Peter Lemiska
The debate is over -- let the debate begin
FacebookTwitter
By Peter Lemiska
March 8, 2010

On March 3, Barack Obama announced, with obvious frustration, that the health care debate was over. Everything to say has been said, and every argument has been made. No doubt the public agrees with those comments. After a year and a half, they've heard and seen it all. They're growing weary of the orchestrated photo ops that exploit doctors, technicians, researchers, and sundry white-suited medical professionals in a clumsy effort to sway the American people. They're tired of watching the impassioned speeches before hand-picked audiences, reinforced by the obligatory nodding of on-stage supporters. And though they are sympathetic to the plight of those who have fallen through the cracks in our health care system, they've had enough of the countless heart-breaking anecdotes suggesting mass victimization by ruthless health insurance companies. While the theatrics worked fairly well during his campaign, most Americans have since caught on to Barack Obarnum, the showman.

But he's right about one thing. The debate is over. The public has decided. Beginning early last year Americans in town meetings across the country were already speaking out passionately against more government expansion, our exploding national debt, and a hastily-written health care bill that legislators hadn't even read. It was the grass-root movement that Nancy Pelosi off-handedly dismissed as "astroturf."

Then came the elections in Virginia, New Jersey, and, most notably Massachusetts, where voters chose a Republican, Scott Brown, the candidate who campaigned on the promise to derail the looming health care bill. At the time, Obama seemed to accept Brown's victory graciously, announcing that the bill was dead. He even proclaimed that there should be no votes in the senate until its newest member was seated. Yet when he made that seemingly magnanimous gesture, he was already considering an alternate and more devious means of passing the legislation.

And the people have spoken in others ways. The Pew Research Center released a survey in January asking participants to rank their top priorities for the president and congress. Health care ranked number eight behind issues like the economy, jobs, and deficit reduction. In an NBC/Wall Street Journal survey conducted in January, only 33% of respondents indicated Obama's health reform effort was a good idea, while 46% considered it a bad idea. And respondents to a Rasmussen poll released on the first of this month rejected Obama's plan by a 52% — 44% margin. In poll after poll, in town hall meetings, and at the polling booths, the American people overwhelmingly reject the plan they see as costly, corrupt, and confusing. Some provisions may even be unconstitutional, like the requirement that all citizens purchase health insurance. Ultimately, most believe, the plan will result in a cavernous national debt, higher taxes, increased insurance premiums, and health care rationing.

Yet Obama and the Democratic leadership are more determined than ever to get this bill passed, and are willing to use any means necessary to do so, including reconciliation, the same process that Obama and congressional Democrats have, themselves, strenuously condemned, the process that Senator Harry Reid and then-Senator Joe Biden called an "arrogance of power," the same process that Reid indignantly proclaimed was not even under consideration at the health care summit last month.

So the public has weighed all the arguments, and concluded that this bill is a bad idea. Yet congress continues the debate in a desperate effort to thrust it upon the American people.

And though they believe they are working out a health care bill, this debate is about something else. It is a contest between political ideology and the democratic process. It is about what right congress has to circumvent the will of the people. It is about the blind determination and boundless hypocrisy of a president and a congress poised to use the very same tactics that they unanimously denounced five years ago.

There has been a lot of talk about the near certain losses the Democrats face later this year if they defy the voters and pass this bill. Nancy Pelosi is telling fellow Democrats to show courage, to ignore the polls and put aside their own political futures. Yes, it will take courage to put aside their careers, but it will take far greater courage to stand up to the likes of Pelosi and fulfill their obligations to their constituents. In considering this bill, those who distinguish themselves as leaders will focus, not on the upcoming election, but on their oath of office, their commitment to the Constitution, and their responsibility to the American people. If they forge ahead in defiance of the people's will, it is not democracy in action, it is nothing but unbridled arrogance and abuse of power.

© Peter Lemiska

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

Click to enlarge

Peter Lemiska

Peter Lemiska served in the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Secret Service. Following his retirement from the Secret Service, he spent several years as a volunteer for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Like most of his contemporaries, he's always loved his country, and is deeply dismayed by the new and insidious anti-American sentiment threatening to destroy it. He's a life-long conservative, and his opinion pieces have been published in various print media and on numerous internet sites.

Subscribe

Receive future articles by Peter Lemiska: Click here

More by this author

 

Stephen Stone
HAPPY EASTER: A message to all who love our country and want to help save it

Stephen Stone
The most egregious lies Evan McMullin and the media have told about Sen. Mike Lee

Siena Hoefling
Protect the Children: Update with VIDEO

Stephen Stone
FLASHBACK to 2020: Dems' fake claim that Trump and Utah congressional hopeful Burgess Owens want 'renewed nuclear testing' blows up when examined

Jerry Newcombe
A politically-incorrect prayer

Victor Sharpe
Who truly deserves a state? The Kurds or the Palestinians?

Pete Riehm
Father's Day: When men sing!

Cherie Zaslawsky
RFK Jr.: The silver-tongued spoiler

Randy Engel
A documentary: Opus Dei and the Knights of Columbus – The anatomy of a takeover bid, Part VIII

Linda Goudsmit
CHAPTER 22: What Is Social Justice?

Stephen Stone
A Song for Independence Day: ‘Have You Been To My Hometown?’

Rev. Mark H. Creech
From ancient idols to modern misconceptions: The call to worship only God

Michael Bresciani
Pride Month – Are we proud of the decimation, disfigurement, and death of children?

Tom DeWeese
The second great Colorado land grab

Matt C. Abbott
Dealing with the Dobbs backlash

Ronald R. Cherry
Book Review: Left Imperialism – From Cardinal Richelieu to Klaus Schwab, by Gary Gindler
  More columns

Cartoons


Click for full cartoon
More cartoons

Columnists

Matt C. Abbott
Chris Adamo
Russ J. Alan
Bonnie Alba
Chuck Baldwin
Kevin J. Banet
J. Matt Barber
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
. . .
[See more]

Sister sites