I was shocked at the picture from the House of Representatives yesterday afternoon. I watched and listened as a host of Democrat Congressmen and Congresswomen waved their hands and sang the song by Steam, “Na Na Na Na, Hey, Hey, Hey, Goodbye!” to House Republicans. Why? The House just passed the still pending Obamacare replacement bill.
I should not have been shocked. Even though those exact pictures and circumstances are not frequent — at least in actuality — they are frequent in political perspective in D.C. Unfortunately the attitude in our Representatives that not only allow such vitriolic demonstrations but indeed encourage them is continually eroding what Washington D.C. is all about — or “formerly” all about: taking care of Americans by passing laws, implementing laws, and enforcing laws FOR the People. But as illustrated by this fiasco yesterday, “this ain’t the country our parents lived in.”
Democrats’ actions after that vote have exposed what many in Congress are really there for, and not JUST Democrats. And it’s not to represent voters on everyday issues. Those singers were not chiding House opposition for losing. In fact the song wasn’t being sung about the just passed House bill at all. They were almost in unison telling Republicans “Thank you for passing the bill. You will lose your House seat and the House Republican majority in 2018 BECAUSE of your vote.” Their angst was not about a bill that House GOP members passed (without a single vote from Democrats) that Republicans feel strongly that will take care of all of the Obamacare issues that are quickly destroying the only healthcare program in the U.S. Their angst was only that the bill was passed — ANY bill — that Democrats did not approve of.
I am still nauseated at that picture. Why? Because the ugliness of that moment is not owned by just Democrats — Republicans and Independents pretty much share that same attitude. Instead of making voting decisions based solely on what would be best for voters and constituents whom they represent, their interest, votes, support or dissent seem to be more than ever based solely on “political expediency.” And that “political expediency” is defined as what the powers to be determine should be the path legislation takes that will best to maintain the power of those “PTB’s” instead of being what is best for Americans those legislators represent. If Democrats felt strongly as they en masse stated in their public stances that Obamacare was the right healthcare program for Americans but it needed fixes, why has there been NO Democrat Party “fix” program offered at all? That is hard for me to believe: the biggest single government spending program in recent years is acknowledged to be in grave financial and substantive trouble of failing, yet the Party in Congress that wrote and passed the law without showing anyone in either Party the details of the law, AND passed it without one vote of support from the other Party, thought so little about taking care of the problems with the program they unilaterally put in place, they simply sit back and scream at any offer to fix it that has been put on the table. Does that sound to you like real concern for the average American family who watched as even with an insurance card in their pocket they could not go to the doctor because of incredibly high deductibles and co-pays? Americans cannot afford Obamacare. And in Iowa, 96 of the 99 counties next year will have NO insurance company offering healthcare policies in those counties!
The GOP: don’t get me started. If you remember from the past weekend, I called for the replacement of House Speaker Paul Ryan who has become the poster child for Political Elitism. He’s a guy that hated Trump during the 2016 campaign, did not support Trump or endorse Trump even after he became the GOP Presidential candidate, and obviously looks at this President as the only option — a “necessary evil” — to be merely a place holder for four years just to keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House. I’m sorry, but that’s not leadership. Standing at a podium and making pretty “party-line” speeches is NOT legislative leadership. It’s making speeches and nothing more. He’s the House Speaker…..he leads Republicans in the House. His leadership is definitely lacking. He should have put forth agenda items that paralleled not what Trump said he wanted or thinks is best, but what American voters who expressed their support for specific legislation during the campaign want. Instead, Ryan along with the Establishment GOP stands for anything and everything that will do one thing: maintain Republican Party Establishment power. That is NOT governing.
Democrat leaders have made on thing clear for all Americans and even citizens of other countries: they will oppose every legislative agenda item put forth by this President. They clearly indicate they care not as to the value, importance, or justification for any piece of legislation. All that matters to the Democrat Party is that they want control of the House, the Senate, and the White House again. Why? For power, of course. With Washington D.C. power, anybody can get anything done….period.
Republican Establishment leaders are pretty much going down that same road as Democrats. It has not devolved so much to parallel that of Democrats…..yet. I think that is so simply because of what effects the Tea Party had in 2010 and 2012 that showed GOP leadership that Americans will no longer stand for the power plays. And I think their seeing Middle America rise up against the tyranny of Democrat control for the past 8 years let them know Americans are tired of the “same old, same old” in D.C. and will no longer allow it to exist. We will see.
The AHCA is a long way from becoming law. The Senate is just ahead. One thing is certain: before it ever appears on the floor of the Senate for a vote it will be dramatically changed — hopefully for the better. Examining, analyzing, and negotiating are a necessary part of making laws. Lawmakers need to stop looking down on those who choose that option. Debate on the floor and in legislative offices has always been the way lawmakers craft and refine bills that eventually become laws. That is the process the Constitution calls for to provide us government “for the People, of the People, and by the People.” It’s time for lawmakers to quit fighting the legislative system that has made the United States the greatest nation in history.
Reasonable people can discuss and reach reasonable solutions to disagreements. The question mark for this legislative issue comes from the definition of “reasonable.”