It's getting harder even for sincere media supporters of President Obama's signature legislative achievement—the government takeover of health care known as Obamacare—to defend the indefensible.
Kirsten Powers has spoken up for the compassionate idea of covering everyone. But she signaled on Fox News that it is getting harder to defend the botched rollout and, now, losing her own coverage, she is looking less and less willing to stand up for this deeply flawed program. Powers attributes all this confusion—and the 35 "fixes" Mr. Obama has unilaterally mandated—to incompetence.
"Why I'm Getting Sick of Defending Obamacare" was the blunt title of Ron Fournier's recent column in National Journal. Like Powers, Fournier once hoped this measure would bring greater equity in health care to millions who lacked coverage.
The failures of Obamacare are not a surprise to conservatives. We have been hostile to this thing from the outset. Not only do we oppose a government takeover of 1/6 of the economy, but we also have the deepest concerns about the dangers it poses to freedom. Under Obamacare, the states lose their unique standing in the federal system that is the United States of America. They become mere branch offices of HHS. Corporations, nonprofit organizations and individual citizens lose a great measure of freedom from the mandates that Obamacare imposes.
As columnist George Will has noted, if Congress can require you to buy health insurance, why can't it require you to eat broccoli? After all, if health is the rationale, many things contribute to a healthy population. Might we someday see weigh stations on our interstate highways—not for trucks and not for cars but for the occupants of those vehicles?
Most troubling of all is the HHS mandate that forces corporations, nonprofits and citizens to violate their conscience by subsidizing drugs that can kill unborn children. This HHS mandate represents the gravest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade.
In the midst of all this, and at a time of the most lethal threat to religious and civil liberty in 225 years, it is understandable that some on the conservative side get overheated. For example, in northern Virginia in 2012, a GOP fundraiser showed a zombie portrait of the president—with a bullet hole in his forehead! On a gun range in the South, one overly enthusiastic backer of a presidential challenger yelled to her favorite candidate, "Pretend it's Obama!" The candidate probably never heard that comment as he fired away at the profile target, but the liberal media sure did. It was an ugly episode that did no credit to our side.
But when our cooler heads prevail, they often go too far in the other direction. For example, the claim that President Obama is a Marxist is offered as an example of right-wing rodomontade. If we want to keep the dialogue civil, we are lectured, then we need to avoid such lurid charges.
Well, what if the president is a Marxist? Stanley Kurtz was one of those cooler heads in 2008 who rejected the claim that Barack Obama was a Marxist, a socialist. Then he researched the record and wrote Radical-in-Chief. Kurtz's book is a long, detailed and very carefully researched analysis of the Obama record.
Kurtz finds Obama acknowledging in his own words, in Dreams From My Father, that he was mentored as a teen growing up in Hawaii by a man he identifies only as "Frank." We know now that that man was Frank Marshall Davis, a lifelong Communist. Grove City College professor Paul Kengor has documented Davis' attachment to the USSR in his book, The Communist.
On campus, Barack Obama sought to prove he had not "sold out" to the system, so he consciously sought out the Marxist professors on campus. Sought them out. We can understand why President Obama may not want his college course grades spread all over the Internet. But there is something more than a little weird about the fact that he won't even disclose the college courses he took.
Stanley Kurtz provides incontrovertible evidence that young Barack Obama attended the April 1983 Socialist Scholars Conference at Cooper Union in New York City. This big confab is doubly significant. It's important because it brought together committed Marxists from all over the country. It's important because it was held to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Karl Marx's death.
Kurtz notes that Barack Obama himself admits he went to this meeting (and Kurtz believes but properly adds that he cannot prove that young Mr. Obama probably attended the follow-up socialist meetings in the 1980s as well).
What Stanley Kurtz does not offer us in his otherwise very well-documented book is the historic context of these socialist conferences. The first of these was held just a month after President Ronald Reagan had warned of an "evil empire." And a month after, he called for a Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI).
The successive conferences were held after the USSR had shot down the Korean airliner KAL-007 and murdered 269 passengers and crew in cold blood.
Even when making the case—a powerful case—that President Obama is a socialist, a devotee of Karl Marx, Stanley Kurtz does not engage in hysterics. He suggests that Obama seems to be tracking with the left wing of the Swedish Socialist Party. He is seeking to bring Marxist socialism to America, but not by employing the brutal methods of the Soviet-era KGB.
Well, that's a relief. But it would explain Obamacare. Is it really incompetence? Is it really just a "botched" rollout? Or is it, as The New Republic's Noam Scheiber says, "a deceptively sneaky way to get" single-payer socialized medicine?
For a man as intelligent as Barack Obama is, it is hard to imagine that all of this trouble is accidental, that it all is the result of "folks" who just made some mistakes in their zeal to do good.
If President Obama actually is a Marxist, then all of this suddenly makes sense. And he has never given us any indication he is anything else. That alone can explain the current crisis for this Great Republic.
Ken Blackwell is senior fellow of family empowerment and Bob Morrison is senior fellow for policy studies at Family Research Council. This article appeared on Townhall.com, Feb. 14, 2014.