Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Republicans give-up on Two-party Democracy


  • noun 1 a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition that may in fact be true. 2 a person or thing that combines contradictory features or qualities.
  — DERIVATIVES paradoxical adjective paradoxically adverb.
  — ORIGIN originally in the sense statement contrary to accepted opinion: from Greek paradoxon ‘contrary opinion’.

It may not surprise you to lean that, until today, I'd never heard of Senator Orrin Hatch (Rep. Utah).

Mind you, how and why might I have I done? Some provincial US senator from the paradox that is Utah: a state all but entirely owned and run by the Mormon Church; another of those David Koresh, Jim Jones-type cult-of-personality concocted religions in which the US seems to specialise (Utah: separation of church and state? Yeah, right); Utah, where polygamy is officially a crime and banned - but a crime just as officially ignored; Utah, where alcohol is not just frowned upon, but where both its sale and strength are actively restricted - unlike the fecundity and profusion of patriarch-dominated clans - and where "fruit-based beverages" come under similar restrictions when sold to minors.

But this piece isn't merely just a mildly cynical polemic about the mass of contradictions which Utah represents: rather it seeks to illustrate how a man from such a background, Sen. Hatch, can come to (and expect others to believe) the following conclusion - that the introduction of healthcare reform will mean the end of the two-party system of democracy in America...

Here's what he said in the interview:
HATCH: That’s their goal. Move people into government that way. Do it in increments. They’ve actually said it. They’ve said it out loud.
Q: This is a step-by-step approach —
HATCH: A step-by-step approach to socialized medicine. And if they get there, of course, you’re going to have a very rough time having a two-party system in this country, because almost everybody’s going to say, “All we ever were, all we ever are, all we ever hope to be depends on the Democratic Party.”
Q: They’ll have reduced the American people to dependency on the federal government.
HATCH: Yeah, you got that right. That’s their goal. That’s what keeps Democrats in power.

But even taking into account the above display of wince-inducing paranoia, his oft-voiced concern, that requiring Americans to purchase health insurance is unconstitutional, merely ignores the fact that the US failing to provide ALL its citizens healthcare is unconscionable.

When politicians, as Sen. Hatch does here, hide expediently behind their partisan petticoats in this way, and, like the coward, make the cheap excuse of wrapping themselves in the flag before (purely by dint of them they disagree with it) decrying something as being "unconstitutional", they transcend paradox and dutifully don the mantle of pathos. Indeed, Tina Fey should be all over this fool like tasteless bling on a sartorially challenged 'gangsta rapper'.

Which leaves us with the question: can Obama drag the US kicking and screaming into the modern-era where the provision of universal healthcare is concerned?

It appears only America can stop him now...


  1. The Republicans have been ripping apart the New Deal, Fair Deal, New Frontier, and the Great Society ever since Reagan was elected almost 30 years ago. Even Clinton couldn't stop them. In fact, he's the one who said, "The era of big government is over."

    Hatch is right. We are a one party country. Unfortunately, that party is the Republican party.

  2. Hey Kirk,

    I think you raise a valid point about the nature of political polarity and partisanship in the US - where you only have two flavours of political ice cream.

    By way of illustration of the point, there's an acerbic wit and journalist over here in the UK, called Jeremy Clarkson.

    On one trip to Washington a few years back, he noted about the political classes who make up the gated communities in Georgetown in DC, as they certainly don't live amongst 'real people', what strikes you is this:

    "Because all these people [the politicians and their flunkies] with a common interest live together in a little cocoon, they labour under the misapprehension that their work is in some way important. They begin to believe that there are only two types of people: not black or white, not rich or poor, not American or better; just Democrat and Republican.

    And that stark polarity is my experience too - rarely do I see or hear any political debate in the US which seeks common-ground or, indeed, the common good (the healthcare debate being one such example of the latter) - my experience is that it's essential that you are either, or, and not some chosen ground in the middle.

  3. Actually Kirk, here's a kindred quote from a guy on Facebook on the same story:

    'The Republicans just keep morphing...first, the party of "no ideas", then the party of "no", and now the party of "oh no!"'

  4. I challenge you to find one person who is denied health care in this country. If you are poor and cannot afford treatment it will be provided free in any public hospital.

    Is health care too expensive? Yes. Does it need reform? Yes. Can we get there without Universal Government provided health care? Yes.

    To your point, whether we like it or not the Founders envisioned and designed a Nation with a limited Federal Government. That is not the case in the rest of the world, and frankly if Europe jumped off a clifff we are under no obligation to follow. Didn't your Mom teach you that?

    Strictly speaking, Congress has no authority to force anyone to buy health insurance. If you can find otherwise in the Constitution, I will be glad to listen and learn. In fact the 9th and 10th Amendments give that authority to the States. If Massachusetts wants universal healthcare they can have it (they do). If Utah does not, so be it. The powers of Congress are few and disntly spelled out in Atricle 1, Section 8.

    BTW, I should also point out that NO WHERE in the Constitution can you find the phrase "Seperation of Church and State".

  5. Hey Hoosierboy,

    Thanks for that reply - and because you've gone to such trouble, and to give it the weight it deserves, I'm going to reply to it as a post in the main blog, in a point-and-counterpoint format.



  6. To be honest, I'm also a little skeptical of the middle-of-the-roaders. More often than not, they just seem to be standing there with their fingers in the air seeing which way the wind is blowing. I know. I'm hard to please.

    As for "seperation between church and state" not being in the Constitution, that's fine, I'll settle for what it says in the First Admendment about Congress not establishing a religion.

  7. I'm half-way through a reply to Hoose, Kirk, so if it's OK, I'll add your points above tagged onto that reply - it'll be in the form of a main blog post, entitled "Scenes from the US healthcare debate."

    Back after dinner! :)

  8. Don't forget the other half of the clause in the First Amendment -- "or prohibiting the free exercise thereof".

    here is another aspect to consider. The US is broke, iti is nearly in Weimar Republic type debt. Wew may need it, but can we afford it?

    My car has nearly 150K miles, and needs replaced, but I cannot afford it. Fiscal sanity has to come into play somewhere. And seriously, you cannot believe the plan will be deficit neutral, no Government plan has ever come in under or even at budget.

  9. Hey Kirk & Hoose,

    Apologies guys, I go waylaid last night after dinner (though in a good way ;-))

    I'll finish my reply to you both tonight!

    See ya later guys!



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