by John Hawkins | July 29, 2017 10:56 am
My latest Townhall column is called, The 7 Republican Obamacare Judases in The Senate. Here’s an excerpt from the column.
The Democrat Party has run into trouble largely because it became way too radically liberal, way too fast. The Democrat Party of the Clinton years would have been terrified of publicly supporting many of the abominations forced down the throats of the American people during Obama’s tenure as President.
However, the Republican Party has almost the exact opposite problem.
They’re married men who don’t want to stop dating. They’re singers who can’t carry a tune. They’re preachers who are no longer men of faith. The GOP is run by men who find sincerely held Republican beliefs to be mildly embarrassing in a, “You can’t seriously believe that, can you?” sort of way. I know this for a fact because I’ve been on email lists with Capitol Hill staffers. Some of them were EXACTLY what you’d hope they would be: conservative, respectful of the people who got their bosses elected and serious about helping the country. Some of them were squishy, but at least listened to the opinions of the base. Unfortunately, quite a few of the others were smug, acted like the voters owed their bosses instead of the other way around and seemed to think of themselves as part of a feudal over-class that deserved to rule over the rest of us peasants because they’re in D.C., duh! When you see that attitude in the staffers, what it really tells you is what they’re hearing from their bosses in the office every day.
That contrasts with what WE, the VOTERS, have been hearing from their bosses every day. During the Obama years, there was one message we heard over and above all others. One that was repeated time and time again. One that was repeated so often that EVERYONE knew that’s what the Republican Party wanted to do. It was that if the Republican Party had its way, it was going to torpedo Obamacare. By 2014, the GOP had tried to defund Obamacare at least 6 times, and by the Democrats’ count, had tried to gut the law more than 50 times. Republican candidates across the country promised to repeal Obamacare. Mitt Romney promised to repeal Obamacare. Donald Trump promised to repeal Obamacare. It was as close as possible to a central message of the GOP beyond, “Obama? Aren’t you sick of that guy? And Hillary? Seriously? She gives me the creeps!”
So, what happens when Republicans FINALLY control the House, the Senate and the presidency and vote on repealing Obamacare? Seven Republican senators VOTED AGAINST a straight repeal of Obamacare with a two year window to come up with a replacement. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.; Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.; Susan Collins, R-Maine; Dean Heller, R-Nev.; John McCain, R-Ariz.; Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; and Rob Portman, R-Ohio all decided that after years of claiming to oppose Obamacare at every turn, they now want it to stay in place. Why, it’s almost as if they’ve been lying to you for years about their opposition to Obamacare! In fact, it reminds me of something that Ted Cruz once said that rings true right now,
“Part of what’s so problematic with Washington is how many Republicans want a show vote to pretend to their constituents they’re fighting for what they say they’re fighting for, rather than actually fighting for it and actually winning. In both parties, you’ve got entrenched politicians who have barely veiled contempt for the American people. They think their voters are gullible rubes – and you give them a little ‘show vote,’ you tell them, ‘Hey, I’m totally with you,’ then they go to Washington and they don’t actually do what they say.”
This SHOULD BE a big deal. It’s like the Pope coming out as a Satanist. It’s like walking into your bedroom and finding your wife and best friend both naked. It’s like being the last man on earth and hearing a knock at the door. So what price are these Republican Judases paying? Did Mitch McConnell threaten to try to cut them off from their donors? Did the National Republican Senatorial Committee tell them not to expect their support the next time they run for office? Did anything of consequence happen to any of them at all beyond Trump firing off a mild (for him anyway) tweet against Lisa Murkowski? This is so big that Republican Congressman Mo Brooks called for Mitch McConnell to be kicked out of his leadership position for this failure.
“If they’re gonna quit, well then, by golly, maybe they ought to start at the top with Mitch McConnell leaving his position, and letting somebody new, somebody bold, somebody conservative take the reins so that they can come up with a plan that can get through the United States Senate and serve the needs of the American people.”
Isn’t he right? Mitch McConnell has a backbone made from butter and cream cheese; he couldn’t talk a telemarketer into taking his money and other than his correct, but not extraordinary decision not to move on Merrick Garland, his reign has been nothing but one long string of losses, punishing failures and missed opportunities. I’m sure he probably remembers to send a card to everyone on his birthday and does a great teenage mutant ninja turtle impression, but we should expect more out of our leaders. It’s fine to criticize Trump for his staff shake-ups, failures and Twitter obsession, but at least he’s trying to do SOMETHING other than sit on his butt and soak in the ambience of his important job. Can anyone say the same of Mitch McConnell, John McCain, Lamar Alexander or Lisa Murkowski?
There is nothing these senators who voted against the repeal of Obamacare have ever done or will ever do that can make up for their betrayal. None of them should ever represent the Republican Party in a general election again. That shouldn’t just be the position of the voters they have lied to; it should be the position of the REPUBLICAN PARTY. If this vote isn’t stepping over a bright red line for a Republican in Congress, then nothing does. The GOP shouldn’t aspire to be a pure party full of Jim DeMint and Rand Paul clones, but there should at least be some core tenets it believes in. It should be honest. It should mean well. It should represent something more than running the country into the ground to maximize the chances of a few stuffed shirts keeping their cushy jobs. If that isn’t what the GOP is really about, then prove it. Punish the Republican senators who sold all of us out on Obamacare and show that the GOP at least wants to be something more than all talk and no action.
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