As I’m sure regular readers know, a last ditch attempt to pseudo repeal/replace Obamacare has gone down in flames. The co-called “skinny bill,” which would supposedly have repealed some of the worst features of Obamacare such as the insurance mandate and at least some taxes, wasn’t sufficient to survive John McCain, as Scott Johnson at Powerline writes:
Today is a day to be embarrassed to be a Republican, for Obamacare has survived every effort to repeal and replace it with the defection of Senator McCain in the last-ditch effort to keep the effort alive in the final vote on “skinny repeal” after midnight this morning. Robert Pear and Thomas Kaplan report the story for the New York Times here.
The defeat of Obamacare repeal efforts in the Senate is, as the cliche has it and as seems particularly apt in this context, a bitter pill to swallow. The defections of John McCain, Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins sealed the defeat.
Senator McCain’s defection was in a sense the most surprising, but perhaps should have been anticipated. It seems to me that he has never been happier than on the occasions when he is stabbing Republicans in the back, as here, or promoting profoundly bad public policy, as in the McCain-Feingold legislation.
As I’ve previously written, actual repeal is simplicity itself:
Effective such and such a date, Obamacare is repealed.
“But nooooooooooooo!” as John Belushi used to say. It can’t be repealed because reconciliation, because of this rule and that rule, because of the hallowed traditions of the Senate, the greatest deliberative body on the face of the Earth, all hail the conquering heroes of the United States Senate!
Nonsense and lies. Article 1, section 5 of the Constitution states:
Each house may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behavior, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.
That’s right, gentle readers, the only restrictions on passing legislation imposed on the Congress are those expressed in the Constitution, and those they impose on themselves. Reconciliation, blue slips, all of that “gentlemanly” deportment are made up out of whole cloth, and may be wiped away with a simple majority swipe of that cloth.
Democrats routinely lie, steal, cheat and ignore any and every rule inconvenient to them, but Republicans whine about working and playing well together, whine about just getting along and working together for the good of the American people, whine about upholding the noble traditions of the Senate, the traditions that make them oh so much better and more elite than the peasants in the House of Representatives, and they change nothing and do nothing, and Democrats laugh at them. It’s Charlie Brown letting Lucy pull the football out from under him every time, learning nothing.
“But if we do away with the rules, the next time Democrats have a majority, we’ll be helpless.” Here’s a clue Republicans: Democrats won’t hesitate to ignore or do away with any rule impeding them–they have an unblemished history of doing just that–and you’re helpless now.
“Just give us a majority in the House and the Senate, and give us the presidency, and we’ll repeal Obamacare; then we’ll really get things done,” the lying Republican weasels squealed, and now, this.
I’m sure Republicans would argue they can’t expel Murkowski, Collins and McCain because then they’d lose their majority. They can’t encourage them to become the Democrats in fact they already are in practice. And what practical difference, pray tell, would that make? What surer indicator of the actual political philosophy of any member of Congress then their stance on Obamacare? Democrats have the majority for all practical purposes, they always do, despite the fact they’ve already moved so far to the left they’re nearly indistinguishable from socialists, and they’re continuing to move toward communism.
Republicans are too stupid–they’re the Stupid Party, after all–to know it, but American voters gave them a last chance in 2016.
Obama and his Democrat sycophants were correct: pass Obamacare and the public will become addicted; it will never be repealed. Even if, by some miracle, the Republican majority increases in 2018–they’ve now made that all but impossible–that would only give more Republicans political cover to oppose repealing Obamacare, and to oppose passing every other law Republicans supposedly support. After all, they’d have a bigger majority, so more can vote Democrat and still just fail to pass anything conservative.
It’s often been said Republicans are a self-defeating legislative majority. Whenever they gain the majority, they squander the opportunity, and rather than increasing their majority, lose it. Democrats, as corrupt, stupid and ill-intentioned as they are, don’t have to do anything but wait, lie, and laugh.
Will some Republican voters break away from the Grand Old Party? Will they form a third, conservative party? Not in time for 2018, and probably never. Third parties have historically served as nothing but spoilers for Republican candidates. There is something about the American character that prefers the order and clear, binary choice of two parties. Of course, there now appears to be little functional difference between the parties, at least as far as sloth, deceit, corruption, and fecklessness is concerned, but that still doesn’t translate to a viable third party.
Will Republican voters vote for Democrats for the Senate and House? Some will; congressional Republicans have worked damned hard to convince them. However, most won’t. They’ll simply sit 2018 out. Most will go to the polls. They’ll cast their ballots, as always, for local and state races, but when it comes time to vote for the leeches of Washington DC, they’ll say “to hell with them all,” and move on.
Future historians will write about a historic opportunity wasted, about an unconventional president who kept his campaign promises, about majorities in the House and Senate that destroyed themselves, and about Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and the impeachment–and conviction in the Senate–of that president.
They’ll write about the cold Second Civil War, the war Democrats are now fighting and the Stupid Party was too, well, stupid, to recognize. They’ll write about the inception of the hot Second Civil War, the destruction of the Democrat Party, millions of Democrats, and the new Constitution. They’ll write that the outcome of the Second Civil War was never in doubt, and despite that, Democrats forced it on America, ensuring their doom.
It doesn’t have to be that way, but for the time being, Congressional Republicans are working damned hard to send history careening in that direction. God help us all.