A Forum for Opinions on News, Politics, and Life
October 26th, 2010
By Dan Miller
The best-case scenarios are probably that Republicans/ T.E.A. candidates et al will win simple but less than veto proof majorities in the House and in the Senate in November, that within those majorities there will be sufficient conservatives to play dominant roles beginning in 2011, and that many others — maybe even including some lapsed Democrats, particularly those up for reelection in 2012 — will fall into line, sort of. Nevertheless, we will continue to be “blessed” with President Obama at least until January of 2013.
Will ObamaCare be repealed in 2011? Will the Environmental Protection Agency and other monoliths respond to a new and improved Congress quickly? Will the light of reason break through the dark clouds, causing the economic future to be bright, clear, and sunny and the threat of terrorism to cease? Not likely, at least not as soon as we might hope. Will there be a Republican betrayal? Maybe, but with continued efforts comparable to those exhibited during the months leading up to November 2010, it can at least be minimized. Will there be rampant disappointment? Probably. One of President Obama’s biggest blunders was in raising expectations so high that even were he as good, omniscient, and omnipotent as people were led to believe during the campaign he could not have met them.
It is said that everyone can serve as an example, and even bad examples are very useful; to that extent, we must learn from President Obama — the very model of a modern U.S. president — who claims not to have done as well as he thinks he should have because the nasty people on the right have caused We the Peons to become absurdly afraid and frustrated; because we are just too frightened, stupid, and uneducated to understand his genius. Some of us aren’t even grateful that he lowered himself and deigned to run for the presidency to help us, the simple folk who cling miserably to guns, religion, and dislike of those who aren’t like us.
Regardless of whatever disgust these words and attitudes of disdain may yield, and regardless of hope to the contrary, the laws of thermodynamics won’t be repealed, and neither will Newton’s laws of motion. To paraphrase the latter only slightly:
A government at rest tends to stay at rest and a government in motion tends to stay in motion. If government is going in a specific direction, unless something happens to it it will continue to go in that direction.
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. When you sit on a chair, your body exerts a force downward and the chair exerts an equal force upward lest it collapse. When the cannonball is fired the cannon is pushed backward.
The acceleration/deceleration of governmental movement produced by a force is directly related to the magnitude of the force, in the same direction as the force, and inversely related to the mass of the government. The effect on a smaller mass will be greater than on a larger. The effect of a 10 newton force on a football would be much greater than that same force acting on a mountain; even the Great Mohammad couldn’t move a mountain.
The federal bureaucracy consists of numerous extraordinarily massive entities which are to an extent independent of each other but united by some basics. These include civil service employees who do not change from administration to administration, and senior appointees who sometimes do change but who nevertheless rely heavily on the career civil servants. Forces from the top are resisted by forces from the bottom and vice versa. In addition, rules and regulations often need to be changed before much else can be done, and modification of agency rules under the Administrative Procedure Act can take a very long time, normally but not always a good thing. That process is often followed by judicial review, also a lengthy but sometimes salutary process. The bureaucracy is a cumbersome and often lethargic dinosaur and altering bureaucratic direction takes lots of effort; there are few short cuts. As noted here:
Government is very big and very powerful; it is also clunky and slow and, despite campaign promises, there are structural and substantive reasons why it can’t do everything promised by candidates efficiently and right now. That’s the way it is, and it is not going to change, no matter how much we may wish that it would.
This does not mean that we are stuck indefinitely with ObamaCare (the courts may kill it), the fruits of the Holder “Justice” Department, the failure to enforce our immigration laws, kowtowing to Islamist fascism, apologies for our past exceptionalism, and other abominations pushed along over the past couple of years. President Obama recently got at least one thing right:
So what this election [is] about is not where we are right now. It’s where we want to be two years from now, where we want to be five years from now, where we want to be 10 years from now, where we want to be 20 years from now.
Scott Johnson at Powerline offers some powerful and highly relevant contrasts between the recent rescue of the miners in Chile and ObamaCare. Robert Goldberg, vice president of the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest, reminded him (not that he had forgotten):
Private-sector innovators from around the world contributed their expertise to the rescue effort in Chile, and the result was nothing short of miraculous. Yet when it comes to rescuing our health care system, President Obama and his allies are hellbent on limiting — if not eliminating — the role of private-sector innovation. America’s leaders should take note of Chile’s example — and reverse their cynical, government-heavy course.
Some of America’s leaders have done so and more probably will. President Obama? No way.
(To avoid spam, comments with three or more links will be held for moderation and approval.)
Copyright 2014 Opinion Forum