Saturday, November 16, 2013
A Bird with One Wing Cannot Fly
A bird can’t fly on one wing.
It’s an ill bird that fouls its own nest.
13th Century proverb
This is a law of two party politics and aeronautics: A law cannot stand when backed solely by one party in a centrist democratic nation. A bird cannot stay aloft while only one party’s wing is beating.
That is the lesson to be learned from yesterday’s 261-157 vote in the House of Representatives on the Upton Bill, which allows insurers to continue to sell policies that do not comply with ObamaCare standards. That 39 Democrats, most of whom were up for re-election, joined Republicans in passing the bill shows the power and wisdom of the lesson.
The vote also demonstrates the power of the people, who were up in arms about being deceived and misled by a President. The New York Times editorial board says the President merely “misspoke” and made an “incorrect promise.”
But for the President to “misspeak” 24 times while knowing he was “incorrectly promising” was more than the people could swallow. And for the President to compound his error by blaming insurers for complying with his law, and implying insurers and the insured were in collusion for choosing “substandard plans” was too much to take.
Telling people they didn’t have the intelligence to pick their own plans was insulting. And imposing upon them plans they didn’t want at prices they didn’t want to pay, while limiting choice of doctors and hospitals was the last straw.
There was another lesson of political aeronautics that came back to haunt the President. In a democracy designed by its founders to hear all points of view, including those of the loyal opposition, you do not jam through and cram down a law on a strictly partisan vote, without a single affirmative vote from the other party and against public opinion from the majority of the people.
The American political system has two wings – the two major political parties. To keep the two wings beating more or less synchronously, and to keep the bird flying and aloft, one needs to compromise to reach consensus.
To ignore compromise and consensus brings down the national bird and endangers one’s own ideology, which in Obama’s case, is American liberalism and collectivism of the political elite. By refusing to compromise and by ignoring consensus, President Obama has fouled his own nest and the nests of his fellow Democrats.
Tweet: It’s a simple law of political aeronautics: one cannot keep the national bird flying if only the wing of one party is beating.