But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao
You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow
- "Revolution" The Beatles
In a move I am sure will win no friends for the President, Max Baucus is proposing fines of $3800 per family for a failure to buy health insurance. How outrageous and unconstitutional! To be fined just because you are alive and don't want a product? If this fine passes and isn't overturned, I might lose faith in our checks and balances.
That from B-Daddy on a simply brilliant idea that is essentially a tax on the air you breath because there is no way around it. With the Democrats’ and the President’s signature legislative initiative is teetering on the brink of collapse, they need to do everything they can to garner public support and this… this is what they come up? This is their big idea?
Just what in the Sam Hill is going on around here? Perhaps our girl, Camille, no conservative she, has some insight
Why has the Democratic Party become so arrogantly detached from ordinary Americans? Though they claim to speak for the poor and dispossessed, Democrats have increasingly become the party of an upper-middle-class professional elite, top-heavy with journalists, academics and lawyers (one reason for the hypocritical absence of tort reform in the healthcare bills). Weirdly, given their worship of highly individualistic, secularized self-actualization, such professionals are as a whole amazingly credulous these days about big-government solutions to every social problem. They see no danger in expanding government authority and intrusive, wasteful bureaucracy. This is, I submit, a stunning turn away from the anti-authority and anti-establishment principles of authentic 1960s leftism.
How has "liberty" become the inspirational code word of conservatives rather than liberals?… I always thought that the Democratic Party is the freedom party -- but I must be living in the nostalgic past.
In just a moment, one will be able to start connecting the dots to see how it is that the ideology of “Keep your politics off my body” went from that to levying a punitive fine on people who do not sign up for healthcare.
And one can see how the “party of choice” only means that when it comes to terminating pregnancies.
But nothing sums up this transformation better than Thomas Friedman spinning off the democracy coil and pining for a more top-down Chi-comm management structure. The mainstreaming of the fringe continues in a column we were always waiting for Krugman to write.
One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century. It is not an accident that China is committed to overtaking us in electric cars, solar power, energy efficiency, batteries, nuclear power and wind power. China’s leaders understand that in a world of exploding populations and rising emerging-market middle classes, demand for clean power and energy efficiency is going to soar. Beijing wants to make sure that it owns that industry and is ordering the policies to do that, including boosting gasoline prices, from the top down.
Do you know what else the Chinese leaders understand? A complete intolerance and crushing of dissent, that’s what. And remember when dissent was patriotic?
What is truly remarkable about this column is that Friedman’s agenda is unquestionably the right course of action so it is obvious that it be acted upon without delay or question. What do you mean, you beg to differ?
What would Friedman say, though, if it wasn’t the Democrats who controlled the executive and legislative branches? We guarantee you he would be howling about the heavy-handed nature of the party in power and how their efforts to partially privatize social security, for example, and introduce market-based reforms to healthcare was… autocratic in nature.
It’s simply unbelievable but believe, we must. And mind you, this isn’t some kook Kos diarist. This is the fair-headed lad of liberal establishment speaking here.
So, this is the end-state of Paglia’s perception of liberal ideology and Friedman’s reality of the same? Adopting the ultimate statist model with an atrocious human rights and environmental track record and where huge swaths of the countryside still exist in grinding poverty?
What was it about The Great Leap Forward and The Cultural Revolution that Friedman missed? What is it about the management apparatus that caused those two massive human tragedies and which still resides intact to be misunderstood by Friedman?
There can be only one conclusion: Cloaked in the guise of doing the right thing for society, absolute power is its own justification.
The apologists for the Soviet Union that we saw during the Cold War have re-emerged and have upped the ante using universal healthcare and environmentalism as leverage for an autocratic style of governance.
We thank Friedman and others for dropping any pretenses and making this all clear as day.