You know who I am now firmly against? “The Takers.” Oh, no, not the same “Takers” that people like Paul Ryan refer to, but rather, Paul Ryan himself. Add to that list of Takers the names of John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Darrell Issa, Dana Rohrabacher, Tom McClintock, and just about every member of the GOP that’s in the House of Representatives right now. Those are the real “Takers” in our society — taking our tax dollars for not doing any work. Hell, Boehner as Speaker of the House said that his congress should be judged not by the laws they pass, but by the laws they repeal.
Now, I get it, if you come into office after a bunch of overreaching laws were put in place over a decade of government expansion fueled not by more traditional paradigms like progressive acceptance of a new government role, but instead by nationalism on steroids — then yeah, I’d say you should get to repealing those laws. So as soon as House Republicans repeal the Patriot Act and kill the Department of Homeland security, I will absolutely start judging them by the laws they repeal. However, faux-pealing the Affordable Care Act a billion times, or gutting Dodd-Frank? No, I won’t exactly sing their praises for that.
Why don’t Republicans just admit that they don’t actually want to do any work, but would rather just sit on their asses and collect free money from the tax payers and lobbyists? Oh, I know why. Because then they’d be admitting they literally are the stereotype of the “Welfare Queen” they so lovingly paint for their hate-filled and ignorant constituents — pitting the haves against the have-nots. Now there are rumblings among House Republicans that are growing ever louder, and those grumblings would seem to indicate that the GOP is willing to take their legislative laziness to the next level — just shutting the government down entirely.
Rather than face the fact that they lost the fight on Obamacare not once, not twice, but three times (once in the House, once in the Senate, and once in the Supreme Court), there is a growing chorus, McClintock the most recently added of those voices, pushing to shut down the government if Congress doesn’t vote to de-fund the ACA. So just take a step back and think about the subtext of their political move here. They propose that rather than millions of people get access to health care they couldn’t get before, rather than force insurance companies to stop treating pre-existing conditions as a reason to not care for the sick, rather than closing the Medicare doughnut hole, and rather than forcing insurance companies to actually spend our money on our health care and not bonuses and advertising…Republicans would rather shut that whole thing down.
Republicans in Congress would rather not go to work, than to go to work knowing they’re on the losing side of anything. Maybe Obamacare will bankrupt this country (it won’t), but rather than step-aside and work their best to make the Affordable Care Act better, they want to submarine the whole thing and put us back on the horrendous path we were on. I’m not here to tell anyone the ACA is a perfect piece of legislation, or that it is even my ideal in terms of national health care policy, but that doesn’t mean that all the good the ACA does should be thrown out because the right-wing has an ideological bugaboo about it.
The fact is that Obamacare has already been running efficiently and quite popularly in Massachusetts. It’s not a lie when the left-wing points out that the individual mandate, which seems to be the crux of the conservative opposition to the ACA, was in fact a right-wing notion proposed over 15 years ago by Republicans like Bob Dole. So actually, I don’t know that I can actually say with any kind of accuracy that the origin of the opposition of the Republicans to Obamacare is the mandate — it’s Obama, plain and simple. Now they’re willing to essentially not do their job because they were bad at their job and couldn’t stop the ACA from getting passed in the first place.
There are so many things about the ACA that people actually like when you ask them about the individual “components” of it. No denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions alone is a revolutionary paradigm in American health care. But what kind of terrible human being would say they prefer to tell already sick people, “Sorry, you can’t get affordable health care because you’re already sick. We can’t heal you because you’re just too sick to begin with?” For the party that claims to hold the copyright on Christian values, they sure do forget what the fuck Christian values are whenever it’s convenient to them not doing a damn thing.
Republicans in Congress are the Takers. They do nothing, literally not a thing, when they’re in Washington, and when they’re out, they’re busy spreading misinformation about how Obamacare works. If you want to tell people like Louie Gohmert did this past weekend on “This Week,” that someone in severe poverty is going to pay more in Federal income taxes under Obamacare than without it, you are giving yourself away as the charlatan, liar and lazy, do-nothing Taker you really are. Gohmert’s math, by the way, is unsurprisingly as false as anything else that has oozed out of his empty, bald goddamned head.
So the question is a simple one — how much longer are the American people going to put up with the kinds of people from the right that they’re giving us to work with? I have to think that even conservatives are getting fed up with the dumbest among them speaking for all of them. I’m sure there have to be some Republican voters out there who are horrified that their congressional representative would rather shut the government down and default on our debt (which happens to buoy the entire world’s economy) because they don’t want to pay for helping poor people. When those voters wake up, when the moderate and sensible Republicans who mostly want to just quibble over a few percentage points in the tax code take their party back, then maybe they won’t be the Party of Takers anymore. Then again, that’s assuming there are enough sensible people who haven’t abandoned the GOP yet to turn the tide, and I don’t know about you…
…but I am not convinced.