President Obama said yesterday:
The debate over repealing this law is over. The Affordable Care Act is here to stay. … In the end, history is not kind to those who would deny Americans their basic economic security. Nobody remembers well those who stand in the way of America’s progress or our people. And that’s what the Affordable Care Act represents. As messy as it’s been sometimes, as contentious as it’s been sometimes, it is progress.
Bill Kristol asks what Republican will stand up today and say something like this:
No, Mr. President. No way, Mr. President. We do not accept, we do not acquiesce in, this deplorable piece of legislation. The debate is not over. The debate will continue. It must continue. What is at stake is sound health care policy for America. But what is also at stake is reversing your attempt, Mr. President, to transform a free country committed to limited government into merely another nation burdened with the worst aspects of big-government nanny-statism.
Mr. President, you have been elected our 44th president. We of course accept that, and we understand that you will continue to fight for your legislation and threaten to veto attempts to repeal and replace it. But we do not accept that you get to decide that the debate is over. We do not accept that you acquire any moral authority by claiming to enlist “history” on your side. We do not accept that your attempt to expand welfare state at the expense of individual liberty and the rule of law is true “progress.”
President Obama, you might wish the debate were over. You might think you can intimidate us into conceding the debate is over. But you are wrong. The Republican party stands committed, acting through democratic means and as the agent of a self-governing people, to repealing and replacing Obamacare.
Bill recognizes that we are called upon to make a great negation. As Herman Melville put it in his famous tribute to “the grand truth about Nathaniel Hawthorne”: “He says No! in thunder; but the Devil himself cannot make him say yes. For all men who say yes, lie…”