Saturday, September 28, 2013

Delay or Defund

So on the whole Obamacare debate, I'm torn between two really interesting ideas, neither of which are mine.

First, I don't get the 'delay the individual mandate' strategy. Yes, it will have a negative impact on the economy. So? We didn't vote for it, so why minimize the pain? The part you want people to not get hooked on is the subsidies, and those start right away. So what's the point of delaying the individual mandate for a year? I don't get that at all. The more chaos, the better the chance of electing a president who can repeal the whole thing in 2016.

So onto the two ideas. The first is, 'let it burn.' Just enact anything the Democrats want and crash the system that much faster. If we believe in our ideals, and we do, then we believe that this law will all be a disaster. So bring it on. A really good article that illustrates this is from Daniel Henninger at the Wall Street Journal here. The key quotes are:
If ObamaCare fails, or seriously falters, the entitlement state will suffer a historic loss of credibility with the American people. It will finally be vulnerable to challenge and fundamental change. But no mere congressional vote can achieve that. Only the American people can kill ObamaCare.
No matter what Sen. Ted Cruz and his allies do, ObamaCare won't die. It would return another day in some other incarnation. The Democrats would argue, rightly, that the ideas inside ObamaCare weren't defeated. What the Democrats would lose is a vote in Congress, nothing more.
Republicans and conservatives, instead of tilting at the defunding windmill, should be working now to present the American people with the policy ideas that will emerge inevitably when ObamaCare's declines. 
If Republicans feel they must "do something" now, they could get behind Sen. David Vitter's measure to force Congress to enter the burning ObamaCare castle along with the rest of the American people. Come 2017, they can repeal the ruins.

This would be my default opinion as well. But then I read something like this from William Jacobsen at Legal Insurrection, and I'm not so sure. The key quotes:
[Anatoly] Sharansky spent almost a decade in Soviet prison because of his activities on behalf of Jews who wanted to emigrate to Israel. Sharansky was subjected to torture and other indignities, but never lost his spirit.
Sharansky spent nine years in the Gulag, a harrowing time in which he demonstrated what resistance is. More than 400 of those days were spent in punishment cells; more than 200 were spent on hunger strikes. His refusal to concede anything to the Soviet state was almost superhuman. This was true to the very last. When they relinquished him to the East Germans, they told him to walk straight to a waiting car — “Don’t make any turns.” Sharansky zig-zagged his way to that car.
Had it been the fight against Obamacare, supposedly wiser people than he would have counseled caution, urging him to wait until the Soviet Union collapsed of its own weight to make his stand.  Not realizing that stands such as that taken by Sharansky in the snow ultimately would cause the collapse.
Interesting choices, huh? 

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