The Hidden Public Option

September 4th, 2009

For those of you who have not heard of grassfire.org: Its a non-profit 501(c)4 organization whose goal is to fight the kind of liberalism we see coming out of Washington today. They do this through e-mail, news releases and with their website. On the Grassfire website you’ll find loads of information and petitions intended to inform and educate.

Here’s a sample excerpt from Grassfire’s latest e-mail, commenting on Obama bringing the “big guns” into his health care argument: Biblical references.

Attempting to moralize the health care debate, Obama had the audacity to spew that those opposing ObamaCare were “frankly, bearing false witness.”

He pressed on, casting his perfect pro-abortion record aside saying passage of health care reform is “a core ethical and moral obligation: that is, that we look out for one another; that is, I am my brother’s keeper.”

Doesn’t his brother live in a tiny box somewhere in Africa?

Yes, this is one-sided conservative rhetoric but it is factual, using Obama’s own quotes — and they raise an excellent point: Obama will do and say anything to get a health care bill passed.

And Obama will get a health care bill passed and sign it into law this year, but fortunately for all Americans it will be nothing like the original proposals drafted by his pet monkeys in Congress.

This story from the New York Times (the newspaper of record for liberals) appeared today, headlined: “Health Care Idea Has Public Plan Only as Backup.” The lead paragraph of the story spells it out:

As President Obama faces conflicting pressures from the left and the right over his proposal for a new public health insurance program, White House officials are investigating a possible compromise under which the government would offer its own health plan only if private insurers failed to provide affordable coverage.

That is probably what will happen, but it is, like everything else in the liberal agenda, subterfuge.

The plan that finally gets signed into law (and you can take this to the bank) will place so many unreasonable regulations on the health insurance industry that they will find it impossible to field any health insurance policies that meet the regulations and are at the same time affordable. Then, when the health insurance providers have failed to meet the “affordable” requirement (“affordable” will be defined however Obama wants it defined) the government will step in and say “Well, we gave the insurance companies a chance and they failed — the ’emergency’ public option will now go into force.”

Obama is a very radical example of liberalism, and while some are not as radical, all liberals are control freaks. Until they can control every aspect of public life, they will keep trying — it’s a vicious cycle that will only end when they are no longer in control of Congress (or the White House).

Note I didn’t say “Democrats” once in my previous rant. There are Democrats who are actually working with the best interests of their constituents in mind and there are Democrats who have only one thing in mind: Power. The same, of course, can be said for Republican lawmakers. The difference is between liberal and conservative: liberals believe that citizens are incapable of managing their own lives, the government always knows best and — to use Obama’s own words — we are our brother’s keepers (either voluntarily or by government edict). True conservatives, on the other hand, (the few who have survived Washington politics) believe that less government is better and everyone needs to take responsibility for their own lives.

Granted, life under liberalism is far more comfortable for many people — people who feel that they need someone to take care of them.

Some children never grow up.

(This article was also posted at My View from the Center.)


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15 Responses to “The Hidden Public Option”



  1. Tom |

    Harvey, you’re painting with a very broad brush, indeed:

    …all liberals are control freaks…liberals believe that citizens are incapable of managing their own lives, the government always knows best and…we are our brother’s keepers….

    As a liberal, at least a moderate one, I take exception. I and many other liberals I know simply don’t hold those opinions. How about disagreeing with reasoned argument instead of denigrating and stereotyping those with whom you disagree? It’s much more effective.


  2. Harvey |

    Control through big government is the standard definition of Liberalism. Perhaps you’re not a liberal!


  3. Harvey |

    I’ll agree that I should have said “…all big government liberals are control freaks” — those are the Liberals I’m talking about.

    Tom, as to “disagreeing with reasoned argument” . . . I don’t believe that any argument in this forum or in my blog or at BNN will even begin to change the mind of a big government Liberal; they are, as I said in the closing lines of my post, people who, for the most part, are unable to ‘grow up’ and take responsibility for their lives.

    I know that you care about the plight of the poor and the unemployable — so does everyone else, that doesn’t make you a Liberal; you hold Conservative views that are as strong as any self-labeled Conservative. But you certainly don’t agree with this administrations way of showing their concern, by throwing the rest of us under the economic bus.


  4. larry |

    Give em Hell Harvey!!
    The snowball of discontent grows larger with each passing day. I agree that “Beloved Comrade Leader” does have all the attributes of a control freak. I’m anxious but some what fearful to see his reaction as he continues to see his control slip away. You gotta give Beloved Comrade Leader credit, he has really caused a Ruckus.


  5. doris |

    When anyone says “all” about any people, I stop listening and think you are now speaking as a non-grown up. Generalities are never, not generally, never true about all of anything.


  6. Tom |

    The word “liberal” means different things to different people in different places. In Europe, for example, and to some extent in Britain, a liberal is closer to being a conservative, in American terms. Anyway, here’s a good quote:

    Andy Rooney —

    Democrats (I think to myself) are liberals who believe the people are basically good, but that they need government help to organize their lives. They believe in freedom so fervently that they think it should be compulsory. They believe that the poor and ignorant are victims of an unfair system and that their circumstances can be improved if we give them help. Republicans (I think to myself) are conservatives who think it would be best if we faced the fact that people are no damned good. They think that if we admit that we have selfish, acquisitive natures and then set out to get all we can for ourselves by working hard for it, that things will be better for everyone. They are not insensitive to the poor, but tend to think the poor are impoverished because they won’t work. They think there would be fewer of them to feel sorry for if the government did not encourage the proliferation of the least fit among us with welfare programs.

    Andy Rooney, as usual, makes a joke of the two stereotypes, but he effectively shows the extremities of arguments based on stereotypes.

    I think the truth is, most people are a mix of the several possible political orientations. That’s why reasoned argument on specific points is the best way to address issues. Picking a few positions a person holds, then stereotyping him or her as an extremist of one variety or another is not useful in making a point or arguing a case. However, when someone really is an extremist of left or right, making a good case on specific points still works best.


  7. Harvey |

    Tom, Doris:

    Why play with words? You know exactly what I’m saying and who I’m talking about!

    If someone takes a position that, to use Andy Rooney’s words, “. . . people are basically good, but that they need government help to organize their lives.” that person has very little respect for the “people” and has too much respect for the government. You’ll also note that Rooney touched on the Liberal’s tendency to make things mandatory — he said “They believe in freedom so fervently that they think it should be compulsory.” Well he’s sadly mistaken about Liberals believing fervently in freedom (poor Andy is sadly mistaken about many things) — Liberals simply believe that they know best and that government intervention is always benign. To ME that’s a control freak.

    Perhaps Andy was talking about Classical Liberals!

    When you look up the definition of Liberalism in most dictionaries they define Classical Liberalism and not 20th and 21st Century Liberalism — big difference.

    To quote from an article on the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) website: “The major difference between 19th century liberals and 20th century liberals is that the former believed in economic liberties and the latter did not. Twentieth century liberals believed that it is not a violation of any fundamental right for government to regulate where people work, when they work, the wages they work for, what they can buy, what they can sell, the price they can sell it for, etc. In the economic sphere, then, almost anything goes.”

    Generalizations don’t often fit but I feel that my portrayal of the Liberal mindset as that of a control freak is accurate and needs no apologetic footnotes.


  8. Brian Bagent |

    When the broad view of world history is taken, today’s liberals are not liberal in any sense of the word. As Milton Friedman pointed out some years ago, the history of mankind is to live under tyranny. The 5th century BC Greeks, the 1st and 2nd century AD Romans, the Italians during the Renaissance, and America during the late 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries are really the only people that have ever known freedom.

    John Locke, Thomas Paine, Baron de Montesquieu (Charles de Secondat), Frederick Bastiat, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson…they were all liberals. It was they who helped this republic walk away from things as they had always been done, to give us real hope and change by freeing us from tyranny.

    The modern liberal is as far removed from the ideas of those men as the east is from the west. Looking at the platform of the Democrat party, with changes in vernacular and technology, is about like reading the utterances of 18th century Tory colonists. The modern liberal wishes to grant even more power to the state, to revert back to the way things have always been done everywhere on the planet, a condition where the state decides all and grants us permission for little.


  9. doris |

    The Democratic party is not in favor of the state deciding all and granting us permission for all ,whew is this an overstatement. Liberals are in favor of being liberated and free from tyranny, not the opposite. Democrats want the gov. to help people and protect the poor from the tyranny of the big and wealthy. Democrats want the powerful and wealthy to use their power to help the poor. Democrats are in favor of the little guy and the gov. helping him and not trying to make the rich richer by giving them all the tax breaks. The Democratic Party is for so much more than your generalizations, as is the Republican Party; they both have good principles, you just have to decide if you are in favor of the little guy or the big corporations and the extremely wealthy. Gov. help and a little control is what keeps us from complete chaos and complete poverty. As you all know, we cannot be peace loving and just get along without a little law enforcement and having roads and schools without Gov.involvement. I believe all of you guys are getting the far left confused with the Democratic Party. I do not believe Obama to be a total liberal, but a Democrat.


  10. Brian Bagent |

    Doris, how do you suppose that “the poor” are going to get any tax breaks when they make so little money? You cannot tax that which doesn’t exist, and you cannot give a tax break to someone that pays little or nothing in taxes.

    Do you think it unfair that businesses get tax breaks? If anything, you should argue to abolish taxes on businesses all together. Income taxation on businesses, whether they are sole proprietorships or mega-corporations, is ultimately paid by the people who consume those products and services. The businesses merely collect those taxes for the government. In short, income taxation on business is simply a hidden sales tax, a tax that we pay at the register and are not even aware of how much it is that we are paying.

    Government involvement makes everything more expensive, and it doesn’t matter if the involvement is from the GOP or the DNC. How on earth does making everything more expensive benefit “the little guy”? What it does do is make a greater “need” for more government involvement, which ultimately costs us more money, which necessitates more government involvement, which…


  11. Tom |

    Brian, I have to question your historical references to some extent.

    I don’t know what people you mean in terms of 5th century BC Greeks. However, I’m not sure how many people enjoyed freedom during that century. There were wars against the Persians, and a brutal, bloody war lasting 27 years between Sparta and it’s allies and Athens and its allies. Plague ravaged Athens. The chaotic direct democracy of Athens regularly condemned people to unpleasant deaths (including Socrates) because they had offended the demos. Athens ruled over an empire of subject city-states, and Spartan oligarchy was not particularly accepting of freedom among the peoples it ruled. And throughout that time, many people lived in slavery.

    In 1st and 2nd century AD Rome, the republic had been replaced by an autocracy. It may have been better managed, but that was done at the cost of freedom and popular participation. And many people lived in slavery.

    Italians during the Renaissance? Florence, the center of the Renaissance, was under the firm rule of the Medici dynasty, which tolerated little freedom as we understand it. Savonarola briefly inflicted his own form of religious tyranny in Florence, and he was burned alive in the Piazza. Other forms of brutal public execution were common. Homosexuality was illegal, and there was an inquisitorial office set up to root it out. Even Leonardo was briefly imprisoned on a charge of homosexuality (an activity enjoyed by him, Michelangelo, and many other Florentine men of that period). And there were slaves.

    America during the late 17th, 18th, and early 19th centuries? I suppose so, as long as you don’t count the millions who lived in total slavery during the first half of that period and the Jim Crow era that followed. Of course, you also can’t count women, who were second-class citizens in civic society without even the right to vote.

    In all those examples, they only people who were totally free were the lucky few who weren’t slaves, weren’t women, and weren’t under the thumb of the rulers, whether those rulers were, for example, the mob in Athens or the Medici in Florence.


  12. doris |

    I do agree with alot of what you say, Brian, but there is no way a fair tax will ever get past the big businesses or the gov. I would be for a one and only tax, on just what you do purchase, but it will never happen. Gov. involvement is the only thing that feeds some people, you know that. Children have no say as to whether their parents work or can work, they still are hungry, would you let them starve? I am sure big business will not feed them, without being taxed to do it. I didn’t want to pay taxes, as a business owner, but that is the only system we have and jail doesn’t sound better. I realize that some sort of taxes are necessary, but that doesn’t mean I like paying them, just a fact of life, that does help the poor and the roads, bridges, healthcare, etc. A world without taxes is what you want, but that is not feasible for any society. How would you pay for policemen and hospitals when people cannot pay?


  13. Brian Bagent |

    Tom, no, not perfectly free, but largely a departure from the way things had been done everywhere else since mankind first came up with the idea of government. The point that I seemed to have poorly made is that more people were better off without having the yoke of government on their necks under those systems than under the various forms of oligarchy that have always been, and still are, the rule. As onerous as the Medicis were, Florence was still preferable to London, Madrid, Paris, Lisbon, Amsterdam…

    You bring up interesting points with Jim Crow and slavery. Those were institutions supported by the coercive power of government, with the acceptance of the people who formed those governments. It didn’t make those things right or good any more than what big government supporters of the left and right today think is right or good.

    Funny that today, with so much government “help” for the downtrodden, bastardy and illiteracy rates are higher than they have been at any time in our history. The relationship is corollary, but unmistakable. And with all of the billions, trillions maybe, spent on Johnson’s “war on poverty” that there are still any poor people is simply amazing. How many more trillions, and how much more freedom are we going to have to give up to “end poverty.”

    Methinks that the folks who think poverty can be ameliorated through government programs do not understand money or wealth.


  14. doris |

    I do know that in places like Morrocco and other poverty stricken countries, beggars fill the streets, all the streets, and beg to survive. That is not the common-place here, where the poor are helped to an extent and not many have to live off begging because of gov. programs and help. Maybe I don’t understand money or wealth, which I doubt, but those who think we don’t need gov. don’t understand complete chaos and the greed of powerful men. They certainly don’t understand how he with the biggest stick would turn out; I fear my stick is tiny. I also fear most poor and desperate, and children, would fall short, leaving them to fend for themselves, like those in poverty striken, corruptly run countries. That is to say, more corruptly run than ours.


  15. doris |

    Bastardy, is that a word? Rates are higher because marriage is not considered necessary in our current society to have a child. Illiteracy is higher, in my opinion, due the hugh amount of illegals and not enough Gov. control.


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