The time has come to offer my Republican friends an apology. A really sincere apology. Like a lot of opiners, I’ve been guilty of painting the GOP with a very broad brush lately. And, to their oft-expressed dismay, these folk feel lumped in with the bad guys of their political persuasion. I really didn’t mean that. I’m sorry. O.K.?
It’s easy to do - this lumping. After all, there isn’t much of a Republican Party left that can be readily administratively identified. The “members” you hear most about these days are those in Congress. Or that dangerous, temporary President fella.
The intended recipients of my apology have nothing in common with those Potomac folk. They’re good people - living good lives - doing good works - raising good families - making good contributions to their communities. Nothing like those similarly labeled “Republicans” in Congress.
Again, I apologize for speaking/writing so loosely that it appeared to conflate one group with the other.
Nearly all of us were raised to understand we lived under a “representative” system of government. We were taught it began with us voting for a member of a governing body who most closely represented our thinking about issues. Further, we were expected to keep them informed of how we wanted things done and they were expected to respond accordingly to a majority of us. Representing us, as it were. And it really worked as designed for a very long time. Always seemed a good and efficient way to run a country.
But, in recent years, that governing concept has disappeared. It went from us telling them how we wanted things handled to them telling us to “go to Hell” and doing whatever they damned-well pleased. It’s happened in both parties to some degree. It’s happened most completely with Republicans in Congress. Which is why I feel obligated to apologize to my GOP friends at home who, like me, still believe in that representative system we were raised with. They’re not part of the problem. They’re being ignored just like the rest of us.
I could take up a lot of column inches enumerating all the issues in which GOP members of Congress have told us lately to “stick it!” But you already know a lot of ‘em. No, let’s just deal with the largest one - the one they’re hellbent on running with - the one they haven’t got a chance of winning on their present course. Health care reform.
More than eight in 10 of us, according to several years of national polling, have said “Don’t - DO NOT - repeal the Affordable Care Act Don’t do it!” “FIX IT,” we told ‘em. We’ve even told ‘em which parts we want to keep - insure the previously uninsurable - keep kids on parent’s policies - remove lifetime dollar caps - stop increasing premiums until they’re unaffordable - no Medicaid denial to selected individuals, etc.
But, instead of listening and acting appropriately, they’ve raised a collective middle digit, turned their backs on us and literally demolished what we told them we wanted and wrote something certain to die aborning. They even came up with personal tax breaks just for CEO’s of health insurance companies already making millions in self-enrichment.
What they created was so grotesque doctors, hospitals, financial institutions, labor unions, patient advocacy groups - just about everybody involved in anyway with health care - rejected the “Rosemary’s Baby” they created.
Did they hear us before acting? Sure they did. But they also heard the siren’s song of billionaires with money. Lots of money. Money to finance primary elections. Money to build up campaign coffers. Money to assure their continued, uninterrupted federal employment as “the peoples’ representatives.”
The fact is, many of these GOP “peoples’ representatives” fear a healthy, balanced primary contest more than they do a few angry voters. It’s that fear - coupled with fat cats with fat checkbooks - that’s killed what was our representative form of government.
These are the same “public-be-damned” S-O-B’s who backed an ignorant and dangerous President by affirming the most seemingly corrupt, most intellectually vacant governing cabinet in our history. They did it with the same “facts be damned” attitude they exhibited when violating our instructions to be careful with health care reform. And with the same extended middle digit!
My Republican friends deserve an apology. Not being billionaires, they’re suffering the same congressional contempt as the rest of us. And, ironically, they’re the only ones who can fix it. ‘Cause they’re the only ones who vote in the Republican primaries. They’re the only ones who pick the Republican candidates. They’re the only ones who can cut the idiots and self-servers out of the herd.
So, I’m sorry. Now, get up off your collective Republican ass and go to work!