Where Were You When the Republic Died?
That's the question Lincoln biographer Matt Patterson is asking this morning. The situation is even more disheartening than Patterson's account assumes, since he doesn't even mention the greatest tragedy of all: the tax-payer funding for the killing of innocent babies in the womb, which is in the bill and immune to "executive orders," which are in any case reversible at the whim of the most pro-abortion president in history.
In November 2008, Americans elected a socialist as their president. In March 2010, they woke up stunned to find themselves living in a socialist country.Patterson runs through a catalog of possible but unlikely remedies before concluding:
Health insurers - once private companies - are now organs of the federal government. Every citizen is a ward of the state, which can now compel you to have insurance; punish you if you don't; determine if your insurance is acceptable; punish you if it isn't. Thousands of new federal bureaucrats will soon spill from the D.C. Beltway and flood the country, scrutinizing our finances to verify compliance with this new law.
A government that grants itself this kind of power over us can conceivably do anything to us. For our own good, of course. Such a country is in no meaningful sense "free."
And this is only the beginning. Liberals are salivating in contemplation of all the fanciful window trimmings that can in the future be hung from this legislative framework. Public option will soon appear as prelude to single payer, as was the intent all along. Soon, Americans won't even have the illusion of a choice - the government will move from subsidizer to provider, and it will be the only game in town.
So what's next?
The worst part of watching the proceedings unfold on Sunday was the endless stream of commentators and pundits calmly discussing this bill as if it were just one more piece of bad legislation we will have to live under. In fact, what has transpired is nothing less than an overthrow of the old Constitutional order.
In 1776, the American Republic boldly announced its birth with the Declaration of Independence. In 2010, it quietly expired with a declaration of dependence - on government, on entitlement, and on the Democratic party.
There is more pessimism (previously posted) here, but a glimmer of hope expressed by the National Review Editorial board here, including this:
It is quite possible that the majority of America that rejects this legislation will get its way in the next few years — if it is given the right leadership. And it is worth the effort to try.
But for the moment, the feeling of sadness and regret dominates. Let's pray that in this season of Lenten repentance the remorse many of us feel will gradually awaken in us the determination to persevere on behalf of our children's children -- born and unborn.