Friday, November 1, 2013

Dear Republicans: You're Done

Dear Republicans,

You're done fighting Obamacare. No, I'm not giving you an order. No, I'm not trying to get you to quit. I'm merely stating an empirical fact. It's over, you're done, there's nothing more you can do.

You see, there comes a point when fighting the surgeon does more harm to the patient than letting the surgeon work, even if that surgeon is incompetent. Wrestling with the surgeon's hands after the patient has been opened up on the table is the worst thing which can possibly be done, and that really should go without saying, but apparently it needs to be said, and you need to overcome your prejudices long enough to hear it.

The government shutdown was disastrous to both sides, but yourselves more so. When two men are hanging onto the steering wheel of a moving car, fighting for control over which direction it will go, and the car is headed towards a large tree, it becomes obvious that one of the two must let go or else the car will be smashed. You were forced to let go this time, but the wheels are still screeching as a result. You've managed to convince some people that wrestling with the steering wheel was the right thing to do, and that it's the fault of the other guy for not letting go, but there is only one person who can be the driver, and that's Barack Obama. That's why he's called the president - he's the one at the wheel. And blaming the driver when the passenger reaches over and tries to force the wheel off-course is just plain silly. Deep down, I think you know this.

Am I saying you're merely a passenger? Well, yes, I am. And for five years you've done nothing more but be the whiney kid who shouts, "I wanna drive! I wanna drive!" during the entire trip. Knock it off! You tried to grab the wheel away from the president once. You can never do so again. We might not avoid the crash next time.

Yes, the Obamacare website is having problems. But the reason for this is that his administration asked for billions to fund the website, and you decided to allot zero dollars for the project. You begrudgingly agreed to a little bit of funding, but that left a few people with picks and shovels the task of moving a mountain. Did it work? Well, for a little while, things certainly have been floundering, but now here comes Google, Red Hat, Bing and other private companies to the rescue, undermining your attempt - yet again- to cure the disease by killing the patient. Thank heavens for them. Bad news for you.

It means Obamacare will go forward no matter what, and the website will eventually work. And now, after implementation, and several months of people growing to like it, you're done.

Surveys have recently shown that if the facts of Obamacare are laid out, but the people being questioned are told that it is a plan put forth by John Boehner and the Republican leadership, that even die-hard Republicans approve. That means that the objection to Obamacare is  not based on rationality - it is based on partisanship. The biggest give-away to corporate insurance companies in history, which is ultimately what health care reform is, is not socialism. How about that?

So now what? Now that you cannot fight Obamacare any more, what's left to do? The best you can hope for in the 2014 mid-terms is to maintain the status-quo, in spite of all your gerrymandering. How can you deal with 2016 and the inevitability of Hillary, and another eight to sixteen years of democratic control in the White House?

If I may offer a humble suggestion, you have only one choice: Spend your time and energies repairing your brand-name instead of attacking the other guy's. Because the latter didn't work, and the former is really the only option left to any sane person.



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