Thursday, January 07, 2016

2016-- Same Ole Dysfunctional GOP... Wasting Time Nurturing Their Same Petty Grievances


Yesterday Ryan passed his silly defund Planned Parenthood/repeal Obamacare bill and tried to make a big fuss with a seething right-wing base who already knows he sold them down the river. Not just Ryan, the whole GOP caucus was in on the charade. It passed 240-181 and there were only 3 Republicans present who didn't vote for it. Every other Republican Member of Congress is on record as wanting to kick around 15 million Americans off health insurance, bring back the donuts hole and revisit the glory days of preexisting conditions... as well as defunding Planned Parenthood for good measure. Richard Hanna (R-NY), the last actual moderate in the House GOP conference, is retiring at the end of the year but he had already voted against defunding Planned Parenthood the last time the Republicans tried it, 3 months ago. At the time, this is what he wrote on his website, explaining why he opposed the bill:
On this bill, I stand in support of women’s health care. More than 2.7 million women and men rely on Planned Parenthood for basic health care each year. Nearly 2.1 million have received family planning counseling and birth control, which has been proven to reduce abortions. More statistics include: 400,000 women received pap tests, 500,000 received a life-saving breast exam, and 88,000 instances of cancer were detected early and addressed, all in one year.

My question to the proponents of the bill is this: If we defund Planned Parenthood, what is the alternative? The answer: There isn’t one.

After Texas eliminated funding for Planned Parenthood, 42,000 women lost access to the healthcare provider of their choice. Most disturbing, the head of the association representing Texas Community Health Centers said they did not have the capacity to absorb those displaced patients. This bill will neither eliminate abortions, nor end the practice of fetal tissue donation.

Rather, it will only limit women’s access to health care: If enacted, this legislation would force 2.7 million people to lose their current doctor-- the very thing we rightly dislike about the Affordable Care Act.
The other two Republicans who voted NO yesterday are in the two bluest districts held by GOP incumbents and both are in extreme danger of losing their seats. John Katko is in Syracuse-based NY-24, a district with a PVI of D+7, where Obama beat McCain 56-42% and then beat Romney 57-41%. He beat Republican-lite New Dem Dan Maffei to win his seat in a midterm. This time he's likely to face a staunch and articulate progressive, Eric Kingson, founder of SocialSecurityWorks and in a year with either Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton on the top of the ticket. Similar story for Bob Dold. He managed to win against a dreadful New Dem, Brad Schneider, is a solid blue D+8, in the same midterm and for the same reason: Schneider is a Wall Street-owned Republican-lite waste of a seat and progressives have no reason to bother coming out to the pollster garbage like that. Unfortunately, the DCCC is pushing him again-- even though there's a much better candidate running, Nancy Rotering. Remember, this north Chicagoland district gave Obama a 63-36% win over McCain and a 58-41% win over Romney. So Dold and Katko were just playing smart politics to cross the aisle and vote with the Democrats yesterday... or all the Democrats but one.

Minnesota Blue Dog Collin Peterson isn't really a Democrat at all. He's a corrupt reactionary in a red seat that will go to a real Republican if he retires, so the DCCC keeps propping him up, spending millions of dollars to get him reelected-- just so he can cross the aisle and vote with the GOP on virtually every contentious issue that hits Congress. If you contribute to the DCCC-- or any of their front organizations like EndCitizensUnited-- you are financing Collin Peterson and his war against health care and against women. Think about how the next time you get a DCCC letter asking you for money. There are no DINOs on this list, if you're interested in helping progressives win back the party and the Congress.

Before the vote today, one of California's more perceptive progressives, Ted Lieu congressional freshman class president, was on the floor seeing if he could shale lose a couple more like Hanna, Katko and Dold. No luck, but this is what he said:
Today the House Republican Caucus unveiled their "new" ideas for America: a 62nd repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and 11th attack on women’s healthcare, both of which are guaranteed to be vetoed by President Obama. One definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. Repeal of the ACA would result in 22 million Americans losing their health insurance, including approximately 3.5 million Californians. Republicans have no plan to cover the millions of Americans they would plunge into health care crisis through an actual repeal. Millions more will also lose health care access if Planned Parenthood gets defunded. Hardworking American families deserve a sane, sensible agenda. If you want hyper-partisan bills that waste time, squander taxpayer resources and are destined to go nowhere, look at the GOP Agenda. If you want ideas that will move our nation forward-- such as investing in education, reducing carbon pollution and creating jobs-- take a look at the Democratic Agenda. At least we’re not insane.
After the vote was taken, Donna Edwards (D-MD) tried to help her constituents make sense of what the Republican Party has turned itself into and how they could take a vote like this. (There's even one in Maryland, Andy Harris, the right-wing crackpot who represents the Eastern shore and some of the suburbs north of Baltimore.) "Just six days into the New Year, Republicans picked right up where they left off in 2015 with this damaging Reconciliation bill," wrote Donna. "This irresponsible legislation would cause over 22 million hard-working Americans to lose their health care coverage. It would result in millions of women, many from low-income communities, being denied access to primary care, birth control, advice on family planning, and life-saving cancer screening services. Today’s vote exemplifies the definition of insanity, marking the 62nd attempt by House Republicans to repeal or dismantle the Affordable Care Act and the 11th attempt to defund Planned Parenthood. This Republican obsession with attacking access to health care for women and working families is outrageous and unacceptable. The American people want Congress to focus on real priorities, which include growing the economy, creating good-paying jobs, and improving the lives of working families. I continue to hope that House Republicans will recognize that the majority of Americans want them to end their attacks on the health care of women and working families, and join with House Democrats to make 2016 a year of progress for the American people." I'm glad she still has hope that the House Republicans are capable of change. What I hope is that the voters change them out. And, in fact, Donna is a candidate for the open U.S. Senate seat in Maryland and you can give her a hand here.

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home