Wednesday, July 19, 2017

GOP Fail To Repeal & Replace Obamacare - An Illustration in Why Things Can't Get Done

Whether Democrat, Republican, or whatever, one of the major reasons why corrupt, hyper-partisan, or otherwise stupid politicians get—and stay—in power is with the complicity of equally clueless voters and their selective memories. As I have preaches since starting this blog back in 2008, practicing partisanship and blindly adhering to a particular ideological position or candidate is not how effective policy gets created.
Hopefully, thought realistically doubtful, this week’s failure of the Republican-controlled Congress to pass an alternative to Obamcare should speaks volumes to the knuckleheads who still believe that their side has all of the answers. In regards to this, for years, the Republicans in Congress blamed former president Obama for “creating gridlock” that occurred over during his Administration’s tenure; of course, this was long-proven to have been a politically-contrived narrative to cover their own planned intransigence in opposing legislative agenda “The GOP's No-Compromise Pledge” and “The Party of No: New Details on the GOP Plot to Obstruct Obama”). To buttress the divisive effect of this narrative, Republicans promoted the supplemental narrative that if they were in charge in Washington, they would be able to “break” the “gridlock,” and “get things done.”

Well, the Election of 2016 gave the GOP their wish. They got more control of the House, the Senate, and now the (questionably) White House. And given their constant platform, seemingly united rhetoric of making the repeal of –should they every take charge—Obamcare their party’s priority, their more than 60 attempts to repeal O-Care when Obama was still in the White House (knowing that President Obama would veto them), and the 2 year’s long campaign promise by Donald Trump to repeal it and “replace it with something great" made it seemed that as if impending demise of the Patient Protection And Affordability Care Act was all but assured.

Fast-forward to July of 2017. To remind everyone, Democrats do not control either chamber of Congress. They do not Control the White House….and Republicans have still not managed to repeal Obamacare. In Congress, they opposed Obama’s signature piece of legislation relentlessly, constantly calling—for more than 7 years—for repeal, with little in the way given to a “market-based replacement” (as a matter of reality, Obamcare did use private insurers to provide services, so it was hardly the “government takeover of insurance” that opponents painted it as). With one or two token gestures at crafting an alternative by one or two Republican Congressmen, there seemed no substantive plan in place to “repeal and replace;” only repeal…which they couldn’t even get don’t with numbers and legislative control.

And of course, Donald Trump is not even considering that the Republicans—or himself—are at fault, despite his own past words in regards to leadership, and the implication that former President Obama’s “lack of leadership” was the reason for Washington gridlock.

It’s one of those sad realities that a politician, or even a political party can be in control of their own decisions and legislative agenda, yet still avoid taking responsibility for their own failings. What’s sadder is that voters, like those who adamantly support Donald Trump (come hell or high water) can take both sides of his contradictory reasoning. This is an example of the selective-thinking that makes a mess of our political system.
How can Trump—or any politician—take the position that leadership means taking blame for what “happens” and what ‘doesn’t happen,” but not want to take responsibility for legislative failings that happen on his watch…with little in the way of opposing party interference? It’s because the voters engage in the same level of dissonance when it comes to politics, and the people (and parties) they support. The “informed” American voter routinely condemns one party or candidate who engages in something they don’t agree with, while supporting another. And instead of confronting their own exercises in hypocrisy and selective memories, they resort to the age-old, “Two-wrongs-make-a-right” defense. This is to say that the they did it, so why can’t we is the go-two line of dissonance. By this logic, if one political party jumps off the Empire State Building, then other should too, simply because they “did it first."  See how weak a deflection that is? Destroyed, just by using the same line our parents used on us whenever we tried to justify allowing them to allow us to get away with something we did.
When it comes to politics and public policy, we all need to grow up; get in touch with the "adult" in us who tells young children that letting one person get away with things is no different than allowing another to do so. If "bad things" happened under Obama's watch--and it was his fault, then bad things happening on Trump's watch are equally his fault...especially since he himself said it.  Own the reality, just as Democrats should have owned creating and voting for Obamacare in the first place.
How "informed" can voters be if the use selective memory to justify their thinking and support for policy?
Bad policy, bad politicians, and bad voting won't stop until all involved act like adults and take responsibility for the good, and the bad.  It's not always "the other guy" who is at fault.



  1. Trumpcare...COMPLETE FAIL!!! If Obamacare was soooo horribly bad, why can't they agree on the replacement??? It's political rigmarole.