If you like political theater, the past week and a half has been a delight for you to follow. We have witnessed a quasi-filibuster from Senator Cruz, Democrat intransigence especially in the Senate, Republican in-fighting, lots of name calling across party lines and within the Republican party, a President leading from behind again and frustration on all sides.
What are the take-aways that we see from this? The strong emotions on both sides have reopened old wounds which has been fanned by the main stream press. Democrats flaunt the fact that they passed Obamacare and it has become the law of the land. Republicans remember the deals and favors that were passed out to get and keep votes to pass the legislation. The political favors and exemptions given to Congress, their staffs, the unions, big business and Nancy Pelosi’s district businesses bring emotions to a fevered pitch. The blatant favoritism openly flaunted irritates the public and breeds contempt for both the bill and the Congress. The inept start for the technology aspect of Obamacare neither helps the President’s and Democrat’s case nor lessens the Republican’s ardor for defunding this act.
Mistakes have been made on both sides. The Republicans made a huge mistake in using the mantra of defund rather than saying delay the implementation of the act. The public finds defund distasteful. The Republicans were late to start their blocking movement and it has not won them a lot of favor in waiting so long to do something. The Democrats’ calls for civility while name-calling Republicans “extremists” and “terrorists” haven’t made them look professional or classy. Their strategy of make it hurt for the public has cost them an advantage that they had when this fracas started. Closing national monuments, wiring and blocking them from the public, especially WWII veterans, makes them look foolish, petty and asinine. The President has not helped his cause by going to safe venues outside of Washington to make speeches and also show an obstinacy that neither serves him well personally nor depicts him as a leader to settle this mess.
The results thus far are negative all around. Some of these are:
- We further diminish our stature on the world stage. Foreign nations view us as dysfunctional and unable to govern ourselves. We look like kids fighting in the sandbox.
- Obamacare technology is woefully not ready for primetime. Many in the media have given it assorted apologies but no one, even the most forgiving of liberals, would accept this kind of performance from a private company like an Amazon or an Apple. In fact, neither of those companies would have gone to the marketplace with something so unready. The initial reaction from the public is both one of alarm and surprise with the health care rate increases they are experiencing. One time advocates are wondering how they will afford coverage they have had in the past.
- In spite of comments to the contrary, Obamacare seems to be destroying our concept of full-time employment. Even the unions who supported its passage are begging for relief from this bill.
- Both sides are finding that words have consequences. When Harry Reid uttered his comments about keeping treatment from a cancer-stricken child, he had to do a quick retract and backtrack. The President boxed himself in by saying he would not negotiate with the Republicans just like he did with his redline comments on Syria. If he won’t negotiate, how will he get a deal?
- The old wounds and the new wounds opened by the play of emotions will be slow to heal, if they ever do. The Republican party looks disjointed and chaotic with their internal squabbles. Their reunion will take quite a long time.
- Finally, what is the exit strategy for both sides? They appear to have none at this point.
The public, whether they favor a large government or a small government, want a government that works, not a government that refuses to talk or meet on even the smallest of differences.