America has just witnessed an unconscionable abuse of power. President Obama has betrayed his oath to the nation — rather than bringing us together, ushering in a new kind of politics, and rising above raw partisanship, he has succumbed to the lowest denominator of incumbent power: justifying the means by extolling the ends. He promised better; we deserved better.
He calls his accomplishment “historic” — in this he is correct, although not for the reason he intends. Rather, it is an historic usurpation of the legislative process — he unleashed the nuclear option, enlisted not a single Republican vote in either chamber, bribed reluctant members of his own party, paid-off his union backers, scapegoated insurers, and justified his act with patently fraudulent accounting. What Barack Obama has ushered into the American political landscape is not good for our country; in the words of an ancient maxim, “what starts twisted, ends twisted.”
His health-care bill is unhealthy for America. It raises taxes, slashes the more private side of Medicare, installs price controls, and puts a new federal bureaucracy in charge of health care. It will create a new entitlement even as the ones we already have are bankrupt. For these reasons and more, the act should be repealed. That campaign begins today.
He’s going to have to position himself as the tip of the spear in the repeal movement to have any chance of surviving the primaries now, which explains the un-Mitt-like vehemence of the denunciation here. We can debate who the big winner is on the GOP side from the O-Care clusterfark — I’d say Ryan given how he turned it into a platform for his ideas on entitlement reform — but there’s really no question who the loser is, as both critics and supporters alike have discerned a striking resemblance between RomneyCare and the bouncing baby behemoth born in the House last night. Ambinder claims it’s an open question whether RomneyCare has worked or not, but it ain’t that open; as Pawlenty guy Patrick Ruffini notes, there’s a reason The One has been strikingly reluctant to tout it despite straining in every other way possible to frame the bill as bipartisan. I’ve argued before that Mitt has no choice but to defend R-Care lest another flip-flop finally and fatally destroy his credibility, but now that O-Care’s on the books, he has to do something to dilute his record. Start a PAC specifically devoted to repeal? Organize some sort of national speaking tour to campaign against it? Ideas are welcome, but one way or another, he’ll have to become the point man on this issue. And even then, I don’t know if it’ll be enough.
Via Ben Smith, here’s what an unnamed “conservative foe” dropped on him today. Call it the Ghost of Primary Ads Future.