We are living in historic times. If Obamacare is not undone, we know that it will inevitably alter the relationship between man and state, reducing citizens to subjects, and permanently alter the form of government to the stuff of banana republics. What is to be done?
In the current issue of the Weekly Standard Christopher DeMuth describes what is happening:
Obamacare is introducing a new form of government—improvisational government, characterized by continuous ad hoc revisions of statutory law by executive decree. This is a reversion to a primitive form that long antedates our Constitution and rule-of-law traditions. Transported to the modern world, it leaves the private sector in a state of constant uncertainty and subjection.
[T]he most harrowing aspect of Obamacare is that it vests political executives and government administrators with sweeping discretionary power, free of conventional checks and balances. It gives federal officials the authority to set insurance prices without any of the economic and legal standards that govern regulation of public utilities. It gives obscure committees authority to decide on the kinds of medical services doctors and hospitals are permitted to deliver from one patient to the next. It gives political operatives the ability to force private institutions to dispense free birth control pills, and potentially many other things, as tactics of electoral campaigns. It has federal and state officials running “marketplaces” and advertising campaigns and sales promotions—all with the style and mindset of business executives, but with coercion as well as persuasion at their command. The unsettling appearance of what I earlier called improvisational government—with the president and his subordinates revising Obamacare’s statutory requirements, and even their own implementing regulations, by press conference or web posting—is an authentic expression of the statute’s basic ethic, which is the ethic of executive will.
DeMuth has some ideas about what is to be done, promoting a union of sober conservatives and old-school liberals in the service of repeal and reform. As I read DeMuth’s valuable article, I wondered who these liberals are. The title of his article posits their silence, but DeMuth identifies only one by name: Joe Lieberman and he voted in favor of the monstrosity that needs to be vanquished, though DeMuth notes that he killed an even worse version of the law. Where are the liberals DeMuth conjures?