“Isn’t it obvious they don’t want to do anything?” – Rush Limbaugh, July 17
The above quote from syndicated radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh reflected his somewhat bemused appraisal of Senate Republicans’ efforts to replace (or more accurately, repair) the Affordable Health Care Act, or Obamacare, with alternative (or more accurately, additional) legislation. Early this week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the Senate would not hold a vote on the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), since it was apparent that there were not enough Republican votes to pass the measure.
Imagine taking your car to the local mechanic in order to remedy a persistent problem with its cooling system. Suppose that after several days, perhaps even a week or more, this neighborhood professional (whom presumably, you are paying) called you down to the shop and admitted with some chagrin that he was stumped. For the life of him, he just couldn’t locate where that oil leak might be.
Well, you didn’t take your automobile in to have him find an oil leak; you took it in to have a problem with the cooling system addressed. In truth, there was never an attempt made to repair your vehicle, because during the entire ensuing period, this supposed expert had been attempting to diagnose the wrong system.
This is analogous to what Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell executed relative to the Senate’s ostensible efforts to scrap Obamacare, and how he changed his tack following bipartisan opposition to the overhaul bill. The only difference between your errant auto mechanic and McConnell is that respectively, one is incompetent and the other is treacherous.
As we know, for the last seven years, GOP lawmakers have promised that they would repeal and replace Obamacare at the earliest opportunity yet, since being given that opportunity, they have done nothing but equivocate and stall, finally offering up abysmally inadequate measures intended to “fix” the previous administration’s leviathan health-care law.
To add to the collective consternation of conservatives and Republicans who’d taken GOP lawmakers at their word, as the BCRA was being pronounced dead on its diseased vine, even some non-establishment media outlets and conservative commentators began hailing McConnell as a champion for repeal.
“Regretfully, it is now apparent that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful,” McConnell said Monday evening.
The fact is, however, that no such effort has yet been made.
By now, the reason for opposition to repeal on the part of Democratic and progressive Republican lawmakers should be clear: They wish government to retain the power and perks for industry cronies contained in Obamacare. It’s the same reason Obamacare was passed in the first place. The same motivating factors facilitated the transformation of America’s health-care system over several decades into one which became increasingly cost-prohibitive for consumers. The reason conservative Republicans in the Senate resisted the BCRA is, of course, because it wasn’t a repeal of Obamacare at all.
On Tuesday, Rush Limbaugh excoriated Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Shelly Moore Capito, R-W.Va., for helping to spike the BCRA, calling the women “leftists” who are running the Senate, rather than McConnell. The three senators did in fact begin telegraphing their opposition to a full repeal of Obamacare immediately after McConnell cravenly took up the repeal banner anew.
When Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, or Chuck Schumer make incomprehensibly implausible statements or blatantly lie, we expect it because we know that they’re playing to their base, which consists of the deluded and the dizzyingly stupid. It is chilling to consider that House and Senate Republicans have the same low regard for their constituents as Democrats have for theirs, but this is more than suggested given that the Republican base is now expected to summarily accept McConnell as a champion of repeal and his colleagues’ intentions as genuine.
In plain terms, the reason the majority of GOP lawmakers have been reticent to repeal Obamacare is because they represent the political equivalent of inner-city crack whores. They are de facto leftists and the best argument for a massive purge of the GOP or for the party having simply outlived its usefulness.
On the heels of McConnell’s Monday announcement and more tweets from the president decrying the Senate’s inability to put together acceptable legislation, Vice President Mike Pence demanded that Congress “step up” and “do their job” in this area. Pence said that he and President Trump stand behind a full repeal of Obamacare and support passing a new health-care bill “with a clean slate.”
These statements are ones Trump and Pence probably knew they would be making sooner or later. All the above considered, the White House’s expressed intention to “let Obamacare fail” could not have been more strategically sound. While repeal was a contingency for McConnell, letting Obamacare fail was not a contingency in the White House’s estimation. Trump knew all this was inevitable because, as Mr. Limbaugh said, Republicans in Congress didn’t want to do anything.
Trump’s good-faith deportment in letting congressional Republicans handle the dismantling of Obamacare was the equivalent of him handing them shovels and allowing them to dig their own graves. It was the only way Americans and rank-and-file Republicans would realize that establishment Republican lawmakers are just as ethically compromised and rapacious as their Democratic counterparts. Despite widespread underestimation of the man, Trump is a sufficiently astute student of the human condition to know that such things have to be witnessed for oneself, rather than asserted via political oratory.
Article posted with permission from Erik Rush