Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What We're Up Against

While yesterday's post was intended, after Sunday evening's setback, to buck us all up a bit, you need to read today's Richard Cohen column to know better what we're up against. For Cohen, and the Left Wing of American politics of which he is fairly representative, America's promise will be most fulfilled when it returns to its roots--its European roots. That is, America will finally "arrive" when it is no longer America.

Cohen's short piece is in the main about health care and how President Obama's and the Democrat's legislative victory has brought us closer to what he insists is the far superior European version. While there is much to challenge in his general assertion, I'll limit my response to only pointing out that when one doesn't have to bear the burden of one's own defense, a lot of cash is freed up for other things. But, as I say, I'll stop with that because yet another round in the health-care bout is not what's most instructive about Cohen's article. Rather, as even he concedes, the health-care debate is, and always has been about something more, something larger. He writes, "There is something cleaving this country, something represented by the election of Barack Obama -- the very change he either promised or threatened, take your pick."

"Something cleaving this country"? After you read his piece (as I said, it's short), let me ask: Is compromise with someone who thinks like this possible? Is there anything about which his side and our side can effectively split the difference? I, for one, don't think so.

So, what does this mean for us? As I see it, it means our politics will remain for some time to come, loud, fractious, and even ugly. Are you weary of this? So am I. As a conservative, I know that what you and I want mostly is, like Greta Garbo, to be left alone. But I'm afraid that peace will only return after a clear and decisive victory is won by one side or the other. Nothing less will suffice. So steel yourself. This is not going to be easy.

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