By M. Scott Douglass
I had a piece that focused on writing all set to post, but shutting down the federal government… sorry, that requires a response.
I’m glad the Republicans forced this shut down. No, I’m not a right wing fanatic. I am a proud supporter of the Affordable Healthcare Act.
No, I don’t think we need a further demonstration of dysfunctionality within our two party system, but ineptitude can breed new and better things. And what might they be?
For one thing a moderate third party. All these Republicans who are running scared from Senator Cruz and the crazies within their own party, who are afraid of getting primaried, should just concede that their party doesn’t want them anymore, band together with conservative Democrats and form a party that is willing to do what it takes to do the nation’s business as it pertains to ALL of the nation’s citizens, not 10% who gerrymandered their way into office.
Second, if John Boehner is so afraid of people within his party, then he should step aside and let someone else do the job; someone who would be willing to call a vote on a clean bill and let the chips fall where they may.
We’ve allowed elected government positions to become an oligarchy to the point where we now have families whose chief trade is politics. Examples: Kennedys, Bushes, Clintons, Pauls—and the list goes on. So, losing a seat, a job in either house of Congress, is like a black mark against the family legacy. Is this how we want our representatives to decide how the government should be run? As a matter of whether they lose an election as opposed to doing the right thing?
Immediately after forcing a shutdown, House Republicans started a series of political stunts to show the public that THEY are not the bad guys here. These stunts would be amusing if they didn’t use veterans and sick children as tools in their battle to defund Obamacare. That’s what it’s all about—and they believe we’re too stupid to understand what they’re doing.
I heard one Congressman—I believe it was Robert Pittenger—ask the question, “Why can’t we wait another year to enact this law so we can at least see what’s in it?” Which begs a question: “If you couldn’t figure out what it says in four years, what will waiting another year do?”
What it will do is prevent Americans from getting the healthcare they need and being happy with this program. Having people happy with the program will prevent Republicans from ever taking it away.
Waiting a year would allow Republicans something to run against that is ethereal as opposed to real with measurable results. That don’t want math entered into the equation because they would be on the wrong side of it. They don’t want this program to see any measure of success and THEY KNOW, if enacted, it will work and that would make their task of getting rid of it that much harder.
So, why would they want to get rid of it? Aside from the fact that it’s yet another government program and a redistribution of wealth—two things that are against their religion—it would bite into the wealth at the top of the healthcare pyramid and those folks are their contributors. Remember, a recent study showing a breakdown of who actually made up the top 1% of wage earners in America showed that, at the time Ronnie Reagan passed a law to allow hospitals to be for-profit thereby causing healthcare costs to grow 300% faster than the rate of inflation of ALL other sectors in our economy, AT THAT TIME only 6% of the top wage earners had anything to do with the healthcare industry. Today that number hovers near 20%. Tell me, to whom are the Republicans beholding?
Now Republicans in the House have proposed funding bits and pieces of the economy rather than passing one whole thing and they are blaming Democrats in the Senate for not approving these token offerings. This is where they are wedging veterans and children with cancer to tug at the heart strings and show that they are the compassionate dealmakers who want to negotiate, not Democrats. Why shouldn’t the Democrats take this deal?
Have you ever heard the term getting back-doored? Remember the Republicans’ stated goal: to defund Obamacare. Well, if you piecemeal everything out, it’s the same thing. The Republicans will only approve for vote on items they want to fund and NOT vote on items they don’t want funded. They could go through a checklist until the only thing remaining is Obamacare and then they do nothing.
That’s the plan. That’s why funding the government has to be ALL or NOTHING.
This is no less than economic terrorism. Forty House Republicans cannot be given that much power to dictate what the entire nation wants and whether it should be funded. If we let them, then that favored phrase of We do not negotiate with terrorists will no longer have any meaning.