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Zig-zagging against Obamacare

Zig-zagging against Obamacare

I realize I have re-posted this a number of times. The original post was November 11, 2008, a week after Obama’s first election.  Because I knew we had elected Door No. 2.

Watching Ted Cruz and others on the floor of the Senate tonight, I have to repost it again.

Is It Time For Conservatives To Sit Down In The Snow?

Conservatives face a choice. Yield to “progressive” policies which, once implemented will take a generation to undo, or stand on principles of free enterprise, individual liberty, and capitalism? Giving in is much easier, but in the long run more costly. We can learn a lot about the power of standing on principle from Anatoly Sharansky ….

Sharansky spent almost a decade in Soviet prison because of his activities on behalf of Jews who wanted to emigrate to Israel. Sharansky was subjected to torture and other indignities, but never lost his spirit. Sharansky notoriously refused to obey even the most mundane orders from his captors. Sharansky understood that to compromise even a little would lead to compromising a lot. Throughout his ordeal, Sharansky kept his spirits alive by reading a small book of psalms.

As Sharansky was being led to the airplane that would take him from the Soviet Union to East Germany for the exchange, the Soviets confiscated his book of psalms. It would have been easy for Sharansky simply to keep walking towards the plane and freedom. But Sharansky understood that the Soviets confiscated his book of psalms not because they wanted the book, but because they wanted to show that even in this last moment, they were in control.

In front of reporters covering his departure, Sharansky sat in the snow refusing to move unless the Soviets gave him back his book of psalms. Here was this diminutive man, after 10 years in prison, on the verge of freedom, refusing to budge unless one of the world’s two superpowers gave him back his book. And give him back his book of psalms they did.

Sharansky proceeded to the plane, where he read Psalm 30: “I will extol thee, O Lord; for thou hast lifted me up, and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.”

Jay Nordlinger’s 2005 interview with Sharansky recounts not only the episode in the snow, but also the final moments when Sharansky walked to the car for the exchange:

Sharansky spent nine years in the Gulag, a harrowing time in which he demonstrated what resistance is. More than 400 of those days were spent in punishment cells; more than 200 were spent on hunger strikes. His refusal to concede anything to the Soviet state was almost superhuman. This was true to the very last. When they relinquished him to the East Germans, they told him to walk straight to a waiting car — “Don’t make any turns.” Sharansky zig-zagged his way to that car.

Isn’t it time for conservatives and supporters of free enterprise, individual liberty, and capitalism in the Congress and elsewhere to do the political equivalent of sitting down in the snow? When told by the new administration, the majority party in Congress, and the mainstream media to walk straight, isn’t it time to zig and zag?

Sitting in the snow was not a rational strategy for Sharansky.

Had it been the fight against Obamacare, supposedly wiser people than he would have counseled caution, urging him to wait until the Soviet Union collapsed of its own weight to make his stand.  Not realizing that stands such as that taken by Sharansky in the snow ultimately would cause the collapse.


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I’m so glad you reposted this. It needed reposting.

Not only is it the right approach, it’s also the right time to ramp up opposition, to zig-zag on everything from Obamacide to the debt ceiling, from Benghazi to the IRS. Freedom and accountability, now! Obama is playing catch-up, so we can set the narrative and push. Force the Dems to face reelection over degraded health care, job killing regulations, and administration cover-ups.

This is the most hopeful I’ve felt in quite awhile.

Hi post. Good to see you again. You haven’t aged a bit.

I’ve got my principles and I don’t give a damn where I’m parked or how I’m labeled on some pundits’ score sheet, nor do I fight only those battles of principle I know I’ll win. The fight is the thing and if my principles win out, all the better. But victory in every battle is not necessary to win the war, nor can one predict which battle wins the war. Or loses it. But I’ll be damned if I’ll lose without fighting.

All I seek in politics is a party that shares my core principles with the mettle to fight for them regardless of political risk. People who know that not to fight is to lose, because the other side never stops fighting. If they are in power I expect them to exercise it, with full respect to the principles. If they are the minority opposition I expect them to oppose. Everything. I want people who understand they are smaller than and subservient to those principles. They will represent.

I don’t care if it’s the Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, or some new party. I’ve been registered unaffiliated since 1979 for a reason.

“Isn’t it time for conservatives and supporters of free enterprise, individual liberty, and capitalism in the Congress and elsewhere to do the political equivalent of sitting down in the snow?”

Not just no, but HELL NO! While we remain free and vital (and not imprisoned) we need to be ACTING, not sitting and not wasting time in an endless parade of symbolic protest. If you’re pro-life, then do more to aid unplanned pregnancies, do more to adopt, do more to connect with the infirm and the disabled. If you’re pro-capitalism, then enterprise away without waiting for government handouts. If you’re for transparency in government, then join up with Judicial Watch and similar groups. If you’re pro-education, jump into a local home-school group. If you want to worry about Obamacare, ponder the rugged Americans who settled this land with no health care plan of any kind. And if you want to whine and feel sorry for yourself, remember that if WW2 Americans confronted problems that way, we’d all be speaking German and Japanese today.

Members of the Right need to complain less, they need to vigorously pitch in to help their communities, and they need to demonstrate a commitment to persevering through challenges without expecting any potent aid from government.

    LibraryGryffon in reply to Mark30339. | September 25, 2013 at 11:19 am

    I see what you mean, but I don’t see “sitting in the snow” as the equivalent of a 60’s university “sit-in” or wandering around outside a building holding signs.

    It’s doing something opposite to what the Dems want us to do, and it requires them changing their game plan, however slightly, as well as shining some light on their previous actions as well as what will almost invariably be their over-reactions to the snow-sitting, making it more obvious to the low info voters that the snow-sitters really haven’t been delusional and “making it up” as they have been told by the talking heads of both sides on TV for years.

What a man of faith!

What a man!

What an example to Americans who have had it with big government of all stripes!

Let us sit down in the snow and zig-zag when we walk. Let us make government subject to We the People.

[…] Zig-Zagging Against Obamacare – Legal Insurrection […]

And this, Obama, is a primer in how you deal with Putin. Unfortunately, it won’t work in your case because you and Putin are really one and the same. Putin just has better skills.

Yes to all of the above. To all supposed Republicans who are trying to shut Ted Cruz down; keep doing that at the peril of your career.

The link to the Nordinger article is broken now. Here is a working one:

When I hear leftists saying that Republicans and TEA partiers should give up because Obamacare is ‘the law of the land’ my only reply is that the Fugitive Slave Act was once the law of the land as well.

Compromise is not always a good thing.

I’ve been trying to point out to folks for years that compromise only works if both parties want pretty much the same thing, and just disagree on the means of achieving it. If the parties involved want diametrically opposed outcomes, compromise is impossible without compromising integrity and principles too.

All you have to do is look at the impressive array of gay themes in the pop culture today. Everywhere on TV. If it’s a not a subtle message, it’s in your face.

My point being that when gay marriage was losing in each of the states, the left did not give up. They used every way possible to change the thought process around it. They were so successful, they even got Supreme Court Justices to view it as discrimination.

Conservatives need to view this struggle the same way. The left won’t ever give up. Never.

Never stop reposting this article. I am going to print it and tape it on the wall tonight.

When I look at Hobby Lobby and Chk Filet I see courage to stand against power at all odds.

Never take the line of least resistance. You will always lose much more than you gain.

[…] for a similar form of legislative immortality. Comparing Ted Cruz’s fillibuster on Tuesday to the anti-Soviet Union protests of Anatoly Sharansky at his Legal Insurrection blog, William A. Jacobson […]