It’s Christmas Eve, and your federal government was busy this morning wrapping and putting the final touches on America’s irreversible descent into an entitlement society. Yes, Virginia, the Senate passed Harry Reid’s 2733-page affront to the Constitution this morning.
Every time a gavel drops, you see, an American loses some freedom.
Sure, the bill is patently unconstitutional in that it mandates that every American carry health insurance coverage and that it sets benchmarks for the capital structure of private insurers, and it may destroy the economy in that it will require small and big business owners alike to take on higher costs, and it likely will push American families teetering on the edge of insolvency right down into the abyss because of increased taxes and premiums, but it hasn’t become law quite yet.
That’s right, folks, the twin terrors passed by the House and by the Senate still need to be reconciled–combined during closed-door, back room meetings in which nobody seems to know what is happening–and once again passed through the House and Senate before it is taken to President Obama to sign. And that process will be absolutely critical, as it will give Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid the chance to remove provisions–like the Stupak Amendment–and insert new problems–like, perhaps, the “public option”–without public knowledge or debate. But it will also give everyday Americans like you and like me the opportunity to whittle away at congressmen and senators who voted in favor of the legislation the first time around.
These people live in a bubble. When it comes to rational thought, the Beltway is nearly impenetrable. Today, most if not all of these jokers come home to their home states and districts, home to the 60-plus percent of Americans who simply do not approve of health care reform as it has been bandied about.
Know what these people look like in case you see them around town (a few years back, I saw Sen. Bob Casey in the checkout line at IKEA during the debate over comprehensive immigration reform), and know where their local offices are so you can drop off hand-written notes showing your dissent.
Folks, it might sound naive, but we only need one. Only one. Only one congressman or senator who is a little uncomfortable with the very public nature of the sweetheart deals passed out by Harry Reid in order to buy votes. Only one who is willing to put common sense ahead of party politics and political expediency. Only one who may feel a little tentative and might want to put the brakes on America’s slide into statist oblivion. Only one who is willing to err on the side of freedom.
This morning’s vote was a heck of a blow to traditional American values, but it need not be indicative of the end result. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said something today about continuing the fight, and as insurmountable as it may seem, passionate and value-driven Americans have faced long odds before.
I need not remind you that this is Christmas Eve. Two hundred and thirty-three years ago, Gen. George Washington was worried about the future of his fledgling independent nation. He and his rag-tag group of men, wanting of proper clothing, rations and ammunition, had been beaten back and run from New York and the Hudson River Valley and, as the terribly cold winter manifested itself right here in Pennsylvania, things looked bleak at best. The next night, in perhaps the most improbable of maneuvers, Washington and his men crossed the icy Delaware River and surprised the Hessian soldiers. They surrendered, and the sweeping victory caused a renewed faith in a successful defense of our newly independent republic.
The United States of America is all about long odds, and beating them. That’s how she came to be. That’s what she beat back in the trenches of northern Europe and on the islands of the south Pacific during the early half of the last century. Survival of our republic may carry long odds again at the hands of an enemy from within, but at the end of the day we’ll beat those, too.