Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Corrupt Bargain

We know what the Republicans are trying to do with the repeal of Obamacare, and we know they’re going to try to do it while everyone else is distracted by Russia and how and why James Comey was fired.  The newest shiny object is Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III and his toad-like denials of knowledge and complete lack of interest in what went on.

It may be too late to save Obamacare, and Josh Marshall says standing on the rooftops and screaming about it won’t make any difference.  They will do it no matter what.

Rhetorically, politically and in the simplest terms of reality, Republicans know there is no justifying this legislation. The public has already spoken. It is overwhelmingly unpopular. They are trying to do it in the dead of night because they know that. They convict themselves by their actions. Not because those actions violate norms but because they are evidence of knowledge of the underlying wrong. They are trying to slip it past everyone, do it by stealth and have all the details secret until it’s too late. That’s a political crime, a corrupt bargain. That’s the message, with all the rhetorical color that can be added to it. Don’t say that Republicans shouldn’t feel the license to act this way. They can do it if they want and it is entirely in character. Accept their freedom do it and label it for what it is. Adjudicate it at the next election. Make that clear.

Which is his way of saying, “Go ahead, make my day.”  The only thing to do is to repeal and replace every senator and representative who voted to remove twenty-plus million people from healthcare insurance, to bring back the ban on preexisting conditions, to make contraception and women’s health issues a test of religious liberty, and hasten the death of the elderly by essentially removing them from life support or making it so expensive that they just give up.

If the Republicans were proud of this bill, they would be the ones shouting it from the rooftops, not sneaking it through like a hooker into their hotel room.  There would be advocates for it on cable TV with soothing messages of freedom and the sanctity of life.  But they know they’re doing it on the sly because not only is it evil legislation, they know their motives are pure spite: we’ll show that uppity Ni-clang what his legacy really is.

I still think you should call your senator or representative.  But the message should include “we’re on to you.”  Go ahead and vote to repeal.  But while you’re at it, tell your staff to start polishing up their resumes and make plans to spend more time with your family, because you’re going to find out what it’s like to lose your employer-paid healthcare coverage.