Yes, I blame the media for playing for ratings instead of reason. Yes, I blame the voters for pulling the levers for celebrities instead of statesmen. Yes, I blame the non-voters for being the non-voters. But no, I cannot place a pox on both houses in this government shut down crisis.
I can’t stay quiet. This shut down is about one thing – The Affordable Care Act. The Republicans are driven by a purely ideological position that Obama represents the end of freedom. Do you think the GOP is looking for reasonable compromise on the ACA? They have voted 46 times to completely repeal the law. Doesn’t seem like just “fixing it so it works better” is on their agenda. Just today Rick Perry of Texas told an audience that passing Obamacare was “an illegal act”. Tell it to the courts, Rick. They disagree.
I cannot place a pox on both houses. The GOP claims about Obamacare are unhinged from reality. The Republicans claim that the Democrats “rammed through” the ACA without the consent of the governed and without reasonable debate and compromise. Let’s be serious:
If the ACA had been rammed through Congress, it would have been passed in July 2009 instead of March 2010. The Democrats had the votes to ram it through in July 2009. They chose not to.
If the ACA had been rammed through, we would not have suffered through the September 2009 of made-for-YouTube town hall meetings in Congressional districts across the country.
If the ACA had been rammed through Congress, it would have contained a public option.
“Ramming through” a piece of legislation better describes Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s course while denying public employees the right to collectively bargain.
The government is closed right now because conservatives hate Obamacare. This is nuts. Like it or not, it passed both houses of Congress, it was signed into law by the President and its constitutionality was confirmed by the highest court in the land. The GOP has shut the government because they cannot achieve their ideological goals in national elections.
I cannot place a pox on both houses. The Republicans claim that the Democrats are unwilling to compromise when the GOP has made their uncompromising demand explicit (46 times and counting) – Obamamcare must go in its entirety. The entire talking point that the Dems won’t compromise is ridiculous on its face:
The Dems caved on the entire spending plan given them by House Republicans. All the sequester cuts were left untouched. The Democratic Senate passed EVERY spending priority in the continuing resolution this time around, except they removed the defunding of Obamacare. That’s it. That is not Democratic obstruction. That’s Republican fanaticism.
If the Democrats didn’t compromise, they wouldn’t have used the idea for state exchanges that was developed by the conservative Heritage Foundation in the 1990s.
If the Democrats didn’t compromise, they wouldn’t have used the idea for the individual mandate that was part of Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign.
If the Democrats didn’t compromise, they wouldn’t have used the idea that the GOP standard bearer in 2012, Mitt Romney, implemented in Massachusetts, the same plan now being accused of “destroying freedom”.
If the Democrats didn’t compromise, Obamacare wouldn’t allow states to build their own exchanges (in a strange twist, GOP leaning states are now having the feds build the exchanges for them!).
If the Democrats didn’t compromise, Obamacare would include a public option.
And finally, the silly idea that this shut down has been brought about by extremists on both sides is laughable. If liberal extremists had their way, the US would have a single payer plan in this country. We don’t.
You know what, Obamacare may stink. It may need to be fixed. But it is the law. It passed Congress, it was signed by the President, it was affirmed by the Supreme Court and reinforced in a national election.
In this instance, I cannot place a pox on both houses. To place that pox gives the instigators of this particular mess a free pass and that would be wrong.
This shut down is the fault of Republicans and they need to be held responsible for its impact.