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What now for the GOP?

March 23, 2010

gop.elephant.dead

The healthcare debate helped hide the cracks in the GOP, but what now?

For all the talk over the past year concerning the Healthcare Bill and for all the protests and lies that the Right put together to try and muddy the meaning of Healthcare Reform, the Bill has now passed. Despite a last ditch effort by Fox News to trot out as many untruths as they could and with prominent Right Wing Senators and Sarah Palin:

“The implications of Obamacare will reach into every aspect of our lives, from the value of our paycheck, to the quality of our health care, to the opportunities that will be stripped from Americans as we’re shoved under the enormous burden of more government growth and control. We must stop this now. “United We Stand, Divided We Fall.”

also putting in their desperate two cents to try and stop the Bill, there is now a real chance for more Americans to benefit from the so called “Best Medical care in the world” (paraphrasing some right wing commentators).

So this leaves the question, what now for the GOP who have staked everything over the past year on trying to “Kill the Bill”?

Following their tanking in the November 2008 Presidential Elections, it has become clear that the GOP have been fractured from the inside. Granted they are united by every Right Wing’s wet dream of attacking whatever Democrat is in power no matter what he or she does, but they were hurt. And then along came Healthcare and with it the formation of the corporate sponsored Tea Party to which many on the right saw as a god send for adopting a so called populist movement.

Swayed by some wins in the recent state elections, including Scott Brown’s usurping of a once proud Democratic seat in Mass. the Tea Party movement showed to some that there was a voice to be reckoned with. For example you now have Sen. John McCain fighting for his political career after the Tea Party movement sponsored one of their own to run against him – J.D. Hayworth. Their accusation was, McCain was not conservative enough:

“John McCain, the man who was once the ‘maverick,’ is now the personification of the mushy-middle, establishment Republican. His memorable bipartisan efforts, including Campaign Finance Reform, Climate Stewardship, Amnesty, and TARP, demonstrate his lack of regard for the constitutional limitations of the federal government. Senator John McCain is not a liberty candidate. Asheville Tea Party supports J.D. Hayworth’s bid to replace Senator John McCain as the GOP candidate for Arizona Senate.” taxdayteaparty.com

This despite McCain openly supporting and campaigning with Scott Brown (although he is no longer a Tea Party Fav). To counter this, McCain has spent the last few months flip flopping on many liberal campaigns he has previously supported including Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, in an effort to appear to be more conservative. Oh and he has brought back Sarah Palin to help him on the campaign seeing as she is to some TP members, still their darling. Which if we are being honest here is so funny, seeing as most believe Palin is the reason why McCain lost the Presidential election against Barack Obama. And he accuses the left of supporting populist movements!

I digress!

The GOP banked everything on stopping so called “Obamacare” and with the historic vote on Sunday 21 March 2010, they have taken another knock. Their best efforts of painting this as a “socialist” agenda to which Obama will use to implement more changes to the Constitution have fallen in deaf ears as Congress voted in the Senate bill. However, as quiet as the Right have been over the past few days I do not suggest for a minute we rejoice.

Yes the Right has to regroup, and they need to quickly because since the 2008 election the party has been at odds with itself as it struggles to find a definite base from which to counter. However in the days before the Bill was passed, a new line emerged on the countering of this Bill – Repeal.

Mitt Romney, who as Governor of Mass. ironically helped bring in a similar healthcare measure to his state, has publically stated his opposition to the new Bill – which is not so hard to fathom especially considering he is a Republican:

[Obama] calls his accomplishment “historic” — in this he is correct, although not for the reason he intends. Rather, it is an historic usurpation of the legislative process — he unleashed the nuclear option, enlisted not a single Republican vote in either chamber, bribed reluctant members of his own party, paid-off his union backers, scapegoated insurers, and justified his act with patently fraudulent accounting. What Barack Obama has ushered into the American political landscape is not good for our country; in the words of an ancient maxim, “what starts twisted, ends twisted.”

His health-care bill is unhealthy for America. It raises taxes, slashes the more private side of Medicare, installs price controls, and puts a new federal bureaucracy in charge of health care. It will create a new entitlement even as the ones we already have are bankrupt. For these reasons and more, the act should be repealed. That campaign begins today.”

Now lets be fair, Romney is one of the many names on the books for the possible 2012 Presidential Candidacy, so he needs to be showing leadership at this time. But lets also note, no matter what concessions were brought in, the Right opposed this Bill, even when those concessions were their own.

One can not see this call for a Repeal as anything more than another attack policy. Not an effort to right some of the wrongs of the Healthcare Bill. The Right to me are desperately hanging on to the repeal of this Bill rather than face the fact that the Bill was the only thing keeping the party from fracturing.

Fox News has of course latched onto this by banging the new war drums, and chiming in that individual states will now sue to stop the Bill in their areas. And you could see them formulating this new push even as they were trying to sway the final votes over the weekend. Well you have to give them kudos for having a contingency plan!

The question is why? Of course Fox likes to tout that most Americans are against the Bill, but that’s if you listen to their specially commissioned polls. If you look further afield and open your eyes, you will see most Americans are behind reform, they just wanted the public option in and are worried about possible costs, which is an understandable worry if you listen to the Right who have claimed time and again this is a mere money making scheme by the Left.

The why is simple. Especially when you consider through eight years of Bush they did nothing to bring about reform of their own. The Right are too well bedded with the Insurance companies that have bleed the public dry over the years – the dollar is good remember, and although I agree in enterprise and the right to profit, it does not stick well that profit should come first over whether someone lives of dies.

I was speaking to a friend of mine in America last night. Her mother has battled cancer twice and has a brain tumor – the only way she is being treated now is because she is of age to get government funded Medicare. My friend has been told by someone she knows in the healthcare insurance industry that if her mom was younger, she would not be insured. My friend also noted that her husband who has a degenerative muscle wasting disease, has been passed over by many insurance companies because of his “pre-existing condition” – which annoys me greatly. His condition is not something he asked for but the treatment by insurance companies is almost to punish someone for being ill.

To begin the war cry of “Repeal” the Right are showing how far they will go not only to stop anything at all that the Left try to bring in, but they show contempt at the American People.

As one opinion piece in the Washington Post points out:

But some analysts say a debate over dumping the health care bill or keeping it may not affect voters who do not already have strong views on the reform effort, if only because its effects may not be felt by November.

“Republicans have been saying this is the end of America as we know it and it will bring socialism,” said Norman Ornstein, a congressional scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. “If it passes and not much happens, it’s not as if there’s going to be a huge backfire [on the Republicans], but in the overall argument they have not done themselves much political good.”

You can further see the desperate stance when Right Wing talking point pundits like Rush Limbaugh, who famously said he would move to Costa Rica if health care was passed (*fingers crossed*), Glenn Beck and Neal Boortz :

– Right-wing radio host Neal Boortz tweeted that “Nancy Pelosi will be grinning and laughing” following the health care vote, which “will do more damage than 9/11.” [3/21/10]

– Fox News host Glenn Beck said on his radio show today that “Jesus Martinez” might support the health care bill, but “not the Jesus of Nazareth I know.” [3/22/10]

– Conservative talker Rush Limbaugh said on his show this morning that America is now “hanging by a thread” and that “our freedom has been assaulted.” [3/22/10] (ThinkProgress)

Repeal is not about healthcare per say. Repeal is about the Right trying to stay afloat with certain members of the electorate that they have been courting over the past year. Without this repeal, they know that they will not get the support of groups such as the Tea Party and neither will they get the support of the votes in November.

So back to my original question: What now for the GOP? It’s simple. They have no choice but to fight, but it’s harder for them to fight when now many are waking up and seeing that their actions are nothing but a bunch of have’s dictating to the have nots.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 24, 2010 9:42 pm

    Hi! Love your blog! It must be very frustrating to keep up our American loonies from all the way in Englandistan, but we can use all the help we can get. Great article, too. Thanks for checking out my own stuff!

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  1. Tea Party show their true colors « Views Across the Pond

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