Being careful about what we are wishing for.
(Page 2 of 2)
“That’s why Republicans find themselves tiptoeing into an unfamiliar role-champions of old-age entitlements,” says Douthat. “The Democrats are ‘sticking it to seniors with cuts to Medicare,’ Mitch McConnell [Republican Minority Leader] declared. They want to ‘cannibalize’ the program to pay for reform, John Cornyn [Republican Senator from Texas] complained. It’s a ‘raid,’ Sam Brownback [Republican Senator from Kansas] warned, that could result in the elderly losing ‘necessary care.’”
Douthat understands why Republicans, “after decades of being demagogued for proposing even modest entitlement reforms,” would enjoy turning of the tables on the Democrats. “But this is a perilous strategy for the right.”
Medicare costs are spiraling out of control and, ultimately, “will make a mockery of the idea of limited government. For conservatives, no fiscal cause is more important than curbing this exponential growth,” says Douthat. “And by fighting health care reform with tactics ripped from the Democratic playbooks, and enlisting anxious seniors as foot soldiers, conservatives are setting themselves up to win the battle and lose the longer war.” For now, “the country suddenly has two political parties devoted to Mediscaring seniors-which in turn seems likely to make the program more untouchable than ever.”
“And if you think reform is tough today, just wait,” warns Douthat. “We’re already practically a gerontocracy: Americans over 50 cast over 40 percent of the votes in the 2008 elections, and half the votes in the ‘06 midterms.” By 2030, there will be more Americans 65 than under 18. Thus, “the power of the elderly and nearly elderly may become almost absolute.”
A lot of Douthat’s criticism involves the use and abuse of political rhetoric. But words express ideas, and ideas have consequences. The words coming out of many Republican legislators express the same ideas which gave us their prior unfunded entitlement mandate in the form of the prescription drug benefit.
Now is the time to start talking about the ideas, the principles and the goals of the Republican Party. Republicans need an honest conversation amongst themselves as to what a second coming of Republican governance will really mean in terms of policies, both at home and abroad. The party’s founder, Abraham Lincoln, spent his wilderness years thinking and talking through his vision of his party and his nation. That would be a good precedent to keep in mind.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?