Is the con­flict be­tween us ir­rec­on­cil­able?

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - By Pa­trick J. Buchanan

One way or another, the bat­tle of the bud­get and the debt ceil­ing will end. Yet, as one looks deeper, at the ir­rec­on­cil­able con­flict be­hind the present clash, only a roar­ing op­ti­mist would imag­ine we shall ever know again the tran­quil­ity and unity of the Eisen­hower-Kennedy years.

Con­sider the bile dumped upon Tea Party Repub­li­cans by Barack Obama, Harry Reid and their camp fol­low­ers in the na­tional press.

What did the Tea Party do to de­serve this? An­swer: Th­ese ex­trem­ists shut down the U.S. gov­ern­ment, they’re hold­ing Amer­ica hostage, and they’re in­flict­ing ter­ri­ble suf­fer­ing on in­no­cent peo­ple. But is this true? Three times in a fort­night, the House has voted to fund ev­ery depart­ment, agency, and pro­gram of the gov­ern­ment — ex­cept Oba­macare. Who, then, is truly shut­ting down the gov­ern­ment?

What we are wit­ness­ing here is the un­fold­ing of the Big Lie — the con­stant rep­e­ti­tion of a trans­par­ent false­hood — to per­suade a pli­able pub­lic not only to be­lieve it, but to re­cite it, as in Or­well’s “1984.”

Oba­macare, we are told, was en­acted by Congress, signed by the pres­i­dent, up­held by the Supreme Court, con­firmed by Mr. Obama’s vic­tory in 2012. To try to de­fund or re­form it amounts to an at­tempted coup, an over­turn­ing of the elec­tion re­sults of Novem­ber.

But does not Congress have the power of the purse to fund or de­fund any pro­gram it chooses? Is that not in the Con­sti­tu­tion?

And have not the last three years ex­posed glar­ing flaws in Oba­macare? Have not se­verely ad­verse con­se­quences turned up in wide­spread lay­offs and a rev­er­sion to part-time help? Did not the Cleve­land Clinic say it will have to let 3,000 peo­ple go?

Why then is the House’s ex­er­cise of its con­sti­tu­tional au­thor­ity to de­fund Oba­macare, which polls show a ma­jor­ity of Amer­i­cans fa­vor, such a moral out­rage?

This brings us to the un­der­ly­ing con­flict.

The Oba­macare bat­tle is part of a larger strug­gle be­tween a party of gov­ern­ment and a con­ser­va­tive party that fears Amer­ica is head­ing down a road trav­eled by Greece, Italy and Spain.

Now the party of gov­ern­ment can surely claim credit for So­cial Se­cu­rity, Medi­care, Med­i­caid and Oba­macare. Yet, that same party is also re­spon­si­ble for driv­ing New York City to the brink of bank­ruptcy in the 1970s and for the dis­as­ter that is Detroit to­day.

That party is also re­spon­si­ble for an un­sus­tain­able wel­fare state where half the U.S. pop­u­la­tion pays zero in­come taxes but con­sumes hun­dreds of bil­lions yearly in so­cial wel­fare ben­e­fits.

And how are the peo­ple who pre­side over this an­nual re­dis­tri­bu­tion of Amer­ica’s wealth far­ing? Just fine, thank you.

Ac­cord­ing to the lat­est data from the Cen­sus Bureau, the four coun­ties in the United States with the high­est me­dian fam­ily in­come are all in the D.C. area: Ar­ling­ton, Loudoun and Fair­fax County, Va., and Howard County, Md. Mary­land’s Mont­gomery County, just north of D.C., ranks 7. Five of the top ten. Not bad, eh?

Though 120,000 D.C. res­i­dents are on food stamps, the city boasts a me­dian fam­ily in­come higher than all but four states. And D.C. leads the na­tion in the num­ber of bed­room coun­ties, nine, where the me­dian fam­ily in­come ex­ceeds $100,000.

Big gov­ern­ment and the Fat City are one in Barack Obama’s Amer­ica.

And how does the Tea Party im­peril the coun­try?

First, they risk tak­ing Amer­ica over the cliff into de­fault. But that raises a ques­tion: Since the Tea Party folks are new­com­ers to town, who brought Amer­ica to the edge of this cliff?

What rad­i­cal added $6 tril­lion to our na­tional debt in five years? Or did the Tea Party do that?

Al­most all now agree that the en­ti­tle­ment pro­grams — So­cial Se­cu­rity, Medi­care, Med­i­caid — threaten to con­sume the bud­get.

Is the Tea Party re­spon­si­ble for this gath­er­ing dis­as­ter?

Was the Tea Party beat­ing the drums for those tril­lion-dol­lar wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Is the Tea Party re­spon­si­ble for our be­ing com­mit­ted to fight­ing other coun­tries’ wars and pay­ing other coun­tries’ bills, in per­pe­tu­ity, through for­eign aid?

When the Tea Party says the Fed’s QE3 amounts to print­ing money and in­flat­ing the cur­rency, that it is cre­at­ing stock mar­ket and real es­tate bub­bles cer­tain to burst, and that the dol­lar’s fu­ture as the world’s re­serve cur­rency is im­per­iled, do they not have a point?

Th­ese same views are to­day be­ing echoed by econ­o­mists and writ­ers, few of whom are ever likely to show up wear­ing side arms at God and Coun­try Ral­lies.

And just where did our com­mu­ni­ty­or­ga­nizer pres­i­dent learn his eco­nom­ics. From Saul Alinksy’s “Rules for Rad­i­cals”? From his se­nate days in Spring­field, cap­i­tal of the state that is the odds-on fa­vorite to be first in the na­tion to de­fault on its debts?

The Tea Party is feared and de­tested in Wash­ing­ton be­cause th­ese folks threaten the ide­ol­ogy, the vested in­ter­ests, and most crit­i­cal of all, the rice bowls in this city that voted 15-1 for Obama.

Pa­trick J. Buchanan is the au­thor of “Sui­cide of a Su­per­power: Will Amer­ica Sur­vive to 2025?”

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