Ukraine: The Diplomatic Solution; the Conservative Blessing in ObamaCare!

There is a distinct preference out there, for solving our differences of opinion with the Putin gangster state “through diplomacy.” An elementary explanation is sadly in order here.

Diplomacy refers to one party explaining to the other with polite words how much harm it could do to that other party. And then, the second party takes its turn explaining to the first how much damage it could do to it if it really wanted to.

Once everyone understands concretely the other party’s capacity for evil, the parties get together to arrive at a compromise that minimizes the evil that  either party does to the other. That’s in successful diplomacy. Diplomacy often fails however. In 1939, Hitler and the Brits were talking to each other until the exact eve of the invasion in the west.

So, in this case, diplomacy only has a chance of  succeeding if doing severe harm is on the table in a credible manner. No perceived credible threat, no diplomacy.

Does anyone really believe that you can talk softly, talk sweet reason to Putin and that he will come to his senses and begin acting nice at last?

Another thing: As everyone knows, Obamacare is foundering. I am beginning to believe it’s a blessing in disguise. Whole young generations who really needed it are learning why Big Government is bad even when it’s trying to act nice. One of my young liberal friends is in the process of making a U-turn, I think. I don’t give myself the credit, much as I would like to. Mr Obama did it. My friend has a new bumper sticker on his car that says: “Obama- Dick-Dick.” That’s in Santa Cruz County so, it takes some courage. At least, he does not care a bit if his car is scratched! (My, that’s was evil and sly; I already feel a little ashamed!)

The Obama administration is not releasing figures the citizenry has a legitimate interest in knowing, such as: How many who signed up are also paid up? How many of the new sign-ups were without health insurance before? What is the net gain – if any -in insured  people who did not join publicly supported health insurance?

Refusing to divulge these figures has only one purpose. It’s to impede the opposition. That’s already Fascism. Not gathering these figures when you can and when you know some part of the public wants them is also Fascism. (Fascism is not an epithet, it’s political description. (See:  “Fascism Explained” and others on this blog. )

ObamaCare was a dishonest venture from the first. If it had not been, its first act would have been to make all health insurance available across state lines so as to maximize competition between insurance companies. If any Republican lawmakers had resisted, it would have been a blood feast for the Democratic Party. Large-scale buddy capitalism is also part of a  classical Fascist program.

15 thoughts on “Ukraine: The Diplomatic Solution; the Conservative Blessing in ObamaCare!

  1. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

    It took eight short sentences for Dr Delacroix to go from making an argument to comparing something or other he does not like to Hitler.

    From Wikipedia:

    Godwin’s law applies especially to inappropriate, inordinate, or hyperbolic comparisons of other situations (or one’s opponent) with Nazis – often referred to as “playing the Hitler card”. The law and its corollaries would not apply to discussions covering known mainstays of Nazi Germany such as genocide, eugenics, or racial superiority, nor, more debatably, to a discussion of other totalitarian regimes or ideologies, if that was the explicit topic of conversation, since a Nazi comparison in those circumstances may be appropriate […]

    Comparing somebody you don’t like to Hitler is so banal.

    • Brandon: Please, stick to the facts before your eyes. In this essay, I did not compare anyone to Hitler. I gave an example of failed diplomacy from a historical record probably well known of readers of Notes on Liberty. It’s also fairly accessible.

      One of the things I did not (NOT) do was to say that Putin is a kind of Hitler although he clearly borrow arguments from the same playbook, such as threatening military invasions in the name of protecting minorities within an existing country. Hitler had an ideology and (AND) he often acted like a gangster. Putin is a simple gangster with vague nationalistic longings.

      With your strictures, one would be forever forbidden from comparing anything to Hitler or to Nazism. What a waste that would be! (I will say why if anyone asks.)

      Another thing I did not do was to compare Mr Obama to Hitler (NOT). As I have said before, his brand of Fascism is a lot like General Peron’s. His current informational policies look eerily Argentinean.

      The Cold War is over. For one thing, Russia is not trying to bury us; it’s trying desperately to join us. For another, Russia is a poor country with little influence, with a decreasing population and an extraordinarily low life expectancy. No one believes it would use its nuclear weapons. I doubt if anyone, including in Russia, knows if they even still work.

      Perhaps some other conservatives you read or hear about through the grapevine, or make up in your easily impressionable mind, think in Cold War terms. (Sometimes, you even sound like Amburgey, N.S.!) I should not be held responsible for whatever interesting things happen within the packaging that your creative imagination develops and in which you try to trap me for the sake of intellectual neatness.

      People are complex, even me. Reality does not package easily. We have to live with ambiguity and try to extract a measure of truth from it. It’s not easy.

  2. Sorry, Brandon. Godwin’s law is not applicable when it a valid comparison, like this one.

    It is a bit trite, so maybe we should use Napoleon instead?

    • Putin does not compare to Hitler. For some reason conservatives lose their prudence when it comes to discussing Russia.

      I think you nailed it on the head, NEO, when you observed in an earlier thread that Jacques is thinking in terms of the Cold War. I absolutely agree, which is why it is important to flush this nonsense down the proverbial toilet once I see it start to float to the top.

      The Cold War is over. It’s never coming back, much to the chagrin of conservatives who yearn for the days when their moral clarity was (rightly) considered just. Jacques’s writings paint a picture of nostalgia for a time long since passed. In lesser minds, this type of thinking can do much damage to a man’s conception of society and his own place in the world. Dr J is demagoguing.

    • Maybe, Brandon. But the surest way to make sure it does, or something similar in Asia, is to believe it can never happen again.

      The comparison for that is the “War to end all wars” leading to the new 30 years war.

      That the weakness in libertarianism, actually. The oceans aren’t nearly as effective a barrier as they were in the days of the Royal Navy controlling them for us, and unless we only want free trade in CONUS, we’d best take care of it ourselves.

      Will it be the same? Nope. But it will happen. If not Putin, somebody else.

      As Mark Twain observed, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.”

  3. Obamacare is an actuarial nightmare (in insurance speak). By, on top of it all, fracturing the United States into some fifty markets although the strength and affluence of US society was largely due to its unhampered large inland market, is stupidity to the power of two. But what the Affor-dabble Health Care Act will do in the end is ruin the industry. To calculate a price (a premium in this case) you need reliable figures. That’s not always easy in a market economy, like with cars in a competitive market. But by and large bigger corporations learn to figure. But the insurance market has now become so opaque and unpredictable that the accruals for uncertainty, in my guess, might well be higher than the actual costs of managing the health cost side of many plans.

  4. “Another thing: As everyone knows, Obamacare is foundering.”

    Lol. Only if ‘everyone’==Fox News echo chamber

    “The Cold War is over. It’s never coming back”

    True. However Russia is turning into a dangerous regional power with dangerous territorial ambitions. Pretending otherwise is silly.

    • More on the ‘foundering’ of Obamacare:

      Qualified health plans (via exchanges): 7.1 million
      Medicaid expansion: 4.7 million
      Medicaid “woodworkers”: 1.8 million (always eligible but didn’t know it until ACA)
      Sub-26ers: 2.5-3.1 million

      Brandon likes predictions, here’s one from me. By the 2016 elections, the ACA will be so popular that teapublicans will refuse to call it Obamacare. Jacques will go further and claim that since it originated with a heritage foundation proposal and a version was put in place in Massachusetts that the ACA is a republican triumph and should be called Romneycare.

    • Jacques: I’m reasonably sure of it. I stole it from Dr. Suzannah Lipscomb of the New College of the Humanities, in London. It’s a good one, I think.

    • She’s pretty good, I think Jacques. She’s a Tudor specialist, and also where I picked up the idea that the First British Empire was a Tudor enterprise, based on the English Reformation and the establishment of the RN by Henry.

      She does a lot of work in popular history and as a TV presenter, and I suspect being flat gorgeous doesn’t hurt in that part. Oxford educated, I think, and a friend of mine was one of her mentors if I recall.

  5. I just realized that someone elsewhere in these pages refers to “terrorizing” residents of the Russian Kaliningrad. I don’t know who did this, certainly not I. I did evoke the possibility to make them uncomfortable in order to increase Russia’s cost of holding that piece of land sandwiched between two NATO members whose populations mostly hate Russia. (That would be because they possess a reasonably good historical memory.)

    If you need to distort what’s right before your eyes, it’s doubtful you have a good argument. If you don’t understand the difference, same conclusion.

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