There is a well-known meme one can find with a simple Internet search: “What if I told you that the left wing and the right wing belong to the same bird?” At first it seems like this should not be possible. Comparing the platforms of the Democratic and Republican National Committees, the DNC refuses to acknowledge God and considers abortion to be a right; on the other hand, the RNC acknowledges God and supports a pro-life stance. So how is it that I can accuse the GOP of being the conservative arm of the Democratic Party? Quite simply, actions speak louder than words.
A lens can help us improve our observation of matter, people and objects – e.g., microscopes, telescopes, magnifying glasses, etc. When we want intimate understanding of something, we use a lens to gain otherwise difficult to observe information, or to clarify the details. Imagine Obamacare as a metaphorical lens, a tool with which we can observe the actions of one party and conclude with my hypothesis.
Republicans have repeatedly told the American people that they would repeal Obamacare. There were GOP Senators and Congressmen who ran in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016 on the message that they would repeal (and replace) Obamacare. So, anyone voting Republican should have been able to count on some action. Given all the energy (and money) spent campaigning with the primary message to repeal Obamacare, how come nothing has been done? Well, back in 2015, Senate Republicans drafted a bill to repeal Obamacare, the [not-so] Affordable Care Act. There were then 48 current Senators that voted for the repeal measure.
The most obvious problem for Republicans had been that, from 2010 through 2016, had they crafted anything that mentioned repeal of the A.C.A., President Obama would have vetoed without so much as a glance. They knew this so essentially masqueraded as tough, Constitution-minded representatives of the People. You know, like that guy that has his friends hold him back from a fight so he can look fearless and macho in the eyes of some fair dame he wants to impress. Well, come November 8, 2016, we gave the Republicans everything they said they needed.
Republicans finished the elections with the House, the Senate and the Presidency. We were ready. We were told that within 100 days Obamacare would be repealed and replaced. There were no more excuses. The Democrats should be all but powerless to stop the inevitable – the best they could do was practice being speed bumps. The Senate has the power of the purse. The House has the opportunity to show real Constitutional leadership. I expected a version of the 2015 Repeal and Replace Bill to hit President Trump’s desk within 2 weeks of him taking his oath of office. They already had 48 votes. So what happened?
It is well documented that Democrats believe federal government can solve our problems. I had always thought Republicans favored limited government. However, given what I have observed over the last couple of years, when the GOP refers to small government, I think they mean, smaller than the Democrat’s big government. What we begin to observe is that today’s GOP is much more left of, say, Ronald Reagan’s GOP. And that GOP was further left than a decade prior. And, if the prospects of the GOP’s healthcare bill are any indication, they are still pushing a big government agenda that is even further left.
As if it isn’t bad enough that the GOP has lied to us for 7 years and proposed something diametrically opposed to small government, Congress seems to have misplaced their spines. The nicest way of putting it is that they are displaying a hysterical fear of carrying out the mandate voters laid upon their shoulders. For a party that soundly defeated the Democrats in 2016, they are acting like the biggest losers. Either that or they’re feigning fear while willfully obstructing the People’s mandate. Two Senators, Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rand Paul (R-KY), seem to be willing to fight for a full repeal of Obamacare. How is it that these are the only two who get it? What about Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)? Well, he was close but decided to capitulate and try a compromise. There should be no compromise (since healthcare and health insurance are not rights) and I expected Cruz to stand strong alongside Lee and Paul – they could have been called the Three Musketeers. Oh well.
So, here we are, late July, 2017 and we have nothing. While the GOP-owned, do-nothing Congress led by do-nothing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) cannot seem to figure out how to repeal the bill, no one, including President Trump, seems to be able to provide real leadership on the matter. Between the campaign lies, the Obamacare repackaging scheme and the massive government encroachment on our rights, I would have thought Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) were running Capitol Hill.
I am not a great political mind with an intimate understanding of the inner workings of the halls of Congress, but I bet, against more than 2300 pages of A.C.A. regulations, they could have already figured out how to prioritize and repeal the majority of it using the good ‘ol divide and conquer method. At least it would be better than 6 months of obstruction, deceit and general buffoonery. My guess is that, come Nov, 2018, the GOP better get it right or expect to be replaced not by Democrats, but by Constitution-minded statesmen and women who understand the role and scope of the federal government.