ObamaCare By Any Other Name
posted at 11:09 am on May 26, 2010 by Doctor Zero
Why are liberals suddenly objecting to the name “ObamaCare,” forcefully enough to compel Jake Tapper to apologize for using the term? As Allahpundit noted, it’s supposed to be the crowning achievement of the Obama presidency – and, indeed, the modern Democrat Party. He should be proud to have it named after him.
The most obvious explanation is that liberals realize the ObamaCare program is deeply unpopular, a situation likely to get worse as more of the program kicks in, splattering more Easter Eggs of unforeseen consequence across the face of an increasingly angry electorate. As the President’s approval ratings plummet, his dwindling band of supporters are understandably nervous about hanging a widely reviled law around his neck… especially since it’s still damp from being shoved down America’s throat.
The sloppy craftsmanship and outrageous over-reach of ObamaCare make it a “magic eye” portrait of an incompetent president and party. As you stare at the countless little fraudulent cost estimates, unplanned side effects, and economy-killing mandates, a 3-D image of an upraised middle finger materializes. This is a deadly narrative for a Democrat Party that claims its handful of legislators and bureaucrats can run our massive economy better than millions of private citizens. Americans are understandably angry at a Democrat Congress which rammed through a trillion-dollar health-care takeover, but can’t produce a coherent annual budget.
There is also the matter of shaping public opinion about that health-care takeover. When liberals describe “ObamaCare” as a pejorative, they’re worried about belittling the program, not the President. This is supposed to be a mighty Health Care Reform Act, bringing compassion and order to the heartless and chaotic world of health insurance. The public is not supposed to see it as a vanity project, an epic legislative poem celebrating the glory of a mighty emperor. They’re certainly not supposed to see it as a catastrophic example of greed and arrogance, forever tied to a man who had no qualifications for the office he held, let alone the offices he wanted to subjugate.
I think that leads us to the more subtle reason why “ObamaCare” is suddenly considered an insult, instead of two great words becoming even more awesome together. Deliberately or subconsciously, the Left is already looking forward to the post-Obama era, and beginning the process of gently airbrushing certain aspects of his tenure from public memory.
Unless the Republicans rise to meet my expectations, and lead a successful repeal effort from 2010 through 2012, ObamaCare will be around for years after the man himself is gone. I say “years” instead of decades, because I don’t think the system infested by ObamaCare has “decades” left before it collapses entirely. One way or the other, ObamaCare will be gone before your kids are finished paying for it.
The Left can hardly afford to have the ghost of a failed President haunting the endless halls of its massive new health-care bureaucracy. They wouldn’t have wanted the Department of Education to be named after Jimmy Carter, either. These gigantic government programs are meant to be eternal fixtures of public life, far more powerful than the Constitution violated by their birth.
The Left dreams of rendering the Second Amendment null and void, if they can amass sufficient political capital. The First Amendment could be hammered into a donut, with inconvenient bloggers and talk radio hosts thrown down the hole at its center. There are sanctuary cities where immigration law can be flouted with impunity. No one will be allowed to evade ObamaCare, except the ruling class it was never meant to inconvenience. As its failures become more evident, its survival may depend on its grandeur. We can’t very well have future generations thinking it was one man’s horrible mistake, which they might be able to correct.
Cross-posted at www.doczero.org.