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I Have Never Seen Lawmakers So Deeply Hurt So Many of Their Own Constituents


#1

I Have Never Seen Lawmakers So Deeply Hurt So Many of Their Own Constituents

Robert Greenstein

House Republican lawmakers voted today to add more than 20 million Americans to the ranks of the uninsured; require millions more people to pay thousands of dollars more each year for coverage and care — often for skimpier care; rip $800 billion out of Medicaid over the next decade by ending the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion that provides coverage to 11 million poor and near-poor people and by cutting federal support for state Medicaid programs and thereby forcing states to cut back health care for low-income people who are elderly, disabled, children, or parents; sharpl


#2

I does seem to me that the deconstruction of the working middle and poor classes is well on the way to insure complete chaos in the coming years. Perhaps an economic collapse is or will be necessary in the coming years to reset priorities and allow a more just, peaceful society in the future. Or, and more likely, the whole damn mess will devolve into anarchy and chaos will reign supreme. I will keep writing though as long as I can.


#3

Hang in there, my friend. The worst may indeed be the outcome, but the spirit of community is still alive. Here's an example that I just learned about today: Cooperation Jackson. They are not taking "no" for an answer. I seem to see a lot of that among the young folks these days; it's encouraging.


#4

There is always a positive way of looking at things. First I do not believe we are a class society in that 99% of us are in the set known as the American people. Then there is this thin slice of the population, 0.01% that takes all the money, controls everything, decides who lives and who dies suffering.

So we are quite the block of millions. If we want to change things up it would not be hard. Takes resolve, guts, determination, in an organized effort. Simply confront them physically. Not assault but confront them about what they have done. It is then time to write up the warrants for arrest for those in our government or those that committed crimes while in office. It is called accountability.

You are so right we must keep writing. Think of the power that flowed from the pen of Thomas Paine.


#5

D, I like your way of thinking.

'Simply confront them physically.'

It's coming.


#6

Money has bested human compassion. Misery has become the new paycheck.


#7

This isn't the first time that our dear legislature has harmed so many people . . . it's just the most blatant. Voting to go into Iraq did as much or more harm that today's vote promises to do. Deregulation during the time of Clinton started a slow, seeping mass toxin eating away at our body politic. Etc.

But the vote today is the endpoint of such votes in essence . . . all pretense has been stripped away, they don't even care if you know what they're up to, and they cannot be shamed. It is the "reality show" of votes . . . the stark naked, full figure, lay-it-all-out-there vote that is the Kardashian of GOP stupidity and defiance. Doing this today earns their Vulture Scout Badge.

The GOP wants instant gratification, like a spoiled three year old. They either refuse, or have lost the ability, to look down the road to the future and see how this will backfire. The corporate right wing has destroyed human careers, even lives, for years via their shameless, intentional, and hypocritical leveraged buyouts that end in bankruptcy and ruin.

Now they have decided to try it with an entire nation. Who said that they weren't goal-directed?


#8

Time to overthrow capitalism.


#9

Deregulation started well before Clinton. Even under Clinton, it wasn't until after the Republicans won majorities in Congress that some of the more notable deregulatory things occurred. In fact, the 1993 budget raised taxes on the wealthy significantly and was pretty progressive after twelve years of Reagan-era White House budgets.


#10

This feels far more like political show business than a serious attempt at legislating. The House Republicans needed to pass SOMETHING that could be palmed off on their constituencies as a repeal of Obamacare. After all, they had ostentatiously voted to repeal it more than 50 times back when they knew their efforts would be futile. They had to do SOMETHING now that actual power was in their hands. So they cobbled together a hash of half-baked ideas and made enough false slight-of-hand compromises to pretend that the problem was solved.

Of course the House Republicans and everyone else expect this rancid hash to be rejected by the Senate. That very expectation is what made passing the House bill possible. The Senate will kill the bill but the House Republicans can now proudly go home and claim they did SOMETHING. The empty symbolism will be preserved. That's all that matters.


#11

Clinton signed three bills that devastated the General Welfare of the American working class—NAFTA, The Telecommunications Act and Gramm-Leach-Bliley.

But Clinton was so fucking wonderful. These three Clinton "achievements" did almost more damage than all the Republican bills before them.


#12

And, hey, if the Senate does pass this bill, Republicans in the House and Senate will just say, "Trumpcare does not REQUIRE that insurance companies no longer have to cover pre-existing conditions, maternity care, etc. If the insurance companies in your state no longer cover those things, it's because your governor asked for a waiver on those items. It's your governor's fault, not ours." They set this up so the final blame goes to the states, not the Republicans at the federal level.


#13

We shouldn't be so sure that this will cause the Republicans to go down in history as villains. Reagan embarked on an unprecedented slashing of social services, education, and health budgets, creating the Depression-era levels of homelessness we still have, and his actions are the template for what the Republicans/Libertarians are doing right now, but right-wing strategists like Grover Norquist embarked on a program in the 1990s to promote Reagan as some sort of demigod, so during this century Reagan is ranked in public polls as Americans' favorite president of all time, topping JFK, FDR, Washington even Lincoln. It could happen again, particularly with the even more pervasive right-wing media around today. It all depends on whose got the power and the inclination to shape the public mind.


#14

You're right, countup333, ignore DNC Damage Control.


#15

" Both the legislation, and the disturbing process that Republican leaders used to pass it without allowing an adequate understanding of its effects, should outrage anyone with a conscience."

The problem of course is that so few "people" in politics, especially but not exclusively in the republican party, have ANY conscience. And the rubes back home cheering on the local rag's opinion pages have neither a conscience nor an intellect. They are cheering Because. They. Won. When they finally figure out how badly they have been bamboozled (if they ever do) it will all be "those damn libruls fault."


#16

Other than NAFTA, whose "damage" is debatable in actual economic circles--states like California and a Iowa benefitted--the other two bills were passed after Republicans gained their majority. Clinton started off to the left of where he ended up. I urge you to read about his first budget, which reversed years of Reagan-era tax benefits for the wealthy. For passing that budget, and attempting to do healthcare, and attempting to improve treatment for gay people in the military, Clinton was slapped hard by the voters. Don't forget, he was the first Democrat elected after the Reagan Revolution, the death of the FDR coalition. The country had shifted right whether you want to admit it or not.

By the way, I never said Clinton was wonderful either. I just don't buy into the common-these-days progressive nonsense history wherein the newly built, broad, conservative coalition built in the late 1970s and early 1980s didn't exist, wasn't successful, and had no influence--only neoliberal Democrats!--when it won three presidential elections in a row and is still a driving force of our politics. Deregulation, tax cuts for the wealthy, coupled with conservative cultural mores, were what it was and is all about. It literally won the biggest election of the second half of the twentieth century in 1984 yet you give it no volition.


#17

Maybe this is the "lawmakers" reply to all those pesky people who have been trying to ask them questions when they return to face their constituents, at least the ones who didn't actually run away and went to face them. The reply being FU people we will win in the end and our owners will give us a cookie.


#18

All of our representatives have offices, stand in front of the door with a lot of people. Block them from entering their own office.


#19

Sure. Many of us remember Gingrich, et al. Many also recall George Wallace's famous retort after his first electoral defeat. Clinton apparently did, because he never again stopped trying to "out-neoliberal" the neoliberal conservative coalition. That, after all, was the essence of his signature "triangulations."

I suggest placing those early attempts (that you correctly cite) in context, within an overall record that is undeniably one of solid Reagan-agenda accomplishment. (I see the Omnibus Crime Bill, Welfare Reform, the Defense of Marriage Act, and the Iraq "No-Fly Zones" and various other military interventions didn't make the previous list...)

Whereas you are convinced that the country shifted to the right, I am not. I fully concede, however, that politics (and media) did. The worst element of that was the shift to the right of the Democratic Party, much of it accomplished by bait-and-switch betrayals by Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, with ample assistance by the entire "New Democrat" enterprise.

BTW, Christopher Hitchens' No One Left to Lie To: The Triangulations of William Jefferson Clinton is a short and entertaining synopsis of Slick Willie's shenanigans.


#20

How can Ronald Reagan win a massive election in 1984 (the largest since 1936) after publicly breaking a strike, stacking NLRB with anti-union employees, and doing a whole host of other things that basically set the tenor of the Republican party and American politics to this day and you not be convinced? What would it take to convince you? My gawd. The Sanders of the 1984 election, who nearly toppled the old school traditional labor-backed nominee, ran as a "New" Democrat explicitly, what we'd deem a neoliberal today. He got a huge portion of the youth vote and came closer than Sanders in a three way race. To pretend the electorate wasn't more conservative, that Reagan didn't set the national agenda, is the equivalent of putting your fingers in your ears and yelling.

Clinton was elected after twelve years of Republicans in the White House. The Republicans held the Senate for half of those years and picked up substantial seats in the House. Southern Democrats were ending their affiliation with the Democratic Party and Republicans were emerging as the dominant force south of the Dixie line. Hell, we had sixteen years of uninterrupted Republican governors in California. That is the context Clinton was elected in.