It’s far too soon to tell. The overwhelming trend over the last 70 years has been toward increased statism and an expanded system of crony capitalism. But we are witness to an amazing change in the political winds. Just a month ago Democrats were declaring victory over having ended the partial government shutdown. Today there isn’t much crowing going on.
Obamacare was instituted on a wing and a prayer. Its creators felt that if they could just force it through everything would work itself out. That’s why they partnered up with the insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies. This partnership is what got Obamacare over the finish line in the face of massive resistance from half of the American people. These are very powerful lobbies and both the big government people and industry saw an opportunity for gain. Crony capitalism.
But things haven’t worked themselves out. Obamacare has been the predicted “train wreck” since day 1 of its rollout. And rail cars are still stacking up.
Obamacare lacks legitimacy in the eyes of the American people, or at least in the eyes of a majority of the American people. Many dismissed this lack of legitimacy with a waive of the hand. Just the bourgeois grumblings of suburban and rural “Republicans.” But it is much more than that as the failed rollout has shown the country and the world.
The big government dream was failing before Obamacare. The New Deal, statist dream born 70 years ago was already dying. But Obamacare was a massive overreach and has exposed to everyday Americans the fundamental danger of big government.
Couple the Obamacare implosion with the NSA domestic spying PR disaster (and potential danger to our economy) and it’s pretty easy to see why the statists are scared.
“At stake is the new, more ambitious, social-democratic brand of American liberalism introduced by Obama, of which Obamacare is both symbol and concrete achievement,” wrote the columnist Charles Krauthammer. “Its unraveling would catastrophically undermine their ideology of ever-expansive central government providing cradle-to-grave care for an ever-grateful citizenry.”
Fouad Ajami of Stanford’s Hoover Institution wrote in The Wall Street Journal that “a leader who set out to remake the health-care system in the country, a sixth of the national economy, on a razor-thin majority with no support whatsoever from the opposition party, misunderstood the nature of democratic politics. An election victory is the beginning of things, not the culmination.”