Obamacare: The New Vietnam


Anti-war, civil rights movements a role model. It was the law. And liberals were determined to sabotage that law. To hold America hostage — in the middle of a war no less — until the law was repealed. Until the war was stopped. To do it, they used the Three C’s.

Civil Disobedience.

The Culture.

The Congress.

Let’s start with the law the Left was determined to overturn. That would be the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, passed by Congress on August 10,1964 at the request of a popular president, Lyndon B. Johnson. The resolution authorized the president “to take all necessary steps, including the use of armed force, to assist any member or protocol state of the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty requesting assistance in defense of its freedom.” The vote? 416-0 in the House. And in the Senate? The resolution passed by a margin of 88-2. The Vietnam War, already quietly humming along with some 16,000 U.S. advisers deployed, was now on. Big Time. And to say the least, the votes in Congress to stop the Vietnam War weren’t there.

Listening to various Republican critics of Senators Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and House GOP Reaganites — and yes, Tea Party members are the Reaganites of today — one hears the constant refrain that “the votes aren’t there” to repeal Obamacare. Worse — particularly when coming from people like John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Peter King, and others — is the business about “what is the end game?” The latter refrain particularly appalling coming as it does from members of the GOP Senate and House who have sat in their respective chambers for decades and done nothing — zilch — to put an end to the continuous growth of the federal government and the accompanying, now $17 trillion debt that goes with it.

The votes weren’t there to stop the Vietnam War in 1964. And as was abundantly apparent, supporters of the war had no “end game.” They were terrified of the Chinese — meaning a repeat of the Korean War. If there was an all-out war aimed at total victory, went the thinking, disaster loomed. Instead of an aggressive strategy to win, the “end game” in war — there was effectively no strategy beyond pouring in American troops and trying to drive the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong back into North Vietnam and keep them there. Somehow. And pulling out? Disaster was seen on that front as well.

Meanwhile, opponents of the war had an end game. A strategy that was as simple as it was bold.

End the war.


Get all American troops home from Vietnam and let whatever was going to happen without Americans in Vietnam? Let it just happen. (Peace would break out, went the Leftist story line. In fact, mass murder and all kinds of mayhem and chaos swamped Southeast Asia after the American withdrawal — but that’s another story for another time.)

As the fight to repeal Obamacare moves on, it is important to take a look at two comparable struggles in recent American history in which “the law” was overturned. Overturned against seemingly impossible odds.

Overturned with a smart and effective strategy that used the Three C’s: Civil Disobedience, the Culture, and the Congress.

Those two struggles that used the Three C’s? The anti-Vietnam War movement and the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Both movements had a crystal clear objective — an “end game” — that focused on overturning existing law. 

For the anti-war movement the end game was to halt American participation in the Vietnam War and bring the troops home.

For the civil rights movement it was to break the back of segregation laws all over the country, laws that segregated public accommodations (restaurants, hotels etc.) and denied voting rights to black Americans.

The votes to do either simply were not there in the Congress of the day.

What to do?

Both movements, while making constant legislative attempts inside the Congress to achieve their objective, turned to organizing opposition outside the Congress. Opposition that in turn would pressure Congress to stop the war. The Left hated the war, its legality be damned. Actually, hate is too mild a term. They were obsessed with the war in Vietnam.

So they turned to the first two of the Three C’s: Civil Disobedience and The Culture.

So they marched. They rioted. They burned draft cards (which was illegal). They showed up at draft boards claiming homosexuality — in the long ago a certain disqualifier. Suddenly liberal college kids developed a strange hankering to be ministers and rabbis — because divinity school students were exempted from the draft. Psychiatrists who opposed the war got into the act, declaring young men previously mentally sound as a dime to be mentally unstable: i.e., crazy and therefore un-draftable. Liberal lawyers began counseling potential draftees pro bono. And but of course the liberals in the culture rallied to the cause as one song after another soared on the charts proclaiming the glory of resisting the draft and fighting against the war. Some 30,000 American boys evaded the draft outright or simply deserted by fleeing the country for Canada.

Thus it comes as passing strange to hear sudden outrage from liberals about the move to defund Obamacare because, say these incensed folks, “it’s the law!”

Apparently, it all depends on which law is the law. Sabotage the law that produced the Vietnam War? Sabotage the Vietnam-era draft laws? Sabotage the Vietnam War itself? Hold America hostage — literally in the middle of a full-blown war — a war, one should note here, that was begun by liberals themselves?

Yes indeed. If you were a Leftist in the day — no problemo.

Participants of any kind in the anti-war movement were held up as heroes. Champions of freedom and dissent. Worthy of being counseled, lauded, sung about and applauded. Were you involved in a riot to protest and provoke? Were you committing illegal acts in the name of stopping the war? Well, bless your long-haired soul. 

But try and defund Obamcare? Why, the nerve! You have no respect for the law! You’re a saboteur holding America hostage! How dare you oppose the liberal utopia!

All of which says that the battle over defunding ObamaCare has a template provided by the Left for how to shut down a law and get it erased from the books for good. A template that was used to enormous effect both in ending the war — and used simultaneously in the much more bipartisan fight to end segregation. Segregation, of course, being the political lifesblood of the Democrats. 

How was it done? Here are the tools of the Three C’s as used by the anti-Vietnam War and civil rights movements.

• Civil Disobedience: Protest, sometimes peaceful, occasionally violent, was the order of the day. Rallies were held, marches were marched, pickets picketed.

The fact of the matter is that no war can be fought without troops. And the American Left went right for the jugular on that basic fact. The way troop requirements were filled in the day was the draft. Solution? End the draft. Protest the draft. Disrupt the draft. Sing about the draft. Remake the image of the draft from a positive sign of service to one’s country to a negative connotation of manipulation by an evil war machine.

In short, disobey the law. Deliberately, willfully, repeatedly, massively and with as much public attention to the fact as possible.

Three months before the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, with the war already at a steady if low hum, casualties were beginning to mount. On May 12, 1964, twelve young New Yorkers stepped forward and publicly burned their draft cards — deliberately breaking the law. From that moment forward, burning draft cards became a symbol of civil disobedience. And the notion of breaking the law became a symbol of the anti-war movement. By December, 1964, folk singer Joan Baez led what is seen as the nation’s first prominent anti-war rally, attracting 600 protesters in San Francisco.

On March 16, 1965 in Detroit, Michigan, pacifist Alice Herz, 82, doused herself in gasoline and lit a match, self-immolating in the fashion of South Vietnamese Buddhist monks protesting the war. Now the protests picked up speed, centering on college campuses. Colleges being, not coincidentally, filled with young draft-age American boys and young men. “Teach-Ins” about the war became fashionable, a Berkeley version attracting 30,000 people.

The anti-war movement was here to stay.

The President of the United States, the white liberal Democrat Lyndon Johnson, was burned in effigy — by Leftists. A Gallup poll showed 60% of the American people supported the Vietnam War. The Left ignored the poll and others like it — and stepped up their opposition.

On October 15, 1965, the first “large-scale” act of civil disobedience took place in Ann Arbor, Michigan, home of the University of Michigan. Some 40 students staged a “sit-in” of the Ann Arbor draft board. They were arrested and sent to jail for 10-15 days. A month later, another pacifist, 31-year old Norman Morrison, set himself on fire — underneath the Pentagon office window of Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.

The tactic of Civil Disobedience exploded across the country over the next several years. Sometimes it exploded into violence — anti-war riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Some, Bill Ayers and his Weathermen, were into bombs. But however they did it peacefully, the opposition to the war grew and grew and grew. Demonstrations gained in size and strength, appearing in one city after another, gaining notable allies in an unexpected but very important place — The Culture.

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE: http://spectator.org/archives/2013/10/17/obamacare-the-new-vietnam-war/

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commented 2013-10-19 11:35:21 -0400 · Flag
A.A. writes:

I agree with the author…the U.S. as a EU-style crypto-Socialist State is a reality and — if this is not battled against tooth and nail — the end of the American Experiment as the Founding Fathers designed is over.
commented 2013-10-19 11:29:58 -0400 · Flag
B.S. writes:

Possibly. What I hear from the Tea Party is to work to get rid of those Republicans in the House and Senate who caved. Otherwise, I hear too much negativity from those pols who fought but lost. One battle lost is no big deal. Winning takes perseverance and when the goin’ gets tough the tough get goin’. So we had Pearl Harbor. So what?
commented 2013-10-19 11:29:10 -0400 · Flag
V.M. writes:

Interesting perspective – could have been said quicker – is the right capable of C C C?
commented 2013-10-19 11:28:07 -0400 · Flag
T.M. writes:

the Country is Incapable of COURSE CORRECTION, it will be just be the slow, steady March into civilization oblivion, this country won’t even merit a footnote in the annals of history, 200 + years done, juxtaposed with 5,000 + Years of Asian Civilization.