Battle of the Napoleonic analogies
David Frum calls the events of the last few days a Waterloo for conservative policy*:
Today’s defeat for free-market economics and Republican values is a huge win for the conservative entertainment industry. Their listeners and viewers will be even more enraged, even more frustrated, even more disappointed in everybody except the responsibility-free talkers on television and radio. For them, it’s mission accomplished.For the cause they purport to represent, however, the “Waterloo” threatened by GOP Sen. Jim DeMint last year regarding Obama and health care has finally arrived all right: Only it turns out to be our own.
Ross Douthat, on the other hand, points out that the entitlement crisis is coming, and that the welfare state as we have known it, and that the Democrats are now trying to cap with healthcare reform, cannot last:
The reckoning is coming, and the theory of health care reform has always been to get everybody inside the barrel before it goes over the falls…. But seen in this light, the health care victory looks less like the dawn of a bold new era, and more like the final lurch forward before a slow retreat. Liberals have finally captured Moscow, you might say; now they have to hope that it turns out better for them, and for America, than it did for Napoleon.
Which analogy is correct? In many ways, that depends on the American people, and how they respond to these events.
*Note: Frum has some good policy suggestions, to be fair. But I disagree with his defeatism.