Mar 222010
 

As the final vote for the Democrats’ health care reform bill got closer, the frantic attempts by Republicans to stop it reminded me of a rather apt G.K. Chesterton quote.

“The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected. Even when the revolutionist might himself repent of his revolution, the traditionalist is already defending it as part of his tradition. Thus we have two great types — the advanced person who rushes us into ruin, and the retrospective person who admires the ruins. He admires them especially by moonlight, not to say moonshine. Each new blunder of the progressive or prig becomes instantly a legend of immemorial antiquity for the snob. This is called the balance, or mutual check, in our Constitution.”

Despite having written that 86 years ago, Mr. Chesterton hit the nail very much on the head. I didn’t know if I should laugh or scream as I watched Republicans motivate their base in opposition to socialistic/corporatist expansion of government involvement in the health care market, as they perversely and hypocritically decried the Big Government nature of the bill in one breath, and panicked old folks with the specter of losing their Medicare coverage in the next.

Republicans fought hard against Medicare in 1965. Why are they now defending it? How long before they’re defending Obamacare? Truly, “Each new blunder of the progressive or prig becomes instantly a legend of immemorial antiquity for the snob.”

Will the GOP ever have new ideas (e.g, those of Cato Institute, Mises Institute, or Acton Institute)? Or will they always be the party of welfare state stasis and warfare state expansion?

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