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By Mr. Curmudgeon
In Sunday’s Des Moines Register, Republican Caucus-goers were advised to stay clear of Newt Gingrich because he’s “an undisciplined partisan who would alienate, not unite, if he reverts to mean-spirited attacks on display as House Speaker.” The Register added that Ron Paul’s “libertarian ideology would lead to economic chaos …”
Then came the Register’s ringing endorsement of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. “He helped create health-care reform in Massachusetts that is strikingly similar to the much-derided ‘Obamacare,’ for example. Yet Romney argues reasonably, though not entirely persuasively, that while all states should be free to experiment with their own reforms, it is wrong for the federal government to force a one-size-fits-all plan on the entire nation.”
That’s quite an underwhelming “ata-boy.” So, let’s revisit Mr. Romney’s “strikingly similar” health care monstrosity.
“There are some similarities and some differences,” said the former Bay State governor while comparing his health care plan to Obamacare in 2010, “I dislike most of the differences between my plan and their plan.”
But there was one aspect of Obamacare Romney is quite enamored of, “The similarities are that we have an incentive for people to become insured. And the incentive works … we have 98 percent of our citizens in Massachusetts that are insured … so that’s working.”
Whether Progressive politicians call it an “incentive” or an “individual mandate,” the result is the same: a dictatorial edict by government to force a once free people to purchase a government product on penalty of fine or imprisonment.
But Romney covered the authoritarian aspect of Romneycare with the fig leaf of federalism. “Our plan was a state plan. I believe in federalism. I believe the 10th Amendment gives to the states the right to create their own health insurance programs rather than have the federal government intrude on the rights of states …”
In other words, it’s Romney’s claim that curtailing individual God-given rights is a “States Rights” issue. For many Romney apologists, this proves he won’t repeat his Massachusetts blunder if elected president. Well, maybe and maybe not.
Romney closed his 2010 statement to the press with a veiled threat. “So, some similarities, some differences,” he said of his and Obama’s plans for our future, “and I hope were going to be able to eliminate some of the differences … repeal the bad and keep the good.” And the “incentive,” by Romney’s own admission, is good.
For Romney supporters, this minor flaw is as insignificant as an out-of-place hair on the candidate’s well-quaffed head. But it’s worth remembering that our nation’s Founders were horrified at a minor stamp tax levied without the consent of the governed. England’s parliament taxed a sheet of paper 1 shilling, the equivalent of 47 cents today. It wasn’t so much the amount taxed as the wickedness of an imperial legislative body imposing an “individual mandate.”
And this single issue (the media and establishment Republicans say we must shy away from single issues) makes Romney wholly unacceptable to a free people jealous of their liberties. But individual liberty isn’t much of a concern for many of today’s Republicans. They say Romney can create jobs singlehandedly, which, come to think of it, was the same claim made by Obama in 2008.
The Des Moines Register also claims Romney is smart … he graduated from Harvard. Strange, so did Obama. Gee, it appears the striking similarities between Romney and Obama are quite, well, striking. Let’s just call it hope and change … Republican style.