Today’s column will eventually get around to the theme that both of our two dominant political parties are cracking up. Political parties are always cracking up, except during short bursts of patching up, motivated by the fear of getting wiped out by the next election.
It’s just, like, my opinion, man, but I think that the enemies of the two parties are no longer each other. The existential threat to both parties is that they have stopped serving the public. More on that in a few paragraphs.
As of my deadline, Bill Cassidy and Lindsay Graham, two Republican Senators, are trying to patch up their proposal to replace parts of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act and to allow some states to repeal other parts of it. Opinions on the substance of the bill range from “clever tactic” to “dastardly plot.” In my opinion, the bill will fail because it has the wrong objective.
The winning objective is to subsidize the cost of health insurance for needy Americans directly by taxpayers, so that other Americans are not overcharged for health insurance. Both parties flunk that test.
The Democrats are sliding towards the actual socialism of “single payor,” a horribly bad idea for Democrats and for the country.
The Republicans are stupidly haunted by the Newt Gingrich attack line on his party’s centrists from three decades ago not to be “tax collectors for the welfare state.”
Yeah, maybe instead, just help people who need help.
Since neither party is motivated to help, both are without value. Both parties are just trying to help themselves. Once again, that’s just, like, another reference to one quote from the Big Lebowski. (Check out the whole list.)
Back to Bill Cassidy and Lindsay Graham, two decent Republicans with a bad answer. They aren’t trying to help the public, they are trying to patch over the Republican party’s inability to get 50 of its 52 Senators to agree on a single plan to “repealing and replacing ObamaCare.”
What is the point of a political party to the country?
Well, as you think about that, let me also ask, what is the point of a pundit.
The point of a pundit is to share opinions. First, get some. Next, write them down. Third, hope someone reads them. It’s not a complicated formula.
It helps to have a perch that’s high enough to get a good view of the field without getting all “George Will” about it. (I’d explain that shade I just threw at George Will in a parenthetical, but, ya know, that’d be like George Will.)
Instead, I will finally hit the main theme.
I’ve always liked the line that Democrats want to run the government and Republicans don’t want them to.
Attention, Republicans: sometimes that means you have to fund the welfare state so that the voters do not need to throw your team out of power to do that. If Republicans want to quicken the slide towards the actual socialism of single payor, failing to fix the flaws of the Affordable Care Act is a smart strategy.
It’s not just subsidies for health care insurance. What is the purpose of voting against hurricane relief?
The chairman of the House committee with jurisdiction over the flood insurance program voted against replenishing that bankrupt program after his state was six feet underwater. Rep. Jeb Hensarling’s explanation can be summed up, pundit-style, as “my ideology is more precious to me than someone else’s life.”
At some point in time, the people —as in the regular people, not the partisans — will just leave you if you let the Jeb Hensarlings within your ranks define your party.
But, ya know, that’s just what some dude thinks.