Archive for kim strassel

Obamacare, Government Shutdowns, and Republican Disunity

Posted in Conservatism, Economy, Health Care, Politics with tags , , , , , , on October 5, 2013 by Cannon

So, you can’t get signed up for Obamacare.  It’s probably not President Obama’s fault.  It’s just like when Apple has some teething issues with one of its products.  It’s not the Congressional Democrats who are to blame.  They just want to fund government although they blow up every attempt to fund certain elements because Republicans won’t cave to funding Obamacare.  It’s not like Congress has been diligent in passing budgets over the last few years.  Now, the government is somewhat shutdown.  No doubt, numerous people are being affected.  Many Republicans preach that Republicans will ultimately pay the price for the shutdown.

I’m inclined to believe that the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, is a stepping stone to a system that’s totally government controlled, devoid of any quasi-market aspects.  If people can’t get signed up due to wacky websites  and employers continue to respond to incentives and direct employees into the government exchanges, there will be a push for government to step in and just give everybody health insurance.  It’s a scary thought, I know.

John McCain doesn’t like Ted Cruz, the opportunist.  Kim Strassel and Brit Hume don’t believe in Cruz and his followers, either.  Sure, Cruz is gaining contributions from like-minded parties and raising his political profile.  I’m all for people on Capitol Hill taking a stand against another debt fueling entitlement.  The current Republican leaders haven’t done all that much in the way of winning elections and holding Democrats’ accountable.  I know Hume has 115 years of experience in Washington alongside Mitch McConnell, McCain et al.  Here, we have the problem.  A good portion of America doesn’t believe in the “conservative” contingent that’s been entrenched in Washington for what seems like an eternity.  Next time you conservatives of the Potomac want to give the rest of right-wing America advice on winning in D.C., you could do it with a little more humility and little less quoting of old saws.  These are fiscally tenuous times for the United States.  It’s important that we make every effort to distinguish ourselves from those who support a semi-socialist paradigm, the same paradigm which has put European countries on a downward economic trajectory.

Obama’s Strong-Arm Tactics

Posted in Media, Politics with tags , , , , , on October 23, 2009 by Cannon

Kim Strassel adeptly encapsulated the White House’s treatment of those who dare to disagree with their policies – talk radio, Fox News, politicians of both parties, and the Chamber of Commerce to name a few.  To wit:

What makes these efforts notable is that they are not the lashing out of a frustrated political operation. They are calculated campaigns, designed to create bogeymen, to divide the opposition, to frighten players into compliance. The White House sees a once-in-a-generation opportunity on health care and climate. It is obsessed with winning these near-term battles, and will take no prisoners. It knows that CEOs are easily intimidated and (Fox News ratings aside) it is getting some of its way. Besides, roughing up conservatives gives the liberal blogosphere something to write about besides Guantanamo.

The Oval Office might be more concerned with the long term. It is 10 months in; more than three long years to go. The strategy to play dirty now and triangulate later is risky. One day, say when immigration reform comes due, the Chamber might come in handy. That is if the Chamber isn’t too far gone.

White House targets also aren’t dopes. The corporate community is realizing that playing nice doesn’t guarantee safety. The health executives signed up for reform, only to remain the president’s political piñatas. It surely grates that the unions—now running their own ads against ObamaCare—haven’t been targeted. If the choice is cooperate and get nailed, or oppose and possibly win, some might take that bet.

While these smear campaigns and freeze outs may yield fruit in terms of rallying the liberal base, I can’t see it doing any long-term good with the bulk of voters.  Ms. Strassel is completely correct in her speculation that the president will likely want, or need, the help of some of the very people he’s chosen to vilify.  It may be easy for Obama and company to say one thing one day and then completely change course the next, but the memories of most are at least a bit longer.  He’s won the presidency.  It’s time to do a little more presiding and a little less campaigning.  Of course, the fray between the Obama team and Fox might also serve as a smoke screen of sorts to divert the public’s attention from the proposed health care bill.

I will give a tip of the hat to the major network’s and CNN for standing up to the White House and thwarting their plan to keep Fox from interviewing the “pay czar”  while allowing the others in the media pool time with Mr. Feinberg.  Go here to read more on that.  Whether you like Fox or not, the actions of the White House in limiting them access are way out of line.  It’s a far cry from the openness espoused by President Obama during his presidential campaign.  At least, the other major media outlets seem to be recognizing this now.

If Fox can be frozen out, the same tactics can easily be applied to other networks and journalists.  Either they stand up now or risk being pawns of the Obama team for the duration of the next four years.  Cowhering from a bully generally doesn’t result in a viable outcome for the one being bullied.  I wish “progressives” felt more of a call to bully those who want to destroy the United States (Iran comes to mind) instead of focusing their scorched earth techniques on domestic opposition (and perceived opposition) to their ideology.  What’s so “progressive” about wanting to squash civil debate, anyway?

Health Care Debate: Liberal Extremists Vs. Local Constituencies

Posted in Health Care with tags , , , , , , , on October 14, 2009 by Cannon

Olympia Snowe went against the Republican grain in deciding to support the “Baucus bill,” but Joe Lieberman, once a Democratic Party vice presidential candidate, is making another stand against the left-wing extremists leading the Democrats.  Kim Strassel gives her take:

If Mr. Lieberman doesn’t like the bill now, he’s likely to be even less happy after Majority Leader Harry Reid has combined it with Sen. Chris Dodd’s more liberal product. Mr. Lieberman is on record opposing a “public option,” which remains the chief desire of Senate liberals.

A Lieberman defection on ObamaCare would, of course, send the Netroots around the bend — those ultra liberal activists who agitated successfully for his defeat in the 2006 Connecticut Democratic primary. But Mr. Lieberman, having faced them down to win reelection in the general election, doesn’t seem to much care about their displeasure anymore. Worse for his party’s liberals, his stance might prove an attractive example to many swing-state Democrats who still aren’t sure they want to support such a big government takeover of health-care.

The real battle isn’t Republicans vs. Democrats.  It’s the true left-wingers leading the Democrats on the national stage battling against the more moderate constituencies in most congressional districts.  Though the Democrats have control of Congress and the White House, the voters who put them in those positions mostly don’t identify themselves as being “liberal.”  It appears the disconnect between the Washington political machine and most of America is becoming more pronounced as the debates over enacting  left-leaning policies such as nationalized health care and “cap and trade” heat up.