Seth Mandel, in Don’t Let Technocrats Set the Terms of the ObamaCare Debate:
Conservatives have noted that ObamaCare’s early failures are indicative of a broader failure of the technocratic approach to governing. This is undoubtedly true, but I don’t expect this argument to lead where many conservatives think it leads. The federal government has failed in the past and will fail again–the latter point being key. The government will at some point get the chance to attempt a massive top-down reform that centralizes power in the hands of well-meaning but completely incompetent technocrats because of the simple reality of modern American politics.
The inadvisability of the expansion of the welfare state was clear before ObamaCare became law. But it was enacted anyway because Democrats had enough votes in Congress to approve it, and because Democrats held the White House, thus preventing a veto. Give the technocrats some credit: they may not be able to build a website (in 2013!), but they can do basic math. They also know that voters don’t like to give up entitlements, no matter the condition of the federal budget or the efficacy of the programs.
President Romney would’ve had this project up and running straight out of the gate.
The embarrassingly disastrous rollout and Obama’s Rose Garden exploding cigar represent the reductio ad absurdum for Progressivism’s technocratic state.
The other day Pete Wehner penned a balanced and thought-provoking piece on the mindset of the Tea Party movement. Within a couple hours I posted a response. Because the point I tried to make is so important to getting this teaching moment right, I’m going to excerpt a big chunk of it here:
Government cannot be Mom or Dad, or rich Uncle Sam riding to our rescue every time we are overwhelmed with a crisis.
For three reasons.
- One, this effort, as we are seeing at an accelerating pace, is simply financially unsustainable. Our Safety Net has become a massive pyramid scheme.
- Two, when attempting to innovate solutions beyond its core constitutionally-mandated responsibilities, government—as we are seeing with the Obamacare rollout—is incompetent. Not incompetent in the Why Did I Ever Hire My Nephew to Design My Small Company Website sense. But massively incompetent on a scale beyond anything most of us thought possible.
Frankly… Three is heartbreaking. It is the real crux of the difference between the government can do it (if we just do it right) and the Tea Party mindsets.
We have real families, real communities, real churches and synagogues and temples and Rotary and Knights of Columbus and Kiwanis and Daughters of the American Revolution and reading societies and mutual aid societies and soup kitchens and community pantries.
And individual and community compassion and caring and creative problem-solving.
Unless government has subsumed the roles that The People used to act from, insinuated itself into even our most intimate relationships, and destroyed the very fabric of our covenants and caring.
Which, bottom line, is exactly what has happened.
A healthy, life-giving community is a network of interdependent, nurturing relationships.
It is resilient in the face of almost anything except massive, centralized government interference.
Which—is exactly what has happened.
That is the tipping point before us.
Many of us sense that though the battle before us is long and difficult (and impossible to game plan for), that battle must begin now or be forever lost.