is his audience whatever they want to hear.

    He will be far more interested in consolidation of power. He will carry the hard-left brand as far as he has to, to keep their support. But the coziness with Wall St. bankers and trial lawyers will be far more important to him. As usual, support from women, minorities, and unions will just be assumed; probably rightly so.

    Comment by Dale — 11/7/2008 @ 9:10 am

  2. We should consider finding ways to fight all of them as they promise to remake America in ways the Founders never intended.

    That is the crux of the problem as I see it. The left will control everything. So, short of taking up arms, how can we fight them in any meaningful way? I really have no idea…

    Comment by Finrod — 11/7/2008 @ 9:34 am

  3. What’s sad is that government could make the move to alternative energy so much easier simply through incentives, ending current subsidies to the oil industry, and renovating our electrical grid.

    Comment by Andy — 11/7/2008 @ 10:59 am

  4. Is it really farther than Obama wants to go? Do recall the first things the “centrist, middle-class-tax-cut” Bill Clinton did was raise taxes on everybody and try to push through universal health care.

    Clinton had more centrist and fewer far-left bona-fides than Obama.

    Comment by steveegg — 11/7/2008 @ 1:43 pm

  5. Finrod wrote: The left will control everything. So, short of taking up arms, how can we fight them in any meaningful way?

    why don’t you wait until “the left” actually does something abhorrent (besides exist) before you start planning the “revolution”.

    Comment by HyperIon — 11/7/2008 @ 2:13 pm

  6. Agreed, Andy.

    The Department of Energy should be doing something like the DARPA Grand Challenge, except for alternative energy. Bring out the real genius in this country.

    DARPA Grand Challenge info:

    Comment by Chuck Tucson — 11/7/2008 @ 2:50 pm

  7. It is amazing to read your comments…. you people on the right have no clue. You actually don’t know why you got your clocks cleaned. America has rejected your hate and intolerance. There is nothing wrong with republican ideals, but we’re leaving the party in droves because of the Dobsons, Perkins, and Robertsons. Now that you got your assed kicked, you’re crying for bipartisanship. Tell you what…. how about as much as Bush, the doofus, gave to the dems? That should suffice. After all, to the victors go the spoils, and you’re all losers.

    Hope and change,baby. Hope and change. It’s your fucking candidate who won the election calling for bipartisanship, dufus. And Bush had his hand out from the moment he hit washington only to have it bitten off so don’t talk to anyone around here abut what gracious losers the dems are and how the left cried like two year old sore losers about “stolen election” in 2000 and 2004.

    There were 7 states within 2 percentage points in this race and not one single major conservative blogger has said the race was stolen. Not one. WE are the ones proving which side has grown ups and which side has spoiled brats. Guess which side you come in on sucker.


    Comment by Nick — 11/7/2008 @ 3:02 pm

  8. Good post Rick,

    There has got to be a way to counter (and balance) this as Finrod mentions. What would be a good, constructive way to go about it?

    Comment by Cepik — 11/7/2008 @ 3:02 pm

  9. 2) Finrod:
    Next election cycle is 2 years away. Start working on getting the people you like elected. In the mean time you could try holding the folks in office responsible. Actually watch what they do, point out stuff that is wrong, etc. But instead your discussing taking up arms against the government? Guess you don’t really have faith in the American democratic system.

    As to remaking America in ways our Founding Fathers never intended… Jefferson suggested a convention every 20 years to make changes to the Constitution because he realized that the only thing that stays the same is change. I don’t think that those wise men who were embracing radical new thought and concepts, expected America to be a stagnet pool. I think they expected us to continue to strive to improve upon thier ideas. How do we boldly go forth into the future, if we are afraid to let go of any of the ideas of the past? The world is no longer the world they lived in.

    We keep asking the Constitution to spell out more and more thing, making that great and simple document less elegent by takining on more amendments, when several of them would have been unnessicary with the simple changing of one word: “All People are created Equal” vs “All Men are created Equal”

    Comment by Pan_theFrog — 11/7/2008 @ 3:24 pm

  10. 7) Nick:
    If we reamin divided then we will always be struggling. For many, there is very little difference tween left and right in what we desire. Quit trying to make it ‘Us vs Them’. Work on making it ‘Us’. The center is bigger then either of the sides.

    Comment by Pan_theFrog — 11/7/2008 @ 3:31 pm

  11. Nick,
    So if Americans rejected hate and intolerance can you please explain how California and every other gay marriage ban passed? Clearly the 70% of African-Americans who voted for the ban are just closet Republicans who really wanted to vote Obama but just couldn’t.

    Watching the ensuing wrath of progressives turning against conservative blacks and other conservative Dems will be quite fun.

    Comment by BBQ — 11/7/2008 @ 3:32 pm

  12. “There were 7 states within 2 percentage points in this race and not one single major conservative blogger has said the race was stolen. Not one. ”

    That’s probably because it wasn’t.

    The point for those in the audience with pointy heads, is that neither were the 200 or 2004 elections “stolen” except in the fevered, paranoid imaginations of a bunch of nitwits.


    Comment by Chuck Tucson — 11/7/2008 @ 4:50 pm

  13. I didn’t say they were.

    Comment by Chuck Tucson — 11/7/2008 @ 6:19 pm

  14. Its times like this makes you wish the South had won the Civil War.

    Comment by Harriet Hopkins — 11/7/2008 @ 6:54 pm

  15. Just a note on the article. Hydrogen is not an energy source. It does not exist in free form on Earth. It has to be made. Primary source of H2 is natural gas. Electrolysis is about 12% efficient. Unfortunately, most of the “alternate energy” concepts are about as well founded. This may explain why so little progress is made. Can we say “corn based ethanol”?

    Comment by J in Stl — 11/7/2008 @ 8:03 pm

  16. I don’t know if Barack Obama is going to be overwhelmed by history like Dubya and make the equal horse’s ass out of himself or he’ll be one of the great memories to inhabit the White House and they’ll find some way to carve his mug on Mt. Rushmore. Likely in between.

    But, IMHO, the lefty netroots are going to be disappointed both by Congress and Obama.

    “Impeach Bush!” The netroots have been screaming for it and the right-wingers have tied themselves into hysterical knots expecting it. Yet, Pelosi, Reid, and Company roll into DC with a majority and quietly kick it to the curb.

    Yet, the right-wingers keep on bashing them as extremist nuts; the left-wingers think they see the promised land.

    Sure, Congress will be left of center but centrist it will be and Obama will keep them steady on that course. It’s their only safe course to remain in power for the long haul.

    Health care will be a compromise bill, if it passes at all.

    Like Bush, Rove, and Company shamefully used the social conservatives, particularly evangelicals, Obama will use the lefties. They’ll whine and whimper but they’ll stomach it because the alternative is unthinkable.

    The far right and the far left while composing the critical base of party support are too radical to rule for long. They get on their knees each election to be used as a stepping stool for party bosses climbing to power.

    Comment by sknabt — 11/7/2008 @ 10:32 pm

  17. For Chuck and you lefties out there…..

    I have always gotten a kick out of you people claiming the 2000 and 2004 elections were “stolen” when you lost. I actually got into quite a long argument with one commenter on this site in about it…..the Diebold voting machines and Ohio and, well you know, those nasty repubs stole the election.

    “Answer me this” ….where were all those nasty repub thieves in this election…what, they just gave up supporting their cause, decided not to rig the machines this time? decided not to screw with the ballots this time? Lost the code to reprogram the computers this time, couldn’t find Ohio? ?

    Oh,I know, maybe ACORN scared them off…..

    oh, I know, they tried, just weren’t able to pull it off this time…..

    Or….maybe, just maybe, the elections were close and NOBODY….ya know, NOBODY stole anything?

    Your lefty idiocy is breathtaking.

    Comment by bizjetmech — 11/7/2008 @ 11:03 pm

  18. I think that I have a plan for the future.

    The Republican future.

    Comment by Two Dogs — 11/8/2008 @ 2:22 am

  19. Only time will tell what direction this President and Congress take us, but, honestly, people that write on this blog have to take it a little easy for now. We’re 4 days after the election and someone is talking about revolution. Wait until he does something to get freaked out. As for Emmanuel, read the WSJ editorial–I couldn’t agree with it more (and I never, I mean never, agree with the WSJ editorial board). This is a guy who’s best friend in the house appears to be the retiring Republican rep from Peoria. Again, wait until he does something WITH THIS PRESIDENT before you freak out. And I have to agree with the poster who talked about the makeup of this Congress. Yes, it’s going to lean left–more people across the country voted for Democrats this year that Republicans. But look at who those Democrats are. They are not the wild eyed, 60s liberals you apparently fear. These are pro-life, pro-second ammendment, Iraq war vet Democrats (at least some are). The agenda will have issues like healthcare that the peopele are apparently worried about. But that doesn’t mean that, sometime in the next couple of months, you’re going to wake up in Sweeden.

    Comment by Larry, your brother — 11/8/2008 @ 11:08 am

  20. bizjetmech,

    Meh. Congratulations on your eight year run. I simply can’t fathom why we’re not living in a republican utopia right now. Or maybe that’s what this is.

    Comment by Chuck Tucson — 11/8/2008 @ 4:29 pm

  21. “Profits are evil and the only way to redeem this dirty money is to “go green” and slavishly adhere to an arbitrary set of rules about how much a company is allowed to make, what it must do with its profits.”

    Enron to the rescue!

    Comment by Robert Wegrzen — 11/8/2008 @ 5:11 pm

  22. thought this was interesting but slightly off-topic. (sorry Rick, but I did tead your post)


    Comment by funny man — 11/8/2008 @ 5:35 pm

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