So the center piece of the strategy of the National Republican Committee for the coming election cycle is to run against ObamaCare – again, as if that worked in 2012. Don’t they think that people who were opposed to it as a primary issue in 2012 have had their say?
Of course there is always the possibility that now the people who thought they were going to get something for nothing have found out they have to pay while getting a lot less, they may be disenchanted enough to vote Republican this time around. But I wouldn’t count on it because I’m sure that most voters in that category are pretty well aware they won’t be getting anything from Republicans at all. Even if they did vote for Republicans, what would the Republicans do with or for these people once they’re in office? I’m sure the folks running the party haven’t thought that far in advance, or maybe they like playing the parts empty suits and grandstanding windbags.
This certainly isn’t my father’s GOP, and it really is tragic that they desire only to feed on anger and fear, and have no hope for a much brighter future to offer. It’s been four years since the passage of the Un-Affordable Care Act, and I suspect that people just can’t be that angry for that long. And I say that out of a bit of experience; even with all of the hardship I have been through the last six years, the anger has worn off. It’s a powerful emotion that just cannot be sustained on the surface. And I really can’t say that it was ever very useful to be angry, especially when nearly everything comes down to one having to do what one has to do whether its desired or not.
On the other hand, I have far less of an issue with ObamaCare than I do with the current state of the Federal Reserve System. At least the ACA was passed by elected representatives with Republicans having already relentlessly run against it and they lost at the ballot box. No politician has ever brought the issue of asymmetrical headline inflation targeting up for a vote, much less informing the public what it means to them before the Bernanke Fed decided to try it with horrific results. I expect that there would have at least been a requirement for Congress to vote on such a diversion from the Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act – because it was a dramatic shift in public policy to utilizing a persistent output/employment gap to control supply side inflation in one direction only. But of course, the Bernanke Fed was never open and upfront about what it was doing, at least there is nothing about it the public record that I have been able to find prior to 2012; and even then it was never called by what it is. Instead Bernanke simply announced that headline PCE would be the preferred measure. And so what is it we are to do in a representative republic about unelected bureaucrats going rogue, financially destroying millions of people for years to come and leaving it that way?
Republicans should concede, at least for now, that they haven’t been able to democratically overcome ObamaCare. They need to put the past where it belongs and figure out what it is they are going to do about the bigger problems that need solving in order to offer governance in accordance with our small ‘d’ democratic traditions so that we can have at least the possibility for much brighter future. Personally, I think the less they talk about ObamaCare the better, except to say that they plan on orienting it more toward free market principles than it currently is.
For one, I like the idea of the exchanges, and there is a lot they can do with that so that it doesn’t amount to little more than a portal for the government to collect information about people that it otherwise would have no right to have. For those who think that the employer-provided insurance model is the wrong model, as do I, it would be one way to move away from that while allowing people to make their own choices. I really am surprised that Democrats of all people would legislate a system that includes an employer mandate because of the fundamental change in the employer-employee relationship that is presented. What I do on my own time is none of my employer’s business, and now, they want to make it their business or I can choose to not have a job. It really is terrible. It would be nice to be able to have my own plan that my employer doesn’t pay for or control – allowing me to retain my own personal freedom – and the exchanges would be a start toward a competitive environment that could make it a reality.
But I digress. I think it’s time to get over the tragedies of the recent past and move on to figuring out what kind of future to build and how to get there. At least that’s my two cents.