Who’s the child and who’s the parent in the Obamacare battle?

Politics by its nature involves mature negotiation, not childish name calling.  Photo: AP Photo/Cliff Owen

CALIFORNIA October 5, 2013 — It’s hard to believe, but after four years of acrimony the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is finally ground zero in a political free-for-all that’s polarized and partially shut down our federal government.

The book of Proverbs captures it well: “Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right” (Proverbs 20:11). Saying it another way: a person’s true character is revealed by their words and actions. If someone lacks the maturity, self-discipline and graciousness expected of an adult, they’ll probably act like a child when they don’t get their way.

SEE RELATED: Obamacare has become the Un-Affordable Care Act

With both sides digging in, who’s emerging as the real adult leader in this political stalemate?

Obama and Harry Reid have been quite clear; they refuse to negotiate any aspect of Obamacare under any circumstances. Even minute details are off limits. This isn’t just a tactic of political posturing; it smacks of a small-minded “my way or the highway” attitude more reflective of a schoolhouse bully than a mature leader.

In fact, claiming self-righteous perfection when by some accounts nineteen major changes have been unilaterally made so far by the president shows both childish arrogance and a deep disdain towards anyone with another idea. Biblically, this is the equivalent of only listening to our own advice (Proverbs 18:17).

Is anyone lowering themselves to name calling?

SEE RELATED: Mediating Shutdown 2013: President Obama’s role as victim or bully

Everyone has been called names while growing up. Children do it out of jealousy or hatred toward others. When adults do it at the national level, it’s only intended to demean opponents and divert attention away from the real issues at hand.

So, which side paints the other as equivalent to terrorists or radical fanatics? Who routinely blames their opponents as nothing more than obstructionists? Which side calls the other irrational, irresponsible, or even anti-government anarchists?

Obviously, exaggerations are made by both conservatives and liberals. But comparing public statements by key leaders of the House of Representatives to those of the Senate and and the president routinely illustrates the difference between political debate and juvenile attacks on character. Inflammatory, demeaning personal assaults make sensational sound bites, but they show a verbal carelessness unbecoming of any “mature” leader (Matthew 12:36-37).

Is anyone blatantly lying?

SEE RELATED: Administration’s management of shutdown is malicious and absurd

All politicians are adept at shading information to gain advantage over an opponent. But routinely lying about a national issue reveals a morally bankrupt “end justifies the means” attitude that plays to a public’s itching ears without regard for the consequences (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

Consider a little history. Who promised Obamacare would lower health insurance premiums while improving care? Who said we could keep our current doctor and health care coverage? Who assured us that a government bureaucracy can make better decisions about our personal health care needs than we can? As predicted, every one of these claims is proving to be false. If that isn’t bad enough, the cost of Obamacare is already estimated to be trillions of dollars more than originally advertised, and it hasn’t even been implemented!

Finally, who’s really representing the American people?

The House of Representatives is called the People’s House for a reason. At the national level it’s the elective office closest to the pulse of the citizens. Obama may have won the popular vote in 2008 and 2012, but the House overwhelmingly went conservative in 2010 and remained so in 2012, primarily because of distrust for Obamacare.

The House has the Constitutional responsibility to prepare a budget responsive to the interests and priorities of the American people. And right now the public doesn’t want Obamacare or a government shutdown. For the President and the Senate leadership to denigrate the House as irresponsible, power hungry, and driven by radical fringe groups is demeaning to their legal authority to respond to what the majority of Americans expect them to do.

The bottom line is that for the president and Senate to refuse to even discuss budget options is more symptomatic of a pouting child than responsible leadership. Our nation deserves better than the current heavy-handed blame shifting, personal attacks, and refusal to participate in Congressional budget negotiation processes being used against the House leadership.

Make no mistake. If the choice comes down to fully implementing Obamacare or continuing a partial government shutdown, the shutdown is more desirable.

The nation will recover, and may in some cases benefit, from a loosening of omnipresent government control. In fact, the cherry picking of services to cut in order to maximize the public outrage only shows how petty and childish the current administration is.

On the other hand, there’s no recovery if Obamacare is fully implemented. To subjugate a healthcare system that’s the envy of the world to total control by government bureaucrats should give everyone pause. Particularly since the costs will skyrocket and the quality of care will drop like a rock.

Think about it. When your life is drawing to a close, who would you prefer to determine how and when it’s time to go: the government, or God and family?

Even a child should be able to answer that one.

Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankKacer or #BiblicalPolitics

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Frank Kacer

Frank Kacer has been writing and lecturing on the applications of a Biblical worldview to the contemporary issues of the day since the mid 1990s. Besides his regular Biblical Politics column with the Washington Times Communities, Frank has authored over 100 op-ed columns for Good News Etc. and the popular Christian Examiner. Frank can be reached at frankkacer@hotmail.com


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