cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
Majority political parties are expected to do the will of the people and to do so consistently on a very broad range of issues. The members of the majority, whether Republican or Democrat, are tasked with enormous responsibility and need to exercise the proper due diligence in all they do.
Neither, unfortunately, are given the wisdom in all such issues with which they’ll be confronted and upon which they’ll be forced to decide. They must depend upon the leaders whom they have elected from within their group, and they need to be able to know what they don’t know, and to seek out good advice.
We are, today, involved in what may very well be a defining issue for this age; that issue is about health care and how it ought to be delivered through what mechanism. The debate, such as it has been, has been ongoing for a very long time, and has baffled most observers who have no way to gauge neither the efficacy nor efficiency of the various proposals.
A significant part of the problem that has surrounded this debate is that we cannot believe what we are being told. There has been information overload, but, at the same time, a genuine lack of truthful information. This is often the outcome of such emotionally-charged issues no matter the party in control; and, that is most unfortunate.
Today, we have a presidency that is 110% invested in a “Yes” vote, and we have a majority in Congress that is 110% vested in a majority vote. In order to get that majority, there has been a series of sleazy and disingenuous deals made here and there. We have no way of knowing of all those deals since those made have been concealed in “legislative speak” or have simply never seen the light of day.
Additionally, while the CBO has now given the only response possible to the rigged numbers it received, we instinctually know that the spending of such huge sums cannot possibly result in anything but higher deficits and higher taxes.
So, we are down to the final hours, or so it appears. The President is poised to sign the resulting bill and it appears that House Speaker Pelosi will cajole and threaten her way to the 216 votes she needs to prevail. The minority party will slow the process as it hits the Senate but the use of “reconciliation” means that a 51 vote simple majority will prevail.
Possibly even more concerning, from my perspective, than our ultimate loss of control over the health care we’ll receive is the fact that this is but the first in a long list of goals that the majority has queued up for passage.
Beyond all the immediate concerns, however, is a deeper concern. That deeper concern has to do with how much further we may have slipped down the irreversible slippery slope that makes our self-governance evermore difficult.
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My fear is that we may’ve reached that point where trust has been almost irreparably damaged; the discourse has been highly partisan. I hope my fears are unfounded, but I don’t know that answer as yet.
I know one thing for certain however; we must insist that our elected officials be in the same boat with us since the boat will have been of their construction.