Monday, March 22, 2010


So Reid-Pelosi passed the house last night, amid cheering and high-fiving. Me, not so much.

Then I started thinking: what a great country we live in. Here we are debating an issue that touches the core of who we are, a defining line between very different visions of who we should be. Yet there are no machetes, suicide bombers or IEDs anywhere around.

Conservatives took a whipping in 2006 and 2008. Liberals won the national debate and the election in 2008. They won it politically, they won it following the rules, and to the victors go the spoils. They did what they said they'd do.

Yet no one is leading an armed insurrection. Conservatives are trying to take back power, just as liberals did when they were in the wilderness. But "take back power" doesn't mean fund a private militia and storm the capital.

In this country, it means working all the harder at making your point; working all the harder at convincing a free people of the merits of your position; working all the harder to elect people who agree with you.

The debate on health care has only begun. The bad math is still there, and in the coming decades we and our children will have to confront it again. Because this bill, for all its noble purpose, does not fund the entitlements it creates. And that, however you dress it up, is a piece of deception.

Funding these entitlements will, in the end, involve either massive new taxes or the complete overthrow of the current insurance system. At some point, you can no longer finesse the issue with gimmicky accounting tricks.

And the American people will have to make the actual choices that Congress ducked here. Do you want to keep your entitlements intact and pay much higher taxes? Do you accept a severe reduction in entitlements to limit your tax bill? Do you nationalize health care in order to control costs? Or some combination of these three unpalatables?

I don't know what their choice will be. I can't predict all the circumstances under which that choice will be forced upon them. But the cause for optimisim is that the people get to make that choice, and not some wacko president-for-life, "fearless leader" or Maoist dictator.

So for those who prefer an America where risks and rewards are high, and government control is low, keep working, keep praying, and keep voting. The day will come when your voice is heard again. Maybe you'll be the ones high-fiving and cheering on the floor of the House.


  1. You're right. Voting is still our best option politically. Thanks for the pep talk!

  2. We may not be perfect, but we're still the greatest country on earth!