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R. Emmett Tyrrell
R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.
13 Nov 2014
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A Modest Proposal to My Left-Wing Friends

Comment

WASHINGTON — I have a suggestion for my left-wing Democratic friends in light of all the controversy over Obamacare. That the controversy continues all these years after the bill's passage and that today much of the bill is in danger of amputation must be very dispiriting to those left-wingers who had such high hopes for it. They obviously labored assiduously to render it incomprehensible to the electorate and for a long time they succeeded. Yet the electorate wised up this month and voted into office large numbers of Republicans. Those Republicans are out to gut the legislation.

In the future — if the Democrats even have a future — I suggest that they cease and desist from writing legislation in sophisticated, obscure, long-winded language that borders upon gibberish. It has in the past befuddled a lot of voters and driven some to drink or at least to despair. It has allowed its left-wing authors to hand over their legislative sausages to government bureaucrats who chop them up neatly into comprehensible rules for taxing, regulating and stealing the people's property. Recall if you will erstwhile Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's memorable line: "We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it." She was doubtless alluding to the bureaucrats' rewrite of Obamacare.

Today, however, I sense a backlash against this sort of legislative legerdemain. The dire condition of Obamacare is just one example. It is time for left-wingers to try a new approach to legislation. My suggestion is that they endeavor to write legislation not in bad English but in good Latin — Latin the language of classicists, of poets, of scholars, and now of Democrats! There is a lucidity to Latin. There is a conciseness to it. Moreover, not one American in a thousand understands it. Why even our growing Latino community, here legally and illegally, has no idea of what a Latin sentence means. Yet my guess is that many Americans are in awe of Latin. With American laws written in Latin the governance of the country would be completely out of the hands of the American people, much as it was prior to Nov.

5.

What is more, poor Jonathan Gruber would not be in the hot water he is today owing to his artless yawp uttered a year ago. And, by the way, why did it take a year to elapse before the mainstream media brought Gruber's statement to the public's attention. Does it really take the media's conservative minority that long to get the mainstream media to do its duty?

As all Americans by now know Gruber, an M.I.T. economist and an architect of Obama's folly, explained to a University of Pennsylvania audience that: "Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the 'stupidity of the American voter' or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to getting the thing passed." Just imagine how the architects of Obamacare would have benefitted if the law were originally written in Latin? Only a handful of savants would be on hand to interpret it to us, and Gruber would not be tempted to call the vast majority of us who are unfamiliar with Latin "stupid." My guess is even he is unfamiliar with Latin.

I have long argued that the laws of the land are purposely written in gibberish so that ordinary Americans and even American legislators throw up their hands in frustration. Only a tea partier or a Washington lobbyist would bother to parse meaning from a freshly slapped-together law, the tea partier with noble intent involving our freedoms, the lobbyist with less noble intent involving venality. Now Gruber has made my case. He, an elitist Obama insider, said of Obama's key piece of social engineering that it "would not have passed" if it were written in plain English. This is also true of dozens of other pieces of legislation. It is true of environmental legislation, of IRS regulations, and of all the budgetary claptrap.

Now precisely how our left-wing friends can maneuver toward getting legislation written in a foreign language I am uncertain. Yet they have gotten the language of Spanish accepted around the country and it even appears on official documents. The left has its ways, usually quite devious, but often quite effective.

R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator. He is a Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and the author most recently of The Death of Liberalism, published by Thomas Nelson, Inc. To find out more about R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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Comments

4 Comments | Post Comment
Sir;... I hate to break it to you; but you don't have any friends. People either use you, or smile at you to be polite, and shake their heads when your head is turned and wonder if you got your panties on right side front.

Are you supposed to be Swift now? Do you know that many of those upper crust ladies getting fat on the food that might have kept an Irish baby alive actually thought his cook book for babies was serious? Satire is such a feeble weapon for the powerless because it must be tossed so as to miss its target.
Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #1
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:37 AM
Sir;... I cannot agree with anyone who calls Americans stupid, but it does not matter how intelligent some one is without the facts. The past put up many a genius who without knowledge could only guess. We do not know because without true political power we are thought to not need to know. We are ignorant in large part, and misled, especially on the right, but to an extent on the left. No one wants to allow greater democracy because of a general contempt of both democracy and the people. For their part, the people are vicious as all powerless people can be, and they are fickle, so no one can bank any trust in them. And I am certain that if we had democracy what the people get wrong they could as easily correct. If Obama care is ended because of a controversy only the right press can make an issue of; what will it take to get it back later, or replace it with better?

I can think of an example in History that reminds me of this time. The Roman citizen farmers were dispossessed from their lands by the wealthy using slave labor. Two Brothers, Tiberius and Caius Gracchus,appealed to these poor farmers and tried to institute land reforms as tribunes of the people. The Patrician class from which these brothers came hated them, but would bide their time until they could destroy them, and they played upon the vanity and fears of the people until they could do just that. Ultimatly, Caesar who was a nephew of theirs came to power and ended the dying democracy. The Patricians did not care that these two men actually wanted the good of Rome. They wanted to expand the democracy to all of Italy, and in the case of Caesar, to all of the provinces, and in threatening the rich with the loss of the commonwealth that they had taken for themselves, they gave the Senate every reason to see them Murdered. The fact was that the average Roman citizen had none of the land, and was correctly described as being in worse condition than the birds of the air or the beasts of the fields who had some place of shelter. Having the corn dole did not make these people more moral or less vain. They could be manipulated like our people to act against their own best interest and the interest of the country because that is as the rich want. Stupid is as stupid does, and if the people allow the destruction of Obamacare without something better for its place they are stupid indeed. The people will soon find again that the pursuit of happiness is futile where health cannot be sustained.
Sir;... From my reading of history, you cannot do good for people or it will fly in your face. You can empower people to sieze their own good, and if good is what they want, you have time to get out of their way. Anything you give to people, even their freedom, can be as easily taken from them. Neither the democrats nor the republican have sought the opinion of the people, or offered them a solution to vote on, and they will not. Between them, the parties have carved our democracy into a flawed characature of its former self. I do not object to anyone trying to help me out, but the power of democracy is every solution to every problem and anything short of democracy is no solution at all.
Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #2
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Wed Nov 19, 2014 3:53 PM
I believe those millions who finally got insurance because of Obama care understand perfectly well what it means.Those who will no longer be thrown off insurance because of "previous conditions" like pregnancy.Today even more millions are signing up for it.Junior here should be aware those millions will remember and understand fully if Republicans decide to remove them in the future from that care without providing real alternatives. I find the conservative argument that "no Republicans voted for Obamacare" amusing.An argument promoted by Republicans as an example of Democrats uncompromising attitude.In fact it highlights the fact Republicans don't give a tinkers damn for anybody but themselves.That 50 million or more Americans go without healthcare doesn't bother them one whit.No money in it you see,no profit,no dividends.ACA will be just a big bill for somebody and that somebody will be those with the money,the Republican rich.Anybody who thinks insuring 30 to 50 millions more Americans who don't have money to pay for it won't result in a big bill are nuts and that goes for Democrats too.Tough s---!Our great leaders seem to have tons and tons of money for useless wars,illegal wars, but none for Americans.Not only no money for us,but no moral concern for us.Millions of us junior,millions.
Comment: #3
Posted by: WILLIAM KELLEY
Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:34 AM
Re: WILLIAM KELLEY... Obamacare put too much cost on the people, and still left all the parasites in the health care business in business. Government shrugged some of the cost of healthcare that was really breaking the government back on to the people. So there are winners and losers, and reasons to like it and dislike it.
There is no reason to expect the republicans to do more than trouble the bill. It is like abortion. As long as it can exist as a wedge issue; why do more than tamper with it? If they load it up with cyannide, they can still offer it as some kind of cure, but no one will take it. They will not have to improve anything, or tear down anything. They will have given the people exactly what they want government to give the people: Absolutely Nothing. Better than Nothing, they will have in Obamacare nothing that looks like something, and in that sense Obamacare can be a metaphore for the entire government: Nothing that looks like something.
Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #4
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Fri Nov 21, 2014 9:36 AM
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