Newsweek‘s Kurt Eichenwald makes a great point about our GOP-controlled Congress’ inactivity. Well, not to put too fine a point on it, but their refusal to do any actual work. We saw yesterday the utter uselessness of Mitch McConnell’s Senate and later, Paul Ryan’s continued obsession with Iran getting the $400 million it was owed from an old arms deal.
I asked then, how about some real work? You know, instead of invented problems. Here is Eichenwald’s suggestion:
GOP Congress spends a year and a half investigating Clinton emails, but refuses to investigate whether Russia is hacking our election? WTF?
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) September 30, 2016
Instead, what does Paul Ryan have for us in his weekly address? No, not Russia. A better way to fix healthcare!
You would think protecting our election process would be a bipartisan issue, but as The Daily Beast‘s Shane Harris put it, Republicans in Congress aren’t about to investigate their own nominee.
So we get continued obsessions with invented scandals like Benghazi and email servers. And never mind that we already have the Affordable Care Act, which gave 20 million Americans insurance they didn’t have before, protected us against limitations based on pre-existing conditions, and removed the lifetime limit. That sounds pretty good, right?
Not to Paul Ryan and Donald Trump. You remember Donald Trump’s solution: “something great!”
“Obamacare. We’re going to repel it, we’re going to replace it, get something great. Repeal it, replace it, get something great!”
He yelled it. Because if you yell it, it proves it’s really, really great.
Right Wing authoritarian types are historically quick with slogans and talking points rather than detailed arguments that contain anything resembling a fact or a workable solution. The same is true of our GOP-controlled Congress.
Our elections are potentially about to be compromised, and we get this from Paul Ryan:
“In this week’s Republican address, House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, M.D. (R-GA) discusses our plan to repeal Obamacare and replace it with patient-centered solutions.”
See what they do there? “Patient-centered.” Well, that was the whole point of the ACA, or Obamacare as it is popularly known. To get patients some insurance. And it worked. It would have worked even better had the GOP-controlled Congress not wasted years trying to dismantle it.
Of course, Right Wing slogans often mean exactly the opposite of what they say, and that is true here as well, as “patient-centered” actually means, “make insurance companies wealthier” and “protect corporations from expensive medical costs” by freeing Americans to pay for their own damn medical care.
But that’s a lot to put into a slogan, so you can see why they shorten it.
So do we get the GOP investigating Russia for threatening our very political system and the sanctity of our democratically-held elections? No, but we do get “Our first priority is to put you, the patient, in charge, not Washington bureaucrats.”
That’s nice. I’m free to get screwed. That’s some freedom. We had that before, before Obamacare, and I had to worry about my son dying because of his medical condition; and if Trump gets his way the GOP will get theirs and 20 million people will lose insurance, but hey, we’ll have the right to get insurance anywhere we please.
We just won’t be able to afford it, and with it, we’ll also have the right to be denied insurance on account of pre-existing conditions and lifetime caps.
Don’t be fooled. This is a species of “freedom” we can do without.
The Republicans call this healthcare proposal of theirs “a bold vision to bring America’s health care system into the 21st century.” It would be nice if they would bring a work ethic into the 21st century, but I suppose that would be too much to ask. What fun are clever slogans and talk if you have to actually back them up with work?
We already have healthcare reform, thanks to Obamacare. We don’t have cybersecurity, obviously, from the threat of Russian hacking making our votes worthless and electing a president for us. You would think, given that choice, Republicans in Congress would focus on a real problem for a change, and leave Obamacare for later.
Eichenwald asks “Now is entire GOP going pro-Putin?” Maybe not pro-Putin, but definitely pro-GOP. The Party and its rich employers first, they say. Country second. After all, they don’t really work for the voters, but for the 1 Percent and wealthy corporations.
So instead, as with Benghazi and Clinton’s emails and Iran’s $400 million, they would rather focus on obstructing President Obama and the Democratic Party like they promised eight years ago.
They’ve done precisely zero work in eight years. With Election Day upon us, you can bet their thinking is, “We’ve gotten away with this for two terms. Why start now?”
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.