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Be Careful What You Wish For

Be Careful What You Wish For

By Mark Davis - March 23, 2010

The happy hordes of ObamaCare warriors should follow the old advice of being careful what they wish for.

Their hands are raw from high fives, I'm sure. But it is their political hides that will show blisters in November when many of the people who have done this to us will pay with their political lives.

President Barack Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have engineered an unprecedented offense against the public will, the rules of the Congress, the nation's economy and the Constitution itself.

The public will was assaulted as poll after poll revealed that the American people did not want this amount of government intrusion into health care matters.

Shame on those who have said the election of Obama proves a public taste for this labyrinthine nightmare simply because he campaigned on reform. Everybody wants reform of our vastly imperfect health care system. But if Obama had run on a pledge to bring us this specific bill, even a lethargic John McCain would have beaten him.

The rules of Congress were twisted into an unrecognizable mess as ObamaCare proponents confronted voters who simply did not want it.

The federal budget is savaged by this unspeakable orgy of spending and debt, committing money we do not have on laws we do not want.

And even if we did want them, the Constitution itself rises to say no. Someone please show me where the Constitution gives Congress the authority to even address health care issues, much less embark on socialist adventures of this scope.

Don't even try to trot out the old, failed "commerce clause" argument, which says only that Congress may "regulate" already existing commerce of certain types, a far cry from mandating commerce that the public does not wish to engage in.

This is government forcing people to purchase something they may not want, and punishing them if they do not. Millions are thrilled with this because it amounts to more free stuff paid for by other people, but if there is a rising voice in this wilderness, it is from Americans, not all conservatives, stunned by the sheer fiscal irresponsibility of the whole mess.

It is at their electoral sword that some of this week's smiling faces will be less joyful at year's end. How many? That will depend on long memories and deep reserves of energy and commitment from people who care about liberty, consumer choice and responsible government.

All three are savaged by this bill, and there will be daily reminders of that every day until Nov. 2, 2010. There will be reminders of the rank dishonesty of those who worked on behalf of this outrage, asserting that it is the only path to reform; reminders of the ill wisdom of forcing this down the throat of a nation already drowning in red ink; and ultimately reminders of how politicians who lectured us about what is best for us then went deaf to our cries for a restart that would clear the decks for specific, needed reforms.

Some Democrats spent a year spinning yarns of fantasy about this hideous measure. Others, like the detestable turncoat Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan, suddenly sold his pro-life integrity down the river on a meaningless piece of paper from a desperate president, and even more nauseatingly immediately denigrated those who hours earlier had stood with him in principled opposition.

In the end, 34 Democrats at least gave the appearance of respecting the voters more than their party's strong-arm leadership. They may well have been freed up to vote no (and thus save themselves in their skeptical districts) once Pelosi knew she had the margin she needed. While many Democrats voting yes did exactly what their voters wanted, there is a number who ignored town halls and e-mails and voted to keep Pelosi and Obama happy.

And they are surely happy this week, having moved mightily toward the kind of "transformation" that candidate Obama promised. But even among some who voted for him, there was no idea that America would be transformed into a country with such skyrocketing debt and such erosions of consumer choice and basic liberty that its fabric and its future would be imperiled.

Despite this radical increase in government control over our lives, the House members who have done this to us are still scheduled to face the voters in seven months, and the president who has done this to us will meet the same fate two years later.

I am not predicting exactly how that will go. But I do suggest that right now, the joy of those who have pulled this off is at least equaled by the revulsion of those who will now work tirelessly to undo it.

Mark Davis hosts a radio talk show in Dallas-Fort Worth and is a free-lance columnist for The Dallas Morning News.

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