Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Nose of the Camel

Why can't they ever just tell us what they're really trying to accomplish? Why does the left so often package their agenda in camouflage gift wrap?

All through the S-CHIP debate conservatives were saying that the ultimate goal of the Democrats was to impose universal socialized health care on the nation by gradually expanding the coverage beyond just the poor and the young. Progressives denied the allegation by arguing that their intent was to do nothing more than help poor kids. Now, however, former Democratic governor of Iowa, and early presidential candidate, Tom Vilsack has tacitly admitted that conservatives were right and that S-CHIP was just a ploy to get the camel's nose inside the tent. In a speech at Drake U. last week Vilsack acknowledged that:

"I think there is going to be a commitment to universal coverage. I don't think it's necessarily going to be a sector by sector process. I think you either need to go in whole hog or not. We tried to sort of squeeze the middle here with doing children and doing seniors, and trying to squeeze it. If anything happens, it would more likely look something like this: you would extend eligibility for children from 200% of poverty to 300% of poverty, and create resources to insure the parents of those children."

In other words, the plan was to expand coverage to middle class children, then their parents and eventually to everyone.

Universal coverage is what they have in Canada and England. It doesn't appear to be working well there and there's little reason to think it'd work well here. What it would do is raise everyone's taxes and, if other countries' experience is any indication, lower the quality and accessibility of health care.

It's the dream of the left to fold more and more of the economy into the government in order to realize socialist nirvana but nowhere has socialism ever lived up to its promise. In every western nation in which it has been implemented it has sapped the country of its economic energy and vigor. For the left, however, it's better to have a limping economy than economic disparity.

Even so, there may be a case to be made for universal health care in the U.S. I just wish that its proponents would be forthright about what they're trying to do and let the case be judged based upon its merits. To try to sneak universal health care into our social structure without people realizing what's going on only causes one to doubt that there's a compelling case to be made for it.

HT to the ever vigilant Michelle Malkin who has more on this.


Tears of the Sun

The movie Tears of the Sun is about a team of Navy SEALs sent into Nigeria during a fictional civil war to extract an American doctor. The team is leading a group of civilians out of the country when they come upon a village in which the people are being raped and murdered by Nigerian soldiers. The team's orders for the mission are to take no action unless in self-defense, but the viewer can't help but think that the right thing for them to do is to intervene to save the lives of these poor people. As the Americans watch from a hillside the thugs douse a man with gasoline and prepare to burn him alive. A girl has her breasts cut off and is then raped while she bleeds to death.

As this scene of the movie unfolded I couldn't help wonder, is it not immoral to be able to stop such atrocities and yet refuse to do so? Is it not itself an atrocity to have it within one's power to protect people from the horrors of evil men and yet demur? Do we not have a moral obligation to save those we can from such a fate, even if it means the resort violence?

If the answer to these questions is yes, then should we not have intervened in Rwanda in 1994 to save the Tutsis from the Hutus (Watch Hotel Rwanda or Beyond the Gates)? Should we not have intervened in Darfur to save the victims of that genocide from the Sudanese Islamists in Khartoum? If the answer to those questions is yes, then why should we not also have intervened in Iraq to save the millions of people who were being slaughtered by Saddam Hussein?

I also wondered what pacifists like Howard Yoder or Jim Wallis at Sojourners would say if they were watching Tears of the Sun with me. Would they maintain that the SEAL team should bypass the village and allow the slaughter to continue? If the SEALs intervened and rescued some of the Nigerian children and women would Yoder and Wallis condemn them for their choice?

What would Jesus do, I hear someone ask. I don't know, but I can't imagine that He would just pass on by and let those women and children be savagely slaughtered, or that He would want us to.

If you think that the SEALs should avoid confrontation with the soldiers in that tragic village I urge you to watch the movie and then explain to someone why you think it would have been wrong for the Americans to use violence to help those people. I wonder if your words won't sound hollow even to yourself.