The Corner

Careful What You Wish For

Jonah Goldberg is right. He makes an excellent point in his piece this morning on President Obama’s abortion-pill mandate. Conservatives, libertarians, and others who believe in medical freedom should make this argument much more often when engaging liberals: What happens if “the bad guys,” namely we right-wingers, win the next election, and now we get to run Obamacare? (Be sure to twirl your handlebar mustache as you pose this question.)

Imagine, as Jonah does, that Rick Santorum is elected president and becomes the reincarnation of Cotton Mather, just as Nancy Pelosi probably fears as she lays her coiffed head on her high-threadcount pillows every night. Imagine further that instead of repealing Obamacare, the former GOP senator from Pennsylvania decided to keep this law in place and modify it along much more traditionalist, even puritanical, lines.

Santorumcare could involve — say — a federally mandated, five-day waiting period before women could have abortions. This parallels the original five-day interlude that potential firearms buyers faced under the Brady Law. How could the Left object to that?

How about a requirement that every American who receives free condoms from any federally subsidized health center first must receive 30 minutes of mandatory abstinence counseling?

And why not a rule that those who visit Gay Men’s Health Crisis cannot accept any services until after completing a two-day course on gay conversion, so that they can be “cured” of their homosexuality?

I seriously doubt that President Santorum (or President Brownback or President Palin) would do such things, but then I never envisioned President Obama ordering free birth control for any and every adult female who wanted it — regardless of income — and paid for under federal orders by health insurers, over the objections of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Our friends on the left should worry about what potentially could happen to their shiny new toy, if Obamacare ever became Santorumcare, Brownbackcare, or Palincare.

As a wise man once said: “Careful what you wish for.”

Deroy Murdock — Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online.

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