The Corner

The Main Point

As I learned in a below post, a Democratic congressman has said something very interesting. He has said, “If we were to look at what we were attempting to do with the Affordable Health Care Act, you will know that what we’re trying to do is change a values system in our country.” I have never believed that the point of Obamacare is to “work.” The point of it is to change society (“fundamental transformation”). To increase the government sector and decrease the private sector. To bind the citizen more tightly to the federal government.

The law has already “worked,” in a sense, simply because it was enacted. Anything else — such as affordable health care — is gravy, a bonus, almost incidental.

I’ve heard from conservatives, “Once people see that Obamacare doesn’t work, they’ll reject it.” That’s nice. And it may well prove true. I hope it does. But plenty of things don’t “work” that people accept nevertheless. In a column the other day, I wrote,

My whole life, I’ve been told that the program called “Head Start” doesn’t work. I have also been told that it is unkillable — sacrosanct. Congress renews it year after year, even though “everyone” knows it doesn’t work.

A reader of that column wrote,

Have you tried telling liberal friends that Head Start is a waste and a distraction and should be ended forthwith? I have, and you can guess what the responses are. I mentioned the program’s huge cost and complete lack of lasting effects to a friend who is professionally involved in early-childhood education. She is, by the way, a bright woman and one I admire . . . Her response was, “At least it’s nice that someone is paying attention to poor kids.”

This is a typical response and is Reason Number 2,923 that I started identifying as a neoconservative with Burkean tendencies: the discovery that to most leftists the point of a program is not whether it’s effective and at what cost but making leftists feel good about themselves and morally superior to their opponents.

Bingo. And have one more note from a reader, who cites the Declaration — a musty old scroll from a gang of “dead white males”:

You write about people getting used to things. Not quite a novel concept: “. . . all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

We had George III, now we have bureaucracyitis. I fear King George was easier to “throw off.”

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