No Gift For The Holidays


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Last week, as the rest of us roasted chestnuts by an open fire, posed for the obligatorily horrendous Christmas sweater family photos or spiked the eggnog at the office Christmas party, President Barack Obama donned his best Santa suit and took to the skies to wing westward for a 17-day vacation in Hawaii. On his way, he did manage to airdrop a present to us, his beknighted minions.

At least, that’s how Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol (no relation) saw it. During the Standard’s weekly podcast with Michael Graham, Kristol suggested Obama’s latest casual acknowledgement that his crowning achievement — the bureaucratic Frankenstein’s monster that is Obamacare — is little more than a really poorly constructed and implemented game of three-card monte.

According to Kristol, by offering yet another extension to the sign-up date for Obamacare, “President Obama has given us a gift.” Graham went so far as to describe Obamacare’s tragicomic failure as a “wonderful gift that President Obama has given us of seeing how wildly the wheels can come off.”

Now, I suppose the mirthful types can find the political benefit in Obama’s refusal to back off his gross overstepping of the Constitutional limits of executive authority. Clearly, his dedication to Obamacare has cost the Democrats dearly. The American people, who are never as stupid as the Democrats think they are, have turned their backs on Obama in record numbers. And their distaste for his Democratic accomplices is even more pronounced. Presuming you join Kristol, Graham and the rest of the neocons in considering the failure of the biggest swindle in human history a “gift,” then you’re probably looking at the Obamacare blowback as a big box with a big bow under a big tree.

And this is where I have to leap from the neocon sleigh. Obamacare may well prove to be the anchor that drags the Democrats under in 2014. It may even sink the S.S. Hillary Clinton 2016. But Obamacare is not a “gift.” I may not have the right rose tinting in my glasses; but I could never regard a deliberate, Presidentially approved scam as a “gift.” Perhaps Kristol has spent too much time inside the Beltway, but it worries me when I hear our neocon pals cheer the failure of a boondoggle like Obamacare. I understand that they tend to view all political discourse in the context of a scoreboard. If Obamacare goes under, then the GOP wins points with the disaffected electorate; and that may translate to Congressional seats. However, there’s a major flaw in that logic.

In order for the GOP to “win” on Obamacare, someone has to lose. And Obama won’t be the only one who suffers. Obamacare passed. It passed under fraudulent circumstances, which ought to render it as null and void as virtually everything Obama’s appointees have said under oath; but it passed. Kristol’s logic demands that we celebrate it as a “gift.” But millions of Americans were forced at proverbial gunpoint to suffer mightily in order for us to learn that Obama is a liar and his crowning legislative achievement is a criminal enterprise.

Kristol is a smart man. I’d prefer having him fight against Obamacare than fight for it. But those who treat Democratic disasters as “gifts” have forgotten that politics isn’t actually a game and that winning shouldn’t be the only goal of a political party. That’s the sort of “win at all costs” logic that delivers weak standard-bearers like Senator John McCain, Mitt Romney and the whole RINO herd.

In the case of Obamacare, the GOP may well “win.” But every productive American had to endure the governmental version of a mugging. Sure, we got a good description of mugger (he was tall, skinny and had ears like satellite dishes); but we got mugged. The “gift” would have entailed us not getting mugged.

Of course, I hope the Democrats take it in the teeth in 2014, 2016 and beyond. Since Obamacare exists, I hope it becomes the millstone that chokes out liberalism like an MMA champion finishing off the salutatorian of a junior high school karate class. But let’s not forget: Obamacare is no gift. And those who are willing to cheer it as such in order to win elections forget the millions of Americans whose holidays Obamacare ruined.

–Ben Crystal

Personal Liberty

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.

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