there is one thing I fear, Antonius, it's ... having no opponents
left, which won't be good for me ... you have more faith in my
integrity than I do at times. Autocracy is insidious. Perhaps there
is no man ever born, even me, with the strength to resist it unless
Caesar to Mark Antony, in Colleen McCullough's series about ancient
begin writing this column on March 15, I find myself thinking:
Politicians, beware the Ides of March, and the rest of this week
too, with an expected ObamaCare vote in the U.S. House of
Representatives; and beware the November election.
long, you haven't had real opponents. The two-party system created
political adversaries; but there can only be genuine opposition when
the people themselves take up political arms in the form of
opposition world has become a small one. I was thinking about Julius
Caesar yesterday after a friend in my western Pennsylvania hometown
forwarded an e-mail from Blaise Dornisch, founder of the Elk County
(Pa.) Tea Party. I correctly assumed he belongs to the brilliant
Dornisch family, which included two of my high school teachers and
the founder of a local book club I've attended when visiting my
many local guys, the teachers had nicknames: "Bunky" taught General
Science, and "Auckie" taught sophomore English, introducing me to
poetry and Shakespeare. He brought the characters in "Julius Caesar"
alive; it remains one of my favorite plays.
time, however, I grasped only one side of the story, the part that
dealt with the cowardly assassination of one of history's greatest
still deploring that violent act, I later came to better understand
the concerns of many Romans that Caesar was becoming altogether too
full of himself and leading Rome toward dictatorship. As he warns
Antony, autocracy is insidious. And we are seeing its beginnings
right here, right now, as an arrogant president and his followers
attempt to force through a health care takeover this week over the
opposition of the American people.
hometown, to my delight, that opposition is led by the son of the
book-club founder, Dick Dornisch.
Dornisch's Tea Party was one of the early ones, begun last spring at
the same time as ours formed here in Massachusetts. Reached by
phone, he told me that 50 to 80 people attend the regular meetings
and other groups are still being created across Pennsylvania.
shocked in 2008 when Elk County, populated by citizens of the type
candidate Obama derided as "clinging to their guns and religion,"
voted for him anyway. But I figured it was just a matter of time
until regret set in there as it has elsewhere in the nation.
County Tea Party is organizing for the April 15 rallies in
Washington and around the country. It's part of a regional group
that is interviewing candidates to run for Congress. They are
opposing the pending health care bill. Blaise sent me an article by
Scott Atlas at the National Center for Policy Analysis rebutting
ObamaCare proponents' claim that other countries have better,
well-referenced analysis, Atlas lays out facts about our present
health care system, including these:
Americans have better survival rates than Europeans and Canadians
with breast, prostate and colorectal cancers.
Americans have better access to treatment for chronic diseases than
do patients in other developed countries.
Americans have better access to preventive cancer screening than
Americans spend less time waiting for care than patients in Canada
and the UK, where getting elective surgery and radiation treatment
can take twice as long.
than 70 percent of German and British adults say that their health
system needs "fundamental change" or "complete rebuilding."
essential to understand that according to the NCPA study, Americans
not only have much better access to important new technologies than
patients in Canada or the UK; we are also responsible for the
majority of new health care innovations. Since the mid-1970s, Atlas
notes, "the Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology has gone to
American residents more often than recipients from all other
acknowledges "serious challenges, such as escalating costs and the
uninsured," but argues that we need specific reforms, not a complete
overhaul of our health care system. And he suggests the typical
American encouragement of new ideas and entrepreneurial attitudes,
will work far better than government control.
congressmen this week are being asked by their leaders and President
Obama to adopt the Senate bill, with all its flaws, that they're
told will be corrected later.
I called Rep. John Tierney's local office in Peabody on the Ides of
March to ask how he intended to vote. I was told he hasn't seen the
final bill yet.
across America, congressmen are pretending they don't know what the
Senate passed on Christmas Eve, which needs to be passed "as is" by
the House to proceed to enactment.
truth is, what congressmen don't know is what tea-partiers and
other, still quiet but concerned Americans are going to do in
November if a bill they don't want becomes law.
to tell them now.