President Barack Obama has drawn a line in the sand on health care reform. It's an utterly necessary one, we would contend. Obama has said the American people deserve a vote in Congress, up or down, on health care reform.While the Chronicle makes it clear that it wants an up vote, the editorial also makes it clear that its position isn't a matter of principle. Up or down doesn't really matter, just give us a vote. In other words, whether doctors are enslaved and the rest of us loose the little freedom we have in the realm of health care is irrelevant--just end this debate. Equally irrelevant is the opinion of the American public, which is opposed to the proposals now on the table.
In drawing his line in the sand, Obama said that he didn't know how health care reform would play out politically, but it was the right thing to do. Is he really this divorced from reality, or is he just posturing? Or, is he so hungry for power that easily perceivable facts escape him? The public's response to the Democrat's proposals was unequivocally clear in last summer's town hall meetings; the election of Scott Brown reinforced that message. If Obama doesn't know how this is going to play out politically--when he has already seen how it will play out--then we can only conclude that he sees no connection between the past and the future.
If one rejects principles, as both Obama and the Chronicle have done as a matter of principle, what happened yesterday has no bearing on what will happen tomorrow. If one rejects principles, the election of Scott Brown provides no clue what will happen in November, let alone next week.
While the election of Brown is certainly no guarantee that the Democrats will take a beating in November, it takes a serious separation from reality to feign ignorance of the political implications of drawing a line in the sand.
Unfortunately, sand is easily shifted, and so is the line drawn in it. Obama has already made "concessions" to win Republican support, and given the spinelessness of most Republicans--who generally accept the same unprincipled Pragmatism as Obama--America could be sold down the river for a few cheap trinkets. Or, political favors for some holdout Congressman.
Further, Leftists drew the line decades ago when they first called for universal health care. They have continued to move the line in that direction ever since, and Republicans have largely acquiesced. Republicans have accepted the premise of government control of health care and weakly complained that a particular proposal goes "too far". And so the line keeps shifting.
If Republicans held firm principles they would declare that individual freedom is not negotiable or subject to the fleeting passions of the moment. If Republicans had a backbone a new line would be drawn--a line carved in stone.