Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Kansas-Nebraska Act Makes the News!

One of my favorite political commentators, Michael Barone, compares the odious Obamacare legislation to the Kansas-Nebraska Act:
It's time to blow the whistle on two erroneous statements that opponents and proponents of the health care legislation being jammed through Congress have been making. Republicans have been saying that never before has Congress passed such an unpopular bill with such important ramifications by such a narrow majority. Barack Obama has been saying that passage of the bill will mean that the health care issue will be settled once and for all.

The Republicans and Obama are both wrong. But perhaps they can be forgiven because the precedent for Congress passing an unpopular bill is an old one, and the issue it addressed has long been settled, though not by the legislation in question.

That legislation was the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. Its lead sponsor was Stephen A. Douglas, at 41 in his eighth year as senator from Illinois, the most dynamic leader of a Democratic Party that had won the previous presidential election by 254 electoral votes to 42.

ADDENDUM: Scott Johnson at Powerline points out that the Claremont Review of Books had made available Harry Jaffa's essay entitled Lincoln in Peoria in light of Barone's column.

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