Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican Minority leader, has a singular, broad objective. He wants to oppose the Democrats at every turn, in every way, no matter what. Whether something is good for the country is entirely irrelevant (despite the seldom rhetoric to the contrary.) What matters to him is that his party “wins” by foiling the efforts of the majority of the People’s representatives. Whether we agree with him on an issue or not has become irrelevant, as his goal isn’t to do anything specific. Rather, McConnell’s goal is to weaken the Democratic majority, to block them and make them seem ineffective and foolish as often as possible. Some might say all is fair in love and war. Others might call that Treason.
McConnell Can’t Lead, Won’t Follow, and Refuses To Get Out of the Way — Though the Republicans cannot hope to lead the Congress, they are refusing to follow, even when it is clear that a piece of legislation would be good for the country. Rather, he and his fellows are dead set in standing in the way of success. On July 21, 2009, McConnell at the Senate Republicans’ weekly luncheon in the L.B.J. Room, Senator McConnell’s PowerPoint presentation bragged that the president’s approval rating was down and that Republicans were gaining ground on Democrats. “We came up with a plan, stuck to it, and now we’re starting to see results,” he claimed in his presentation (leaving us to wonder just what good those results might be for the country they were elected to represent.) Throughout, it is clear that he doesn’t care about anything except his side “winning”. Even people within the GOP agree that McConnell is more concerned with the Democrats looking bad, than with moving the country towards progress.
McConnell is unabashed in his position, but denies that he has been throwing the country under the bus for the sake of his party’s ambitions. “To the extent that they want to do things that we think are in the political center and would be helpful to the country, we’ll be helpful,” Mr. McConnell claimed. “To the extent they are trying to turn us into a Western European country, we are not going to be helpful.” One could readily wonder what’s wrong with a Western European country. Most of them enjoy universal health care, a healthy economy, and a greater quality of life than we do here in the States. Or, a bit more concisely, one might retort: you say that like it’s a bad thing.
Holland is a fine example of a healthcare system that works. Simply represented, in the Netherlands everyone must have insurance, but if one cannot afford that coverage, the State helps by providing the cost of it temporarily. That same country covers the cost of higher education, provided that the student completes the course. They realize that the educated citizen will make more money and thereby pay more taxes. In short, they invest in their people. That’s not a bad thing at all. We could learn much from other nations. Indeed, those Western European countries’ examples should have been heavily considered as we revamped our own health care system.
What is clear is that the GOP is intentionally obstructing the Senate (and the House). The healthcare reform bill must be taken as a whole to be effective. One cannot have reformation in one small section while leaving the status quo intact and expect to come up with a functional, comprehensive program. The Public Option, (which some believe was the only tool to keep health insurance rates affordable now that the insurance industry can bemoan the need to insure what they deem as Pre-existing Conditions,) has already been lost. Many other concessions had to be made… but the GOP is giving up next to nothing, and contributing even less. Their goal is not to help this nation reform healthcare. Though they have been invited to the table, they have systematically refused to participate. McConnell’s goal is simply and entirely for his party to “win.”
Medical Justice agrees that the current health care “reform” bill leaves much to be desired. Tort Reform is one of the key aspects which is not in the package, for example — one which the GOP would presumably support, at least nominally. (One could argue that they didn’t implement it when they had control either.) But causing the political gymnastics that the Democrats are forced to employ in order to get a bill passed, that’s not the GOP helping America. That’s just petty sour grapes. They know that they will not be able to put a halt to the healthcare reform bill; they’re not opposing the Democrats in hopes of causing the bill to fail. Rather, they’re hoping to cause the Democratic PARTY to fail in the eyes of the American public. At the very least, that’s downright unAmerican.