Let's rewind to 2009 when the Democrats were working on Obamacare. Despite having total control and a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate (for a few months, at least) the Democrats insisted trying to make the bill a bipartisan one. They let Republicans stuff dozens of amendments into it and gave them a say in shaping the bill even though the Dems didn't need a single Republican vote to pass the ACA. In the end, the GOP, at the directions of McConnell, refused to vote for the law and it passed anyway.
Fast forward to today and Republicans have made it clear that they do not want input from the Democrats. Back in March, Paul Ryan explicitly said, “I don’t want that to happen" and after weeks of refusing to give Democrats the time of day, yesterday, Mitch McConnell used bipartisanship as a threat against his own party:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's public warning that Republicans might have to reach across the aisle if they can’t craft a workable health care bill came as an abrupt shift in rhetoric from the past two months, when the Kentucky Republican repeatedly noted that drafting the health care bill was up to the GOP.“ and most of the Senate Republican conference.
Either Republicans will agree and change the status quo or ... we’ll have to sit down with [Democratic Leader Chuck] Schumer,” he said after leaving a White House meeting with President Trump
Once again. Mitch McConnell has pulled back the sagging skin mask that is his face to reveal just how much of an asshole he really is and how little respect he has for the Senate as a deliberative body. He's also a screaming hypocrite because if Harry Reid had said this during the passage of Obamacare, McConnell would have been flapping his waddle in furious indignation. When people ask why Washington is so divided, this is the answer to that question and it's only coming from one side.
I don't know about you but I'm old enough to remember way back to the Obama administration when the press couldn't stop kvetching about the lack of partisanship in Washington. Even as Obama reached across the aisle over and over again only to be slapped in the face by Republicans, it was all Obama's fault for not trying hard enough to work with the other side. Curiously, the press is only slightly put off by the GOP's refusal to include the Democrats in anything they're doing. This is worse than the usual false equivalence of "both sides do it." Now we're at a place where "IOKIYAR" (It's OK If You're A Republican) seems to have become the default posture for the media.
It's important to make a record of these things because, as it always does, the pendulum will swing back the other way and the Democrats will be in control again. When that happens, we're going to hear an immediate outcry from the right and the press that the Dems must work with the Republicans for the sake of the country. On that day, we have to be ready to stand up and tell all those suddenly concerned about bipartisanship to kiss our collective asses.
Reaching across the aisle goes both ways, not just when Republicans lose power.
There are 494 days left to the 2018 elections.
- This article kills fascists
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