Tom Cotton is just one of a list Republican Senators who for years have thrown red meat to the base by touting the repeal of “Obamacare.” It has been reported some constituents – who agreed with the hype of “repeal” – didn’t realize that “Obamacare” is actually the same policy as the Affordable Care Act upon which millions have come to depend. Now many of these Senate fist pounders (and Congressional counterparts like the cowardly, partisan Jason Chaffetz) are in hiding, not wishing to face the wrath of voters with urgent questions about what will replace the law that Cotton, Senator Majority Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan have been foaming at the mouth to destroy. One woman cornered Cotton to loud cheers when she said, without the ACA protecting her against loss of coverage due to a pre-existing condition, “I will die. That’s not hyperbole. I will die.” He had no solution, just platitudes and evasions.
Similarly, HuffPo reports Rep. Leonard Lance (R) in NJ was yelled at by his constituents for 90 minutes. At least he had the courage to face them. Voters are in no mood for vapid slogans. A shame that enough of them didn’t figure that out 4 months ago — nonetheless, they’re all “woke” now!
Senator Cotton and company are finding out the hard way that getting all the candy in the store is not as much fun as they thought. They now control both Houses and the Presidency, so rather than posture and hold 65 symbolic, meaningless “repeal” votes, as they did during President Obama’s tenure, their threats can now be carried out, with devastating consequences to their constituents.
If this has not put the fear of God into Cotton and the Republican caucus, it should. Despite the shocking and questionable “win” of Trump, the rest of them will have to face the voters again in 2018. All the voter suppression in the world will not protect them from their own faithful voters turning on them. This seemingly callous Congress better figure out how to govern with care, reason and decency — and quickly.
I came across this Facebook comment from Ms. Charissa Ruechel, who summed it up perfectly:
“It’s amazing all these folks crying that it’s angry libs (or fill in your choice of stupid insult for anything but Repubs) at these town halls think that there isn’t a single angry Republican showing up at these things to voice their anger at the threats to things like healthcare, medicare, a president who is pissing off the world, the EPA, etc etc. It’s like libs are the only ones raging against the machine and the Repubs have to be the sheep that stand there and say thank you Sir/Ma’am, may we have another hit to our livelihoods and like it.”
I disapprove of name calling, whether it is deriding right wing as “teabaggers” or calling Democrats “libtards.” Stereotypes and insults advantage only those who fear monger to fill their coffers — not you, me, or anyone on the ground, regardless of Party. Ms. Ruechel is correct — this isn’t about Party, but real solutions to life-threatening problems.
Even former House Speaker John Boehner just admitted (as reported today in Politico) a “repeal and replace of Obamacare is unlikely” because Republicans cannot make up their minds on healthcare and have not come up with any real solutions.
The Republican Party leadership doesn’t care for Trump and never did. They made a Faustian bargain with him to regain power. They’ve been feasting and fundraising on the hyperbole of the Hannitys and Limbaughs for years. But now that they have a chance to govern unimpeded, they will have to produce. If the results stink, they will lose Congress sooner than later.
Our country’s current mood is angry. Trump capitalized on that anger. Anyone who assumes that the anger of his voters won’t turn against him (and his cheerleaders) is underestimating not only the volatility of those who #Resist with all their might, but of the citizens who elevated him in the first place.