Consider how differently conservative President Ronald Reagan handled abortion than President Barack Obama handled health care. Reagan opposed abortion but realized that a large number of Americans favored it, perhaps not a majority but a large enough minority to render it reckless for him to force the issue. He chose persuasion and restrained his political impulse. Obama undertook health care reform recognizing that it was controversial. As Obamacare became ever more far-reaching and opposition to it grew to the point that a majority opposed it, the president just rammed his reform through. Today 58 percent favor repeal. There has been violence from both sides. The country is torn over yet another liberal grand design.
In the culture wars, there is a new battleground, health care. The battle is going to last as long as the abortion battles have lasted, unless Obamacare can be repealed. Increasingly, the law looks as if it might be repealed, for the law really is a slapdash creation, but you see my point. As it did with abortion, the liberal political libido went wild with health care. No restraint was shown. Tremendous anger replaced the mild dissatisfaction a significant number of Americans felt about the health care system.
In "Hangover," I argue that so different is the liberal political libido from the conservative political libido that, at least when it comes to politics, liberals and conservatives are not members of the same species. Let those who decry "gridlock" on Capitol Hill think about that. When the liberals and the conservatives confront each other, it is as though Homo habilis were confronting Homo sapiens. That is not a happy thought, though I at least take heart in knowing which of the aforementioned species survived.