The grand promise of Obamacare repeal went down in flames today as President Trump ordered the hapless Paul Ryan to postpone the scheduled vote on their Obamacare semi-sort-of-partial repeal bill, phase 1.whatever. Oh, it would be easy for me to observe that the Republicans had seven long years to prepare an actual repeal bill and to devise a bullet-proof strategy to pass it through Congress as sneakily and slickly as the Democrats did with Obamacare in the first place.
Yes, it would child’s play for me to note they made the same mistakes as the Democrats did in arousing the public’s ire with moronic stunts like having to pass the bill to find out what’s in it. It would be a piece of cake to say I expect Lindsey Graham, John McCain and several other Republicans in name only to become–at the drop of a hat and when Republicans are strongest–another “gang of something or other” and give the Democrats whatever they want. It would be easy as pie to remind you, gentle readers, that the Republicans, for seven long years, whined and begged voters to elect a Republican president and Republican majorities in both houses, because then, boy oh boy, would they repeal Obamacare and do all kinds of other neat Republican stuff. And it would be simplicity itself to reiterate the fact that we gave them their Republican president and Republican majorities in the House and Senate, and they can’t tie their own shoelaces without adult help.
Oh, the ease with which I could inform you, gentle readers, that Obamacare will never be repealed; it will just get worse and worse and worse, and Republicans will take the blame for that, the kidnapping of the Lindberg baby, the last eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, the fall of the Roman Empire, and Brexit too. How utterly effortless it would be to reveal just how incompetent and foolish their juvenile, narcissistic antics make the congressional Republicans appear. How unchallenging it might be to expostulate on how the Republicans have given a hostile and aggressive press enough ammunition to fill them full of holes for at least Mr. Trump’s first term, which they are working assiduously to turn into his only term. And yes, how utterly without effort it would be for me to extemporize about the Democrats laughing their sagging asses off, particularly the vile and slimy Chuck Schumer.
But no. No. That would be entirely too easy, and we here at SMM are far too gentile and cultured to do anything remotely like that. Instead, I’ll provide a brief and encouraging discourse on the situation.
A Brief And Encouraging Discourse On The Situation:
Media talking heads are, to a man, woman, and whatever, calling the failure of the pseudo repeal bill a complete disaster for the Republicans, a disaster from which they cannot possibly recover. They might as well pick up their ball and bat and go home. Nonsense. They would be wise to adopt the tactics of a cat that has unexpectedly fallen off a table or couch. Nonchalantly lick themselves (figuratively, please; the alternative vision is horrifying), stand up, stretch, and walk confidently away as though they meant to do that all along.
Then form a small committee with representatives of every Republican faction, caucus, bunch, bevy, covey, pride, coven, hive or infestation–House and Senate–and take sufficient time to write a simple, direct bill that repeals, once and for all, Obamacare in its entirety. It’s a 2000 page plus monstrosity. A stake must be driven through its heart, it must be decapitated, the body and head burned, and the ashes stirred and burned again.
While this process is ongoing, another similarly composed committee of congressional drones must write a replacement bill, as brief, easy to understand, and rational as possible. There is no reason any provision of Obamacare they want to retain can’t be easily written in a replacement bill. We have the technology. We can word process. This method has the very great advantage of automatically removing every part of Obamacare we don’t want, which is probably about 98.9% of it.
There can be no such thing as bills no one has read. That sort of thing really, truly harshes the public’s calm. Publish both and let the public, and every member of the House and Senate, read them. For those congress critters that can’t read, first grade teachers can stop by to translate. For once in their lives, they’ll have a clue what they’re voting on. If they’re ashamed or afraid to let the public see their work, well, that really tells the whole story, doesn’t it gentle readers?
In the meantime, meantime, the house and Senate leadership, such as it is, should be preparing the way to pass both bills without interference. But the rules don’t allow them to do this or that! Waaaahhhh! They’re in charge of the House and Senate. The Constitution–Article 1, Section 5–gives each house the power to “determine the rules of its proceedings.” Change the damned rules in any way necessary to get the job done. For once in their pitiful lives, Republicans must act enough like Democrats to demonstrate the testicular fortitude to be just a tiny bit ruthless, for long enough to save the American health care system and the economy, to say nothing of the Republic. If they need to pass a law to get the job done, do it! They’re the national legislature, for goodness sake! Passing useless, destructive, corrupt laws is what they do, their very nature. Perhaps they should start acting like it! They can apologize and beg the forgiveness of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer later.
Whew! Sorry about that. It got a little away from me. I’m back now.
There is no reason Republicans can’t behave like adults for a change, and get this done. This need be only a temporary setback, but the potential to turn it into a paralyzing failure is ever-present. If they can’t accomplish this, after seven long years of promises, after passing multiple repeal bills and sending them to Barack Obama’s desk to be vetoed, why would any rational American trust them again? Why would anyone believe them capable of accomplishing anything useful or competent? What more do they need? Another seven years, and nothing but Republicans in the House and Senate? Would even that be sufficient?
By the way, what about those multiple, vetoed repeal bills? What did they say? Wasn’t there anything in them that might be useful when it’s time to really repeal the thing, or did they give them to Hillary Clinton or the IRS for safe keeping?
If they can’t accomplish this, not only do they threaten to do what the Democrats and the media have been thus far unable to do to Mr. Trump–render him completely feckless–they’ll convince Republican voters to cast their ballots for the first ham sandwich that makes the ballot rather than any Republican. Didn’t they notice people were voting against Hillary Clinton and the Democrats far more than they were voting for Republicans?
This just might be the kind of thing that could birth a genuine, effective third party, a party that would eviscerate the Republicans once and for all.
Americans are finding patience in short supply these days. For a month or so, they were beginning to feel reasonably hopeful about Donald Trump and the possibilities that lay before them. Those feelings just took a dramatic and punishing tumble, thanks to the justly named “stupid party.”
It’s not too late, but damned little figurative time remains. They’d better get to licking.