Traverse City Record-Eagle

August 17, 2013

Another View: GOP threats are ‘temper tantrums’


Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — Republican members of the U.S. Congress have a job we all should hope for. They are paid well. They have a lot of perks. When they don’t feel like working, they can instead do a lot of no-value busy work and then throw up their hands and go home for what they surely feel is a well-deserved recess.

Before leaving, though, a core of GOP lawmakers said that if they don’t get their way, they will do what they can to stop the government from functioning. By getting their way, they mean that Obamacare — passed by a majority of the House and Senate, affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court and then reaffirmed by voters in last year’s presidential election — must be defunded, or else they will wreak havoc any way they can.

This is politics by terrorism.

Or, put in other terms, it is a “temper tantrum.” It is the “dumbest idea,” and it smacks of the kind of “shenanigans” that are turning off most Americans. Such antics could “cost the Republicans the majority in the House.”

Before one dismisses these comments as the type of liberal parroting expected from the mainstream media, it should be noted that the people making these remarks were U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. ...

The Republican attack against Obamacare is understandable. They didn’t like it when it got passed without their involvement. They tried unsuccessfully to ride Obamacare opposition to the White House in 2012 — a difficult task, since their nominee had ushered in a strikingly similar plan when he was governor of Massachusetts. In the House, they continue to pass meaningless votes to repeal the act — something they’ve done 40 times — as an empty political gesture.

What they haven’t done is put forth a reasonable alternative. As such, they leave the impression that their solution to health care is to turn the clock backward, leaving tens of millions of American uninsured and removing restrictions from insurance companies from denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions. ...

One could also wonder if Republicans are worried that, once enacted, Americans won’t find the act to be draconian. What if there are no death panels? What if the plug isn’t pulled on grandma? ...

Republicans are placing themselves on the wrong side of that argument. By refusing to get into the game of making the Affordable Care Act better, they are merely holding their breath until they turn purple. ...

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