Yesterday the president showed defiance on the Obamacare question, although, it must be said, it was an anemic kind of defiance. He said, in a calm and listless sort of way, that Obamacare would not be repealed “as long as [he was] president.” In this, he has, yet again, mistaken the actual position of affairs. The debate is no longer whether the law will be repealed. Rather, we are all wondering how deep the crater is going to be, and how thick the column of smoke will be afterwards.
I keep thinking of another great victory, that time when Napoleon invaded Russia, captured Moscow, and lived in posh surroundings for a considerable number of weeks. What a victory that was! Those were the times!
But let us extend this metaphor a bit, and come up with something to represent health care realities, economic realities, and web site construction realities. Let’s call that cluster of realities something like “Russian winter,” and let us also pretend that the president is (for some reason having to do with the machinations of the Koch brothers) unable to produce an adequate supply line for hundreds of thousands of troops merely by signing an executive order. And we may envision the defeated and humiliated Republicans as pursuing Cossacks, picking off stragglers, and not acting very defeated at all.
Thanks to Mike Lee and Ted Cruz the opposition to Obamacare is now in a position to stand back and do nothing by way of repealing Obamacare. And as far as that law now stands, that is exactly what they should do — nothing. Opponents of the law have established their bona fides, and all they need to do now is say that they saw all this coming, and this is why they were willing to take extreme measures that seemed drastic at the time but now, in retrospect, seem like the pinnacle of modest good sense, not to mention courage. No further attempt should be made in Congress to repeal the law unless and until Obama himself requests it. Either that, or President Biden could ask if Obama resigns in order to write his third autobiography.
In the meantime, no one should begrudge the wide-ranging Cossacks their ongoing activities — lawsuits on the constitutionality of revenue bills that originated in the Senate, lawsuits on illegality of providing subsidies in states that opted out of providing an exchange, lawsuits on the religious liberty issues surrounding abortifacients, and hearings on whether Obama’s unilateral adjustments of key provisions of the law represents something that James Madison would have immediately identified as tyrannical.
In this entire debacle, or perhaps it is a fiasco, or perchance a reality-administered shellacking, smashup, or beatdown, it is this last item that is filled with the most import. Obama has rammed through a law so poorly-conceived and so laden with hubris that it is a law impossible to obey. He has then proceeded, in high profile ways, to disregard it himself while simultaneously demanding that everyone else bow and scrape before it. This will be all the invitation that millions of Americans need to disregard the regulatory rats’ nest, and to begin to shift for themselves. When they do that — chased into it by the conceit on stilts that is Obama — they might well discover that they enjoy what freedom tastes like.