Many people are wondering: Why? Why did Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama push through ObamaCare in the teeth of opposition from the American people and why did they sacrifice their majority in the House to do so?
The answer is simple. If you are a Democrat you believe that you only get a chance to enact progressive legislation once in a generation. You know you'll pay for it but one thing keeps you going. You know that, whatever the cost at the next election, the new social benefit you enacted will never be repealed.
Obviously this Democratic faith will endure until it is refuted by the facts of experience. Obviously, one fine day, a glorious Democratic progressive legislative achievement will get repealed by a Congress and signed by a president elected to do just that. And that will be the end of liberalism as we know it, for liberalism is the idea that you make society more equal, more dignified, and more just with gigantic government programs like Social Security, free education, and government health care.
The great political question of the next five years is whether in fact the American people really want the Republicans to repeal ObamaCare. If the American people want that then they will know what to do. All they have to do is elect a Republican Senate in 2012 and a Republican president. That's all it takes.
If the American people do that then it will be the end of the liberal dream. Because the American people will have demonstrated that it is possible to repeal a glorious government entitlement.
Will Republicans get to do this? Well, there is one thing to keep in mind. When Democrats passed Social Security most people didn't have a pension. When Democrats passed Medicare most old people didn't have health insurance. But today, in 2010, most people already have health insurance and they report that they are pretty happy with it. ObamaCare is extending subsidies to the 30 million without health insurance. Obviously, the rest of the American people are going to have to pay for that. They are going to have to pay for it in higher taxes and/or in higher health insurance costs and/or reduced access to health care.
I ask you: what do you think that the American people think about that? And what do you think the American people are going to do about that?