Friday, March 25, 2016

The leftist fascination with ruling by decree.

Chelsea Clinton has discovered that Obamacare involves "crushing costs" and thinks something should be done about it.

Obama realized the same thing long ago and parceled out "waivers" for his political cronies who liked the idea of Obamacare in principle but found its particular application to them personally to be inconvenient.

It was not in the contemplation of the Framers and Ratifiers that bad legislation (in this case establishing a monster bureaucracy with all kinds of unintended consequences, including large increases in health insurance premiums and insulting deductibles) could be made more palatable to political cronies of the Executive by allowing for waivers when none could be discovered in the statute.

This was Obama's by-no-means-original contribution to the new America where we are ruled by virtuous philosopher kings who can cut through life's little restraints with a phone and a pen. Now we see how easy it is to "get things done" when you are special, from Harvard (but I repeat myself), and can read a teleprompter. The One We Were Waiting For.

Now we see Chelsea has the same idea – executive action to hold back the tidal waves of soaring cost fine tune some of the small problems that have arisen since Obamacare was put in place. The weekly Standard reports:

A video shows Chelsea Clinton blasting the "crushing costs" of President Barack Obama's signature legislation. In the video, Chelsea Clinton tells a crowd that her mother, Hillary Clinton, is open to using executive action to reduce "crushing costs" of Obamacare.[1]
Chelsea didn't "blast" the "crushing costs" but the rest is accurate – the characteristic openness to making government programs worse by having a wise executive skip the frustrations of working with the peoples' representatives. She mentions working with Congress but the siren song of imperial decree rings loudly in those ears.

These are the dog whistle moments, if you will, of how the left envisions life in a Constitution-free America. Don't think I'm exaggerating. The hippest and wittiest and most knowledgeable among us know that a suspension of the Constitution is just what the country needs. "Opposing views" are an impediment and a dictator can "do a lot of good things quickly" without having to take them into account. Make the trains run on time!

Constitutional and historical illiteracy is hardly a monopoly of the left. After a century of unbelievable slaughter, it's the rare adult I encounter even now who has any serious antipathy to unconstrained government power. Mention of the words "nationalism," "far right" and "free markets" will send more mashed potatoes up educated noses than will the words "dictatorship of the proletariat," "F├╝hrerprinzip," "politburo," "democratic centralism," or "Gulag."

I once had dinner with an friend from high school, a committed liberal I gather. I don't remember what I said but it was some simple criticism of Chinese Communist excess IIRC. I remember his getting very prickly then and he seemed to take my words very personally. It seemed to be his view that the Chinese had had much suffering in the past which thus excused any totalitarian excess by the current rulers. They were beyond reproach. The friendship withered and died after that and that was the only reason I could think of.

I'll not tar my friend by associating him with the views of George Bernard Shaw who almost 90 years ago was reported as saying:

Applied socialism.
Under Socialism, you would not be allowed to be poor. You would be forcibly fed, clothed, lodged, taught, and employed whether you liked it or not. If it were discovered that you had not character and industry enough to be worth all this trouble, you might possibly be executed in a kindly manner; but whilst you were permitted to live, you would have to live well.[2]
It's hard to understand how highly intelligent people can be so arrogant, so sure of their ability to know what is best for others but that is an affliction of a great many people in this world. Dealing with other humans can be messy, frustrating, and galling but casual execution of inconvenient people isn't what decent people should advocate.

There is in leftism, the urge to control, to ignore the views of others, the arrogance, something that is indecent.

[1] "Chelsea Hits Obamacare's 'Crushing Costs.' Says mother may fix with executive order." By Shoshana Weissmann, the weekly Standard, 3/24/16.
[2] The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialism and Capitalism, 1928, p. 470) (as quoted in The Creature From Jekyll Island, by G. Edward Griffin, p. 101.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And for all those who are a PITA to some extent or another.. are those gems we find in our free associations. Those that inspire and encourage us and we them. Brothers in mind and spirit if not blood.