The Corner

Another One for the ‘Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing’ File

The most transparent president of all time made his most transparent move yet in the recess appointment of an unabashed socialist, Dr. Donald Berwick, as his new healthcare rationing czar (i.e., administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services at HHS). That is, Mr. Obama could not more clearly have told Senate Republicans to go pound sand if he had held up a sign, live on C-SPAN, that said “Go Pound Sand!”

Roll Call (subscription only) reports that, upon returning to session, our redoubtable GOP senators reacted by taking to the floor to denounce the recess appointment in the harshest terms and to issue ”stern warnings” that, as one staffer put it, all future Obama nominees would be viewed through the “prism of Berwick.” They then bravely closed ranks to unanimously … wait for it … join with Democrats to approve, by an 86-0 vote, the nomination of Sharon Coleman, Obama’s choice to serve as a district judge in his home state of Illinois.

In related news, Sen. Scott Brown (R, MA) announced that he will join with the Maine ladies, Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, to break Republican ranks and give Democrats to votes they need to pass Obama’s horrific, 2300-page strangulation of the financial sector.

A few months back, when Republicans in droves abandoned Sen. Jim Bunning’s effort to make Democrats pay for the interminable extension of unemployment benefits (that exacerbate the problem of unemployment), I took some flak for being such a pessimist over the following:

I think the Left has already factored in the inevitability of setbacks — perhaps heavy setbacks — in the next few election cycles. While our side swoons over the prospect, the statists coldly calculate that these losses are a price well worth paying in order to impose a transformative takeover of the economy. It is a perfectly rational calculation for two reasons.

First, with a significantly bigger and more powerful government bureaucracy, there will be many avenues for leadership to reward Democrats who lose their seats after casting the unpopular votes necessary to enact the Left’s program. White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, who spent his post-Clinton wilderness months in a lucrative sinecure at Freddie Mac, knows well how this game works — and, under Obama’s command, the economy is becoming one big Freddie.

Second, and more important, Democrats know the electoral setbacks will only be temporary. They are banking on the assurance that Republicans merely want to win elections and have no intention of rolling back Obamacare, much less of dismantling Leviathan.

For my money (while I still have some), that’s an eminently sound bet. The Bunning battle, in which the GOP was nowhere to be found, is the proof. Bunning just wanted Congress to live within its gargantuan means. Yet, the Washington Post ridiculed him: “angry and alone, a one-man blockade against unemployment benefits, Medicare payments to doctors, satellite TV to rural Americans and paychecks to highway workers.” That’s outrageously unfair, but it is a day at the beach compared to the Armageddon that would be unleashed upon any attempt to undo Obama’s welfare state on steroids.

As it turns out, Republicans didn’t have the stomach for a fight over wealth transfers that plainly exacerbate the problem of unemployment. Why would anyone think they’d take on a far more demanding war, in which Democrats and the legacy media would relentlessly indict them for “denying health insurance to millions of Americans”?

Even if the GOP gets a majority for a couple of cycles, even if President Obama is defeated in his 2012 reelection bid, Obamacare will be forever. And once the public sees that the GOP won’t try to dismantle Obamacare, it will lose any enthusiasm for Republicans. Democrats will eventually return to power, and it will be power over a much bigger, much more intrusive government.

I don’t see that anything has changed.

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