Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, the No. 4 Republican, said that on issues like health care, he hopes [Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer] “works closely with us, listens to the voices of the voters around the country and ends this really senseless obstruction.”
Cognitive dissonance is not reserved for the conservative electorate as evidenced by the above…one of the more incredible quotes of this post-truth era.
- Barrasso’s reference to listening to voters’ voices isn’t a bad idea, but in the just completed election, voters (a) preferred Hillary Clinton by a 2.6 million margin; (b) shrunk the Republican majorities in both chambers; and (c) keep telling pollsters that they’re not on board with the GOP’s repeal plans on healthcare.
- For John Barrasso to decry “senseless obstruction” without appreciating the irony is totally insane. The far-right Wyoming senator has been almost absurdly obstructionist when it comes to health care policy in recent years, at one point going so far as to demand that officials “stop celebrating” good news related to the ACA reform effort.
But even if you look beyond those annoying details, Barrasso seems to psychotically believe Democrats should “work closely” with Republicans hellbent on tearing down the existing health care system and replacing it with some alternative no one can even identify. The response from Democratic leaders, in effect, has been, “Um, no.”
And if Barrasso and other Republicans find that surprising, I hope the Democrats find the balls and the wherewithal to make their lives as miserable as possible.
Democrats passed the Affordable Care Act in 2010, which brought coverage to 20 million Americans; it pushed the nation’s uninsured rate to its lowest point on record; it lowered prescription-drug costs for millions of seniors; it helped spur job growth throughout the health industry; and it’s literally saved lives despite the disinformation that has continually been spread by the GOP since its passage.
Republicans, including Barrasso, have relentlessly sabotaged the reform law every step of the way, taking steps unseen at any point in the American history with total impunity in the Lamestream Media. They refused to compromise; they refused to work in good faith towards policy solutions; and they even shut down the government at one point as part of a bizarre anti-health-care tantrum.
It’s against this backdrop that Republicans, realizing that they’ll need 60 votes in the Senate to make a variety of key changes, are going to Democrats and effectively saying, “How about you ignore everything you know about the last eight years and work with us on dismantling one of your party’s signature accomplishments?”
I know how I’d respond if I were a Senate Democrat. With as prominent a middle finger as physically possible. Knowing the Democrats, they’ll cave.
The ideal approach for Democrats seems obvious: they should assure Barrasso and his comrades that they’ll approach the GOP’s reform initiative with just as much cooperation and bipartisanship that Republicans demonstrated over the last eight years.
But what do I know?