David Brooks has a recent piece in the New York Times in which he advocates political relativity.
Mr. Brooks uses phrases like “the ultra-free market Club for Growth,” “Wingers fight to take over the party,” “Republicans on the extreme ferociously attack their fellow party members,” and more.
His characterization of “extremism” in the Republican party may well be used by Democrats and Mr. Obama to get reelected. It would, however, be nonsense. To wit:
- The $789,000,000,000 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (a.k.a., stimulus) passed the House of Representatives 243-183 with not a single Republican voting for it. The bill passed the Senate 60-38 with three Republicans voting for it.
- The 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a.k.a., Obamacare) passed the House of Representatives 219-212 with not a single Republican voting for it. The bill passed the Senate 60-39 with no Republicans voting for it.
- The 2011 Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act passed the House of Representatives 237-192 with 3 Republican voting for it. The bill passed the Senate 60-39 with 3 Republicans voting for it.
The original enactment of Medicare in 1965 was certainly partisan but by no means to the extremes seen in the “signature” legislation of Obama’s first term noted above. Medicare passed with 70 Republican votes in the House and 13 Republican votes in the Senate.
The fact is that the Obama “signature” bills dramatically impacting our society, your rights, and the economy were rammed down the throats of dissenters with great partisan gusto. The combined impact of these bills make Medicare look like a college tuition program. Extremism, anyone? So let’s ask Mr. Brooks to reassess “Republican’s on the extreme” and to give credit to those who rightly push back against our progressive masters taking over DC, and our lives and our rights. Is that last sentence extreme or does it reflect reality?
“The ultra-free market Club for Growth” is a misnomer. Can there be “mini-free market” or “partially-free market” advocacy? Personal liberty (a.k.a., freedom) is relative only to extent it is exercised against the rights of another person or a person’s property. You know, a crime: theft, fraud, arson, embezzlement, kidnapping, extortion, violence, etc.
The free market and freedom should be exactly that, free. It cannot be qualified absent criminal activity.
Each of us is free in this manner, but only to the extent we insist our government’s purpose is to protect our liberty, and not to protect us from the exercise of liberty by others. Wherein lies personal responsibility and the limited role of government in enforcement against those who violate the liberties of others.
Which brings us back to Mr. Brooks and his suggestion that political relativity wins elections. What kind of future is there in the road we are now traveling? Let’s hope the electorate demands “extreme” candidates who will lead us into a future with a quality education and productive jobs for our children, with economic growth, with a rollback of our $16,000,000,000,000 Federal debt, with restructuring that reduces our $60,000,000,000,000+ unfunded entitlement liabilities, and much more. Both distant and recent history, and our instincts, tell us no such future exists absent policy changes from a government purposefully protecting our freedoms, rather than one claiming those freedoms for its own purposes.