22 Mar 2010

“We Have Not Yet Begun to Fight”

,

“Fight on, my men,” says Sir Andrew Barton,
“I am hurt, but I am not slain;
I’ll lay me down and bleed a while,
And then I’ll rise and fight again.

John Hinderaker observes that the fight is not yet over, and we have some genuine cause for satisfaction. The Republican Party and a majority of the American people have firmly and decisively rejected socialism and the European-style welfare state. The real America still exists. We just need to win in November, clean house in Washington, and repeal this thing.

The health care battle is just beginning. Next, the Senate will try to enact the House’s “fixes” to the original Senate bill. Some Senators say that won’t happen. If not, then President Obama has the option of signing the original Senate bill–now passed by the House–Cornhusker Kickback and all. I assume he would do that, but the resulting blowback from House Democrats, not to mention the American people, would be something to behold.

The health care bill’s taxes will go into effect promptly, but its substantive provisions are, for the most part, deferred for four years. This means that we have plenty of time to repeal the legislation. Sure, it will take a new Congress and new President. But repealing this disaster of a bill will by a rallying cry for the American people for years to come. Moreover, even if the Republicans only take over the House in November, and not the Senate, won’t it be possible to throw roadblocks in the way of the bill’s implementation? Won’t budget appropriations be necessary to sustain the various federal tentacles the bill seeks to establish? What will happen if the House simply refuses to fund them?

I’ve never been prouder to be a Republican. The party’s Congressional leaders have fought this battle to the end on behalf of the American people–with intelligence, toughness, persistence and good humor. The contrast between the parties has never been starker than in today’s debate. If any intelligent Democrats were watching–there must be some left–they had to be embarrassed for their party. …

The health care debate has energized the conservative movement and awoken the sleeping giant, that is, the American people. The Democrats misinterpreted their electoral victories in 2006 and 2008 as a mandate for socialism. Now a majority of voters are intent on disabusing them of that misapprehension. Just about all of the political energy today is on the right–a remarkable fact, only sixteen months after the Democrats’ high-water mark in November 2008.

Barack Obama has used his political capital–pretty much all of it–on unpopular legislation that will continue to rile the voters for years to come. As a result, Obama is a remarkably unpopular second-year President. And he hasn’t even experienced any bad luck yet. It is hard to see how he will be able to regain his footing.

So, be of good cheer. To paraphrase a great American, we have not yet begun to fight.

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