Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Paucity of Public Discourse

Summed up in a paragraph:

As a political matter, Democrats should be shouting from the rooftops about McConnell’s secrecy. But they should also be hitting what we know, what is really all but certain: that the net effect of this bill will be to deprive tens of millions of Americans of the coverage they currently have – whether that’s because of the loss of market subsidies, Medicaid expansion or because of the curtailment of regulations which allowed various classes of individuals to purchase coverage at realistic rates.

In other words, if Democrats were doing this right, the evil thing that's about to happen WOULD NOT HAPPEN!!!!!!1111!!!!!!!!


All I hear in the news, even on NPR, is that the Republicans are keeping this bill secret.  NPR has even reported (twice) that McConnell understands you can't fight what you can't see, so he's not going to let the public (or the Democrats) see this bill until he just has to (i.e., when he has secured 50 certain votes for it).  Smart money (again, per NPR reporting) says he has to do this by the July 4 recess (which will start July 3 and run through the 10th, unless McConnell holds the Senate in session on the 1st and 2nd), because they also want to pass tax reform (Ryan is already talking about it) and, well, there are deadlines and other requirements of reconciliation which make June 30th (effectively) the drop dead date (if Senators are less than enthused, can McConnell keep them in town the weekend before the recess?  Not likely.)

None of this matters, of course, because the GOP is dastardly and unified and monolithic (which is why they passed a bill out of the House the first time, right?) and will destroy our noble band of squabbling heroes if they don't SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS!

Because shouting would cause the people to storm the castle with pitchforks and kill the monster that is there aborning.  Right?

Here's the thing (again):  the GOP is acting this way because they are dancing with the ones what brung 'em.  Having promised for years to repeal and replace, it's time to fish or cut bait.  Trump isn't helping their cause at all, but failing to pass a bill would be political suicide.  They have to do what their voters voted for them to do, at least as they see why they were elected.  Sure the town halls are erupting in anger, and sure repealing the ACA is about as popular as drowning puppies on live TeeVee, but the alternative is just to quit now and save themselves in the trouble in 2018 (well, for one-third of the Senate, anyway).

Shouting is not going to change that.  Who was leading the charge in the town halls?  Schumer?  Sanders?  Warren?  Somehow I don't think so.  Is further organization really the answer? And will this repeal solve problems for the GOP?  I don't think so.  They're in a round room and being told to sit in the corner, and they don't know what to do but keep trying to find the corner.  Damned if they do and damned if they don't, in other words.  And if reports are true that "moderate" Democrats of the Liebermann/Nelson ilk (who killed single payer when Obama tried) are in the minority, and if less "moderate" Democrats win in 2018, we may get single payer out of this; and are more likely to if Obamacare goes the way of the dodo.

In fact, don't think of an elephant, or a dodo; think of a phoenix.  And calm down; just because you think it's true doesn't mean everyone would if THEY WOULD JUST LISTEN!  It's never been that simple, and it never will be.

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