Mitch McConnell loves to remind Americans that elections have consequences. He only believes that when the Electoral College and a handful of nearly empty states gives Republicans both the presidency and the Senate. Then it is the time for tax breaks and court packing, but not governing. It seems odd to me that the Republicans have been adept at running on particular issues over the last decade, but totally unprepared to legislate and govern once given power.
The obvious example is health care. The Republicans voted over 60 times to dismantle the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). They successfully kept their base engaged and raised a lot of money. Did they have a plan? NO! An alternative? NOPE! In 2017 they came within a couple of votes of destroying our health care system. Would you really want Ted Cruz or Rand Paul to play chicken with your access to health care? We were perilously close to a disaster. Two years later the Republicans of Texas attempted to drag the rest of the country down to their level of health care.
Abortion is another example. Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier were anchoring FOX’s election coverage in November 2012. Their analyst was “Bush’s Brain”, Karl Rove. The three of them were shocked and frustrated by the exit polling and refused to accept the results. The majority of those polled favored smaller government, but the Republicans were losing. Smaller government on FOX means limited business regulation and lower taxes. Kelly and Baier were surprised that Americans voters were concerned about the Republican’s interest in intrusive social legislation. Americans were voting to keep Republicans out of our bedrooms and doctors’ offices. Now that the 2022 Dobbs decision has overturned Roe, are the Republicans prepared to govern? The answer is NO. A lot of effort was invested to legislate religion and a version of morality without any concern to the consequences of the legislation. Rape? Incest? The life and health of the mother? The normal procedures post-miscarriage and/or still-born? Fifty years of campaigning and fundraising, but little effort to think this all the way through has left us with a pending health care disaster.
Social Security has become a new Republican talking point. Sunday’s News-Herald included an editorial from Ramesh Ponnuru, an editor of the National Review and a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. Mr. Ponnuru can’t hide the efforts of Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) to force Social Security to be re-authorized every five years. Sure the idea of a grandstanding Senator holding hostage the rent and food money of millions of senior citizens might seem scary to most of us, but Mr. Ponnuru is unconcerned. Not to be outdone, Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) has proposed an annual vote. Again, Mr. Ponnuru wants us to know that “Republicans are not plotting to undermine Social Security”. And he is probably right. The Republicans just want to run on the issue of “government mandates”. They want to raise funds from their big donors, keep their base riled up, and hopefully never have to actually do anything.
And if, accidently, Social Security suddenly ended and millions of Americans were left unprotected? Like Mitch McConnell said, elections have consequences…
Picture – The Cost Of Indifference – David L Cunix