The House just passed a bill that would repeal ObamaCare and defund Planned Parenthood. Don’t rejoice just yet because it means almost nothing. Yes, there is basically no way it will actually accomplish anything at all:
Congress sent an ObamaCare repeal bill to the president’s desk for the first time on Wednesday, marking an election-year victory of sorts for Republicans who have tried since 2010 to scrap the law.
The bill repealing most of President Obama’s signature health care law was approved in a final 240-181 House vote Wednesday afternoon, after clearing the Senate late last year. The legislation also would strip federal funding for Planned Parenthood.
The measure still faces certain doom at the White House, and Democrats derided the vote Wednesday as pointless. The president is sure to veto, and Republicans do not have the votes to override.
According to Paul Ryan, who desperately needed to save face after his management of the disastrous omnibus spending bill, this legislation was a futile exercise in Republican identity:
“I fully anticipate the president will veto this, but I mean, how many times have we been saying we want to put bills on his desk that say who we are, what we believe versus what he believes, and that he will veto.”
Right. So this is political theater designed to retain votes for the GOP in this crucial election cycle. Ryan was in the hot seat, and he thinks this useless bill will get him and his establishment friends re-elected. And you know what? It probably will. That’s the situation we’re in right now. And honestly, conservatism has never really espoused anything different than feckless resistance to inevitable radicalization. Over one hundred years ago, R. L. Dabney recognized the heart of the conservative movement. His words are still worth listening to today:
This is a party which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is today one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution; to be denounced and then adopted in its turn. American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. . . . Its impotency is not hard, indeed, to explain. It is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It intends to risk nothing serious for the sake of the truth, and has no idea of being guilty of the folly of martyrdom. It always when about to enter a protest very blandly informs the wild beast whose path it essays to stop, that its “bark is worse than its bite,” and that it only means to save its manners by enacting its decent role of resistance: The only practical purpose which it now serves in American politics is to give enough exercise to Radicalism to keep it “in wind,” and to prevent its becoming pursy and lazy, from having nothing to whip.
Yeah. That was true in 1897. If anything, Dabney’s words are only more true today.