Schoolhouse Rock: Patience and Courage
RedState’s Susan Wright wrote an intriguing article yesterday titled, “Rand Paul May Have the Alternative to Healthcare.”
This sentence grabbed my attention:
“As Republican lawmakers have promised a repeal is on the horizon, they have simultaneously scrambled to find a suitable replacement.” *emphasis mine.
Nail. Head. The disturbing truth is we are scrambling to find an alternative. We have had eight years! Eight years, fellow Republicans, to map out a cogent solution to our unaffordable healthcare system. If memory serves, we had eight years before Obama was even a thrill up Chris Matthews leg, too.
Let’s back up a sec.
It’s 2009; the Democrats are in the zone; they hold onto the House and the Senate while they take back the White House after a near-decade hiatus. The Democrats know they may only have two years with a bicameral majority to pass their campaign-promised, decades-long threat of a healthcare bill.
Year two of Obama’s first term on March 23, 2010, the damn thing was signed into law! I thought, consoling myself on Obama’s inauguration day, there was no way the Republicans would let that happen. Yet, Christmas Eve 2009 the Senate passed Obamacare with a 60 – 39 vote, then it squeaked through the House 219 – 212 on March 21st.
It didn’t matter that the very day after the Democrat’s legislative victory the Republicans introduced their bill to repeal it. It was too late. Obamacare passed because hating it wasn’t a solution; the Republicans showed little interest in a viable alternative. It’s not to say they did nothing. But for their sixty or so attempts to either repeal or cripple the ACA, any effort at a replacement was symbolic.
For nearly six years our party took a backseat while Obamacare unraveled. The law sold to trusting (some may say gullible) Americans based on blatant lies and bogus promises that were, realistically, doomed to fail. In the interim, Republicans who declared its repeal “top of our agenda” showed no serious intention to coalesce around a structured healthcare blueprint.
Representative Tom Cole, Republican of Oklahoma, acknowledged that “there has not been a unified Republican position” on how to replace the health care law or respond if the Supreme Court upholds the challenge to subsidies in states using the federal insurance exchange.
Until now, Mr. Cole said, House Republicans did not have to specify an alternative to the 2010 health law because “we knew it would not get through the Senate” when Democrats controlled that chamber.
Hating it is not a solution. What matters if “it wouldn’t get through the Senate?” We did not have to wait in line for our turn. Our time is always now whatever month, day or hour. The Republicans squandered eight years opposing a bad law instead of proposing a great one. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the diner, the factory, real people lived by the Democrat’s crudely constructed, incompetently implemented, ultimately failed law.
Leaders head their pack. They don’t mark time until the pack falls in behind them. Eight years, they had, to craft a bill that would impress. No. Republicans left their post.
Now, our Grand Old Party scrambles to quick pull a plan out of their arse. Even if it’s decent, the people will know they bought hoagies at the Wawa instead of serving the home-cooked three-course turkey feast they promised.
Our Republican leaders left their post because they knew there wouldn’t be an immediate reward; because they thought if a few spitballs stuck they could put off a solution until America was paying attention.
In other words, it was too hard, so they left.
I believe Schoolhouse Rock said it best.
“Gee, Bill, you certainly have a lot of patience and courage.”
“Well, I got this far,” Bill said. “When I started I wasn’t even an idea. The folks back home decided they wanted a law passed so they called their local congressman and he said you’re right, there oughta be a law and he sat down and wrote me out and introduced me to Congress. And, I’ll remain a bill until they decide to make me a law.”
Sometimes the time to act is not now. Scrambling for an alternative to a complex problem is not a confidence booster for the one’s who will have no choice but to live your substitute.
Represent with patience and courage, Republicans. You have the people’s attention.
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