Out: Hope and Change
In: Business as usual. Only more so.
We're somewhat outnumbered by friends in our loose social circle with respect to political inclinations. They aren't socialists, commies or even what we would call leftists - they are "good liberals", meaning they believe government should play an active role in the overall scheme of things but also with this active role comes a high degree of transparency, honesty and an absence of corruption. And they would also recognize there are certainly limits to what the governmnent can force you to do. In short, they are "good government" types.
What happened on Sunday which was merely the culmination of what had transpired for a near calendar year leading up to Sunday's vote on health care reform would not qualify as "good government" by any standard of the definition.
So, what happened to the "good liberals"?
An entire set of people whom a generation ago might've been wearing "Keep Your Laws Off My Body" t-shirts have been curiously absent the health care debate. Certainly, there have been what we would formerly describe as liberals cheerleading for ObamaCare but in championing this legislation they've sacrificed their good government bona fides in return for an authoritarian statist power grab.
We know it appears we are getting bogged down in political semantics but these labels do have a degree of import. To that end, it certainly seems that this shift from "liberal" to "progressive" was more than just a re-branding or an image make-over but rather a substantive re-alignment that would make the aforementioned authoritarian statist power grab not only palatable but entirely welcome.
Here's Maureen Dowd of the New York Times assessing the performance of the Dear Leader:
Until now, Obama has gotten irritated at those who cast Washington affairs in Manichean terms of strength or weakness and red or blue. He wanted to reason, to compromise, to float in his ivory tower.
But at long last, when push came to shove, he shoved (and let Nancy push). He treated politics not as an intellectual exercise, but a political one. He realized that sometimes you can’t rise above it. You have to sink down into it. You have to stop being cerebral and get your hands dirty. You can fight fear with power.
The Chicago pol in the Oval has had to learn one of the great American truths: You’ve got to slap the bully in the face. He’s a consensus-building “warrior,” Axelrod boasted to Charlie Rose.
In case you were wondering, Dowd meant this in the most complimentary of ways. So convenient to now couch special interest buy-offs, closed door deals, highly dubious and outright misleading accounting and Christmas Eve and Sunday votes in such a glowing light.
For those that argue that, as the President himself did in an interview a few weeks back, the process doesn't matter so much as the actual content of the bill are being shamelessly hypocritical. During the campaign, Obama's key selling point was that he was going to change the way business was done in D.C. Obama ran on process! Obama ran on good government! Obama lied.
Liberals have hoisted themselves upon the petard of ObamCare.
Liberals are dead to us.
It's a shame. America could've used their help were they still in existence.