Saturday, April 3, 2010

A New Birth of Freedom

On this Easter and Passover weekend, I will be spending less time blogging and more time with my family, but I wanted to direct you to an important and hopeful treatise from Professor Paul Rahe at Big Government.  Here's an excerpt:
Never, in the history of the United States, has a political party dared, in the face of public opinion fully formed and fiercely adverse, to carry so ambitious a bill without a modicum of cover from the opposition. What the Democrats have done is a breathtaking expression of contempt not just for public sentiment as revealed in the polling data but also for the verdict handed down by the people of Massachusetts at the polls in January. What they have done would never have been attempted by Franklin Delano Roosevelt or Lyndon Baines Johnson, who had a healthy respect for public opinion. What Barack Obama calls the audacity of hope is reckless in the extreme.

As I have argued in a recent post, Abraham Lincoln was right when he wrote, “Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.” What this means in the present circumstances cannot be overestimated. The Republicans, if they seize the occasion, will have the rapt attention of their compatriots. If they expose fully the tyrannical ambition at the heart of the healthcare bill, they not only can, they will prevail. All that they then have to do is to restate in contemporary terms what FDR said with an eye to Herbert Hoover and the business progressives of the 1920s and the early 1930s: that “a small group” of his fellow Americans was intent on concentrating “into their own hands an almost complete control over other people’s property, other people’s money, other people’s labor – other people’s lives,” for, as is perfectly obvious, that is precisely what Barack Obama and his minions are attempting to do.

This is, as Mark Steyn insists, a very dangerous time. In my judgment, however, it is also a time of almost unprecedented opportunity. We have options that have not been vouchsafed to the friends of liberty for more than sixty years. For, if the Republicans manage to articulate, on the basis of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, the rationale for limited government as that rationale is pertinent to the healthcare bill, they will at the same time have articulated the grounds for doing away with the administrative state, and everyone will recognize the consequences.
Read the whole thing.

Have a blessed Easter weekend.

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