I’m the wrong guy to draw this analogy, since I never go to horror movies–they scare me. But I believe there is one long-running series featuring a serial killer who wears a hockey mask and carries a chain saw or some such thing, and keeps coming back, seemingly from the dead. That’s how I’m starting to see the Democrats’ government medicine plan. Try as hard as they might, the American people can’t seem to kill it.
Byron York says that Harry Reid is determined to pass the Senate’s version of the bill by New Year’s. On paper, this seems impossible, given the short time available, the number of amendments that will be proposed by Democrats as well as Republicans, and the other issues the Senate needs to take up. Nevertheless, it may well happen. Why? Because the bill is so unpopular:
[T]he biggest problem for Democrats, by far, is that public support for the bill is slowly and steadily falling. According to Pollster.com, the average of all the polls done on health care shows 48.7 percent of Americans opposed to the bill, and 39.5 percent in favor. The gap between disapproval and approval has never been bigger.
The reason the Democratic leadership and the White House are rushing to pass the bill is that they know it is killing them and believe doing it quickly will kill fewer of them than doing it slowly. If they pass it by year’s end, perhaps voters will move on to other concerns by the November 2010 midterm elections.
Ever since the Obama administration took office, a common refrain has been, “How dumb do they think we are?” It seems the Democrats believe that voters are not just stupid, but forgetful as well.
MichaelBarone, meanwhile, notes that the federal deficit is now running at 10 percent of GDP, a figure never before approached in peacetime. The Democrats’ health care measures, once they kick in, are projected to add another $1.8 trillion in federal spending, and that figure, appalling as it is, is undoubtedly far too low. Nevertheless, the Democrats are “unfazed”:
That suggests that, at least for some Democrats, huge looming budget deficits are not a bug but a feature. Just as Ronald Reagan hoped that cutting taxes would force politicians to cut spending, these Democrats hope that increasing spending will force politicians to increase taxes to levels common in Western Europe. …
[Poll data on the economy] mirrors voters’ current opposition to Democratic health care bills. Democratic leaders nonetheless want to jam one through before their current majorities are eroded, as they seem likely to be, in the 2010 elections. This is politically risky, but makes sense if your goal is to expand government.
So the battle over health care is not just about health care. It’s about whether government will permanently gobble up more of the private-sector economy — and slow it down in the process.
I think that’s right. I don’t believe that Democrats in Congress actually disagree with the majority of voters who expect a government takeover of medicine to result in worse health care at a higher cost. Rather, the Democrats believe that degraded health care is an acceptable price to pay for what they are really after–government domination over the life of every citizen. Whether the American people understand how profound is the Democrats’ assault on their liberties, and will be willing to do what it takes to throw the greedy rascals out of power, remains to be seen.