Bill Murchison

The coup leaders' second offense -- committed with the encouragement of their president -- has been all along, frankly, to lie about what they were up to, and not just concerning costs. Insurance premiums won't fall; they'll shoot skyward to cover the government's new stipulations. That's merely one example of the coup leaders' deceit, their basic rhetorical dishonesty. From the Obamacare fight -- there's been no actual "debate" -- we get moral corruption of unprecedented size.

In some sense, the worst of the matter is the battle royal that the coup precipitates. It's inevitable, with polls indicating massive opposition to Obamacare. Speaking of care, the Democrats didn't. The policy on which they settled was to muscle the thing through without reference to the desires of poor dumb Americans, relatively few of whom could have foreseen this outcome when their new "postpartisan" president took office.

The domestic bitterness, anger and alienation to which the coup consigns us were, as the leaders saw it, part of the price to be paid for victory -- mere collateral damage, sorry, couldn't be helped. Whether amid economic stagnation and foreign policy challenges, the nation needs such a war as we're in right now is a matter that seems not to concern the coup leaders, content as they are to preen over their preliminary success at transforming their country into a European-style welfare state.

The coming backlash at the polls, in 2010 and 2012, will thwart them in some measure. How great at a measure, nonetheless? Great enough to prevent a total federal takeover of health care -- or merely enough to palliate the consequences? Great enough to preserve the United States as a nation largely hospitable to liberty as against condescending, suffocating paternalism?

No one knows. All one knows is that the battle is on. Down with the coup and its melancholy fruits.

Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
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