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November 7 2009

Power of the Hoi Polloi

Heather R. Higgins

That the health care debate, and possibly the vote, is being held on a Saturday is a testament to the left's fear of the people.  No one involved in pushing back on this legislation through the spring and summer ever thought there was a realistic prayer of stopping passage of the bill in the House, given the overwhelming majority of Democrats and the ruthlessness with which Mme. Pelosi will break arms to get whatever she wants.

But that she has chosen to hold these proceedings on a Saturday, when district offices are closed, phone lines are turned off, faxes fall to the floor uncollected, and Rush presumably is golfing while talk radio is largely in re-runs, is a marker of how scared the Democratic leadership is of the American voter. 

Is it a surprise that Leadership would rush through an unwieldy fiscal and legislative monstrosity with as little scrutiny as possible?  No - the entire architecture of the health care bill shares that mentality; it is similarly untrusting of Americans and equally high handed and undemocratic in its methods. The legislation starts with the premise that healthcare decisions can't be entrusted to people and their doctors, but that those decisions should shift to politicians and bureaucrats. Americans become infantilized interchangeable widgits; our freedom of choice is on the line, as collective decisions are made by our betters, bureaucrats with their one-size-fits-all policies.  In the liberal leadership's view, that's good for us hoi polloi - but not themselves, of course.

The people know better - this entire grab for power is antithetical to the very foundational ideas that make America great, that the individual is self-determining, has the right to make her own choices, and the right to refuse without penalty to participate in some bureaucrat's idea of what insurance is "sufficient". 

Moderate Democrats know it too - they may have turned off their phones back home, but those phones have been ringing for weeks, and they saw what happened Tuesday.  Some of them, much like John Kerry voting for it before they vote against it, are trying to thread that needle. 

From Politico:

Moderate Dem Jim Cooper will vote yes on the bill to move it forward. He said in a statement: 

I will vote yes on H.R. 3962. My vote is not an endorsement of all the provisions of the bill because I find much of the bill to be deeply flawed.There is little chance that H.R. 3962 will become law due to the long legislative process. My reason for voting yes is to advance the cause of health care reform by forcing the Senate to act. Without passage of this House bill, the Senate could delay reform indefinitely. That would be the worst possible outcome because our current health-care system is not sustainable. Congress needs to pass good health legislation in the next few months for the good of the country.

Such weasel words may seem like a clever compromise when faced with the current extreme pressure, but such cowardice and dereliction of duty - I'm sorry, WHY was he elected a legislator? -- will infuriate Rep. Cooper's voters back in Tennessee in the weeks and months to come.  They know that to vote for this in the House is to make it much more likely to pass the Senate, and will view this as the collaborators Quisling and Petain were viewed after World War II, or the way a firefighter would be who said he didn't put out the starting forest fire when he could have because he wanted to see how the neighboring fire department would handle it when the conflagration really got started. 

Americans are increasingly concerned and Nancy Pelosi knows it.  Her bet is that this legislation so permanently shifts the American political landscape to the left that she can afford the casualties.  The question is whether moderate democrats think their constituent's views deserve such short shrift, and their own careers such short tenures.  Let's hope the hoi polloi keep making their voices heard.



Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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