After all the prognostication and hand wringing, there is really one simple reason why the AHCA failed. The Republicans, once again, did not keep their word. They campaigned repeatedly for months pounding the mantra of “repeal and replace”. This “plan” did not repeal so it had zero chance to replace, because without repeal there is no need to replace. Not once did I hear Republicans campaign on “revamp and retool”. So now the GOP needs to “reset and regroup” and find the intestinal fortitude to do what they said they would do.
Ancient cities often built rings of fortifications around the outskirts of the cities, sometimes far beyond the city walls themselves, labyrinths meant to create confusing impenetrable barriers that could weaken the enemies onslaught before they reached the city. Similarly, we have built jetties or breakwaters along our coastlines designed to protect our vulnerable beaches and shorefronts from the fury of oncoming storms. The long mass of land protrudes out into the water splitting and breaking waves, dissipating their energy before they hit the pristine beaches behind it.
If these bulwarks are not maintained they began to fall into decay and the pieces of the construction, once meant to protect, are tossed by the storm’s waves accelerating the erosive power of the storm. When marauding armies would lay siege, they often would take pieces of ruinous walls and place them in their catapults to launch at the same city those ruins once protected. A dark irony to be sure when destruction comes in the remnants of your own design.
In a time long since past, conservatives relied upon the Republican Party to be that bulwark that stood against the onslaught of liberalism. But the Republican Party has tired and grown weary in recent years of the constant battery against its ramparts. It has slowly but steadily succumbed to the steady relentless waves of media and popular disdain crumbling until the bulwark now has become a mere ripple beneath the flowing current, with only a few pieces protruding stubbornly out of the water here and there. The storm moves past now unencumbered and unrelenting dragging the debris of the old bulwark along to hurl at the beaches of Liberty and the Constitution, eroding them away.
Now, the passage of time has offered the Republican Party an opportunity to rebuild the bulwark and stay the decay of it. One of the mighty immovable timbers of that bulwark has passed on. His passing is a bright clarion call to rebuild as his memory arrests us to our calling, our convictions. What now will we do?
Justice Antonin Scalia was that great bulwark. The Republican Party has this one opportunity to prove its mettle to the American people, where it has failed so much in the past. Prove to us that you will truly stand in the face of the storm and not relent. Do not allow this President to pick the replacement of so great a man and this could be the moment that turns the tide. The bulwark rebuilt again and trust restored again in The Grand Old Party. The harbingers wait to see what these Republican leaders will do standing at this travois in the pathways of our time. Liberty does truly hang in the balance, a trembling, precarious balance indeed.
The Republicans are showing once again that in the face of adversity they cannot pass up an opportunity to cower and concede. The Republican Party of Indiana has given the rest of the Nation a flaming example of what feckless leadership looks like. After passing a bill to protect people of faith from being targeted and persecuted for their faith, the Republicans, in the face of protest from such upstanding citizens as Miley Cyrus, have amended the law to say that people of faith are protected from targeting and persecution until they are targeted and persecuted for their faith. Then all bets are off. In other words, we are back to where we were. You are allowed Freedom of Religion as long as you shut-up about it and don’t act like you believe anything. The “new freedom” trumps all other Freedoms.
Of course there will be protests. Whenever you make a stand there is bound to be opposition. There Republicans never cease to amaze as they climb to new heights of cowardice. This is why the Nation is steadily losing faith in the Republican Party. They cannot be trusted in the heat of battle.
It’s been a political whirlwind in Washington D.C. to be sure in the past few weeks. While some Republicans have lamented and even railed against the stand taken by Mike Lee and Ted Cruz, a closer look should have the GOP shaking the Texas and Utah Senators’ hands in gratitude. It’s really not that hard to see, even for a backwoods construction guy like me.
When Ted Cruz made his historic stand on the chamber floor in what was characterized as a flawed strategy, he showed a bright and glaring light on the horrible travesty of ObamaCare. The media carrion swooped in, eagerly waiting to feed on what they expected would be the rotting corpse of the stalwart Senator. As they incessantly circled, pecked and tore at Cruz, they unwittingly gave a constant opportunity for him to speak and educate Americans on the true nature of this healthcare law; something to this point the media had worked obediently with the President to conceal. Now in their rabid thirst to feast on Cruz’s demise, they allowed the curtain to be pulled back. The banner achievement for this administration was truly unfurled and all could see its ineptitude on full display.
All this took was courage, the courage to stand on principle. This has been lacking in the Republican Party for some time. Was the strategy flawed? Perhaps, only time will tell. Did the Republicans take the blame for the tactics? Yes, which is precisely my point.
We have all seen the abject failure of the roll out. I had a friend, who once rebuilt his own transmission in his car. When he had the car ready to show off to his friends, he rolled it out to put on a show. After revving the engine, he let out the clutch for the obligatory smoke show. He immediately realized that he had put reverse in the wrong sequence as the car went straight backwards, firmly planting his chest and face in the steering wheel and dashboard of the car, much to the uproarious delight of all his friends gathered around for the “big reveal”.
But imagine if one of those knee slapping, finger pointing friends had mentioned several times while the young man was putting the car together, that perhaps he was putting it back together wrong. Imagine if that friend had said it several times and even tried to block him from putting the transmission in. I would suspect after all the knee slapping was done at the final “reveal”, they would turn to the lone dissenting voice and say, “I guess you were right”.
Ted Cruz was a lonely easy target for scorn during his “ill-advised” filibuster. But there is no one that has even a nominal understanding of national news that can attach the failure of HealthCare.gov or ObamaCare to Ted Cruz. He was made too much of a whipping boy by the media. It was too public.
And the GOP can be thankful that there was an R at the end of his name. Oh, I know there has been the strange almost comical behavior of John McCain once again making a very public mess in his already sagging soggy Depends. Yes, and there’s Peter King’s drunken three-legged bull in a china shop approach, but the Republicans can stand tall and, no matter what they think of Ted Cruz’s tactics, thank him for his courage in his very public charge against ObamaCare. Thanks to that, the media will be hard pressed to blame this latest White House debacle on the Republicans. They need to move quickly to align with the courage of Cruz and Lee before the smelly, sorry sideshow of McCain and King once again bungles another shining opportunity for Republicans.