Thursday, November 4, 2010

Did the Democrats overreach?

If you say "yes" simply because you disagree with their policy, then I suggest that you don't understand how our democracy works. There was no violation of the normal operations of government since January 2008, everything was accomplished according to the rules and standard operating procedure for either party. If it is true that the Democrats went beyond their 2008 mandate then they certainly paid for it last Tuesday. There is nothing illegal or unconstitutional about this.

If you say "yes" because you're a Democrat and you did not want to see them lose control of the House then I'd like to meet you. I don't think there are very many of these. From what I've observed, most Democrats feel that the Senators, Congresspeople, and President they voted for compromised too much, and got nothing in return and no credit for trying to be bipartisan.

I am talking about the health care bill here, because I view the stimulus bill as something Pres. Obama and the Democrats passed because they felt they had to in order to fend of an immediate 2nd Great Depression. You may not agree with this, but at least concede that they believed this and would not have done it in normal economic times.

Was passing health care worth losing control of Congress and possibly making Barack Obama a one term President (I actually think he is still in a very strong position to get re-elected)? I think if you asked Bill Clinton if he would have traded re-election for passing his health care bill, he would say "Are you crazy? Of course!" This is LBJ-style legislation with an impact that will last for decades to come, in spite of the fixes needed.

The one problem with all this is the economic crisis we are still in. President Obama and his administration greatly underestimated the size of this problem, in spite of their massive action with the stimulus bill. In the last several months I have come to believe that they should have done whatever it took to get a much bigger stimulus and not spent political capital on passing health care. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad the health care bill passed, but it's a question of priorities. In my opinion we are now looking at recession/depression for 10 years (at least).

Another question: Do you think it would have turned out any different if the health care bill had not passed? I don't. This election was all about the bad economy and a false perception of big government generated by things like Fox News. Changing some of the facts (like having there be no health care bill passed) would not have altered this false perception since it was not based on the facts anyway.

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