The sun will not rise tomorrow!
March 21, 2010 | To hear the Republicans tell it, passage of healthcare reform spells the end of civilization as we know it.
John Bonehead, aka Boehner (R-OH), says that reform is a giant government take-over and that Republicans are "going to do everything we can to make it difficult for them, if not impossible, to pass the bill." He vows they, Republicans, will do whatever it takes to "make sure that this bill never, ever, ever passes."
I hope America's educators are taking advantage of this teachable moment to instruct students on the use of hyperbole because there hasn't been so much of it being spewed into the media since, probably, the parting of the Red Sea.
If passing the healthcare reform bill that is up for today's vote were really the calamity that Republicans say it is, they should be lining up to vote for it! Then when the American people see how awful it is, the Republicans could stand back and say "See, told you so. Sure, we voted for it, but we did so in a sincere attempt to restore civility and bipartisanship to Washington, despite our reservations about the substance of the bill. We could not let the Democrats continue to poison our Democracy by ramming this bill through Congress on a party-line vote. The survival of our democracy is simply too important."
Instead, the constant drumbeat of doom and gloom, the stoking of fear, and the sky-is-falling talking points reflects, I believe, a last-ditch, all-in effort to prevent the American people from experiencing what they know will be a vastly better healthcare system than what they have now. The Republicans have staked their political survival on a strategy of "no" — opposing anything and everything purely to deprive Democrats of being able to claim success. They decided, obviously, that voters would buy the story that Democrats had a chance to govern and couldn't accomplish diddly-squat and would overlook the Republican's blatant hypocrisy and obstructionism.
In fact, passage of the reforms is the Republicans worst fear because they know that once Americans see the benefits of the reform they will remember all too well the frenzy of Republican opposition to such a good thing and vote the rascals out.
That's the Republican side of the aisle. The Democrats don't get a pass, either.
A month ago I wrote that Democrats don't really have a choice: the Republicans are going to pillory them over healthcare in November, no matter what.
Frankly, I'm astonished that so many of the milquetoast Democrats still don't seem to get that, and that it is going to be much worse for them to be on the wrong side of history.
In recent days, others have begun to sing from the same hymnal.
• Marjorie Margolies, who lost her seat after supporting Clinton's budget, wrote a succinct op-ed in the Washington Post in which she advised Democrats, "You will be assailed no matter how you vote this week. And this job isn't supposed to be easy. So cast the vote that you won't regret in 18 years." Despite having indeed lost her seat in the following election, she writes, "I decided that my desire for public service at that moment was greater than my desire to guarantee continued service.... But I believed then and now that being able to point to something tangible that changed our country for the better was a more powerful motivator than the possible electoral repercussions."
• Eugene Robinson's op-ed, also in the Washington Post, described "the GOP's chutzpah. George W. Bush governed like a steamroller as he enacted his radical initiatives -- massive tax cuts, a huge shift in the balance between privacy and security, an unprecedented "big government" takeover of education policy, an expensive and unfunded Medicare prescription drug program." Then he noted that "the moment the Republicans were out of power, they discovered a moral imperative for the majority party to do everything in a bipartisan fashion."
Last updated on Apr 23, 2017