Tags: republicans | senate | healthcare | obamacare

Saying Republicans Can't Govern Is a Cheap Shot

Saying Republicans Can't Govern Is a Cheap Shot
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) leaves the Senate Chamber after a vote on a stripped-down, or 'skinny repeal,' version of Obamacare reform on July 28, 2017, in Washington, D.C. Murkowski was one of three Republican Senators to vote against the measure. (Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

By Monday, 31 July 2017 10:59 AM Current | Bio | Archive

When the healthcare bill died in the senate recently (notice I did not attribute the bill to Republicans), the headlines in most media were something like this: the Republican Party has failed to deal with healthcare and the Republican Party cannot govern.

Of course it is possible to say these things; it makes for a good headline and theme to build stories around. Once the situation is examined more carefully, however, it is at least problematic to claim the Republicans’ governance failed.

Let us review: forty nine out of fifty two Republicans were together. If this was a test in an academic course, and a student answered correctly 49 of 52 questions, this would be an “A” in most courses.

Next one may ask what the chances are of winning over the three Republicans who refused to vote “yes.” Susan Collins in previous years has not voted to repeal Obamacare. Lisa Murkowski likes Obamacare and only wants revision; essentially she agrees with Collins. John McCain always has been characterized as a “maverick.” Does anyone believe a better deal maker or almost anything would have moved the dissenters’ votes to “yes?”

In fact, one must wonder what these three are thinking about. The vote was essentially to send a bill to a conference committee where a few House and Senate members would hammer out a new bill. The Republicans have been pondering healthcare for the last seven years and at least two of these dissenters want more study! These three dissenters chose to block even the chance to forge a bill that at a future date could then be voted up or down. These three were obstructionists. And one must ponder what John McCain was doing. In bad health, he could have simply focused on his health, thereby not voting, and that would have killed the bill. Instead he came back to the senate to have his say. A few might say McCain was grandstanding or flexing his power as an individual senator.

These three dissenters also illustrate the enormous power of a few votes in a situation in which the majority is slightly more than fifty percent. It is a cheap shot simply to say the Republicans can’t govern. With this narrow majority in the Senate, and the way Senate rules are that give the minority great power to block progress, stalemate is likely.

And so pundits begin the blame game, claiming it is Trump’s nasty name-calling and tweeting that is gumming up Republican governing, let us return to the last question: Did any of Trump’s idiosyncrasies cause these dissenters to vote "no"? If anyone answers “yes” to this, they are from Mars.

Was White House disorganization the reason these three senators dissented?

And so it goes, sometimes individuals do things and no one can talk them out of it.

Of course if all that matters is the Republicans pass a bill, they probably could do what the Democrats want, and pick up few of the most liberal Republicans, and there it will be: a successful passage of healthcare legislation.

The problem is many Americans, and those most informed, realize if the government ends up managing one-sixth of the nation’s economy — healthcare — it is a game changer and the free society we live in will never be the same.

The pendulum of healthcare policy swung so far from what it was because the Democrats chose to disrupt one-sixth of the economy with ruthless abandon and disregard of ethics. For all practical purposes, three Democrats were legally bribed to vote “yes,” and one Democratic Senator (Minnesota) probably won with illegal voters. Never mind how the Democrats arrived at their sixty senator majority, they chose a massive swing of policy. As a member of the corrupt Democratic Tammany Hall in New York City, George Washington Plunkett pronounced: “I saw my opportunity and I took it.”

Republicans must make the case to Americans that if they want the nation of freedom it has always been, more Republicans need to be in congress, and officials should be elected who will reduce the size of government. If healthcare cannot be returned to the people, the society will lose much of its freedom. The Republican Party still offers the best and only path to prosperity and freedom. America has experienced eight years of Obama and the Democrats, and the negative results are obvious.

John Havick has a Ph.D. in political science. He was a professor at Georgia Institute of Technology for many years, authored several books and a number of articles, including the widely cited "The Impact of the Internet on a Television-Based Society." His work has appeared in The New York Times, and his recent book, "The Ghosts of NASCAR: The Harlan Boys and the First Daytona 500," is available at ghostsofnascar.com. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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When the healthcare bill died in the senate recently (notice I did not attribute the bill to Republicans), the headlines in most media were something like this: the Republican Party has failed to deal with healthcare and the Republican Party cannot govern.
republicans, senate, healthcare, obamacare
Monday, 31 July 2017 10:59 AM
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