Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday launched the Democrats' argument for the health care bill, claiming, "This is an American proposal that honors the traditions of our country." Does that suggest that opposition is un-American? And what are the traditions that are American that this law fulfills? The Democrats argue that the bill fulfills the "right" of all Americans to government-assured health care services. The congressional Democrats claim many other things that a majority of the country believes to be inconsistent with truth and reality.
So, considering the rhetorical onslaught that is about to be unleashed on the public, to paraphrase (and with the deepest apologies to) Winston Churchill on the occasion of the fall of France in June 1940:
What House Minority Leader John A. Boehner has called the Battle of Capitol Hill is over. I expect that the Battle of the Electorate is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of a nonsocialist America. Upon it depends our own American way of life and the long continuity of our institutions and our history. The whole fury and might of the media and the Democratic Party must very soon be trained on the electorate.
If they can stand up to the coming propaganda, America may be free, and the life of the wider free world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands.
But if the voters succumb to those seven months of blandishments and deceptions, then free America -- including all that we have known and cared for -- will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.
Let the public therefore brace itself to its duties, and so concentrate its mind on the true facts, that if the American spirit of freedom and dignity last for a thousand years, men will still say, "This was the American voters' finest hour."
As I said, apologies to Winston Churchill for borrowing and abusing his immortal words on the fall of France and the beginning of the Battle of Britain.
And yet, for us, now and here is where we must battle for our freedom. Not, pray God, with bullets, but with words and ideas.
This battle will not be fought in the skies over London, but on the Internet and airwaves over America. The target is not the homes and factories of the people, but the minds and judgments of the voters. But the power of a mind confused and misused is every bit as threatening to freedom as is the power of bombs and bullets.
The path to Sunday's catastrophic vote was paved with cynical blandishments by the Democratic Party's congressional leaders to their members. The votes were induced by the assurance that in the seven remaining months before the election, the true facts of their legislation, which led to overwhelming public opposition to the bill when passed -- can be undone in the minds of the voters by remorselessly repeating misconceptions to the public.
The most mendacious, cruel and destructive proposition put forth by the Democratic congressional leadership -- and soon by almost all its ranks and files -- is, of course, the outlandish claim that the bill will reduce the deficit.
The uncontrolled growth of the annual deficits and total public debt is at the crux of the public's slack-jawed horror of Washington policy these past 18 months. Washington is placing our grandchildren's prosperity on a slow boat to China.
Everything that more than 200 years of American invention, investment, labor, suffering and triumph, war and victory has created is being sold off to the world's lowest bidders in a matter of months.
So far, the public has not been fooled by the claim that a new entitlement for 30 million people is being created -- and it will cost less.
But now the Democrats have the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) official accounting -- and they plan to use it as a shield and a sword as they wade into the public debate.
Of course, every informed person understands why the CBO calculation is an honest measure of a dishonest bill. Republican Rep. Paul Ryan at the health care summit, former CBO Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, in last Sunday's New York Times, and hundreds of commentators have all laid out the lamentable, indisputable and undisputed fact that the CBO methodology has been gamed by the congressional Democrats to turn what will be more than a trillion dollars in further public deficit and debt into a fantasy savings of $140 billion.
While Medicare is at about $30 trillion in unfunded liability by 2070, the bill preposterously claims it is going to cut Medicare by half a trillion dollars a decade. The quarter- to half-trillion dollars per 10 years that it will cost to pay Medicare doctors enough to keep them providing services has simply been put in another bill. The mendacities go on and on. They are not merely small, politically useful little deceptions. They are of a dimension that may destroy the republic.
The Democratic congressional leadership seems to have a stunningly insulting view of their potential voters' intelligence. But on such a basis is the battle for the minds of the voters joined.
Never will the wisdom and common sense of the American public have been put to a more fateful test. The organized opposition to the bill must do its best. But, as fitting to a constitutional republic, the fate of American freedom lies with the people.
Tony Blankley is executive vice president of Edelman public relations in Washington .
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