Typically, politics describes “the activities associated with the governance of a country or other area.” It is hard then, to classify the Republican Party as an actual political party given they steadfastly refuse to engage in the actual business of politics.
Speaking with Chris Wallace on Fox News, Congressman Paul Ryan gave what can only be described as a pitiful performance smearing Obamacare while refusing to detail any meaningful Republican alternative.
Chris Wallace – one of the very few journalists at Fox who takes their job somewhat seriously – did not give Ryan an easy time, challenging Ryan on some of his assertions and asking him to articulate a Republican plan. “For all the complaints, we’re five years into Obamacare and Republicans have still not come up with a coherent plan that will ensure that all of those millions of uninsured people will get coverage,” said Wallace.
Ryan, who understands Obamacare is a useful tool to bash the Democrats with, simply sidestepped the question saying: “We will have an answer, we will have a solution.”
And if you want to hear that solution, you will have to wait.
Hamming up his outrage over the Affordable Care Act that has brought coverage to millions of Americans, prevented insurance companies from denying coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, expanded Medicaid, brought free birth control to women, and capped out-of-pocket costs, Ryan painted a bleak picture of a despotic socialist system that is creating misery for everyday Americans.
“We can have a system in America where everyone can get affordable coverage,” said Ryan. “Including people with pre-existing conditions, without this costly government takeover, without raiding medicare, without telling people that you have to buy what the government says you have to buy.”
This magical plan that won’t require the government doing anything other than stepping back and allowing insurance companies to dictate the country’s health care system sounds remarkably familiar – almost like the country’s health care system before Obama and the Affordable Care Act… Because when insurance companies are not obligated to cover anyone with pre-existing conditions, they do so out of the goodness of their own hearts, just as banks self regulate to avoid financial collapse…
Ryan’s inability to put forward literally anything that resembles a serious plan for the country’s health care system is indicative of a much wider problem the GOP will have to grapple with if it wants a shot in 2016. The truth is, the Republicans don’t actually have any serious ideas about anything. When your entire political philosophy has been built on the premise that free markets solve everything, you’ve pretty much absolved yourself of having to think about anything ever again. Sure, you can criticize those in power actually engaging in policy, pointing out problems, inconsistencies etc, etc, but you never have to offer anything up yourself. This works well in opposition, but tends to fall apart when applied – as did the country when free market militants took over from 2000-2008.
While impossible to predict the nature of the 2016 Presidential election, we can be sure it won’t be a battle of ideas. Because one side categorically doesn’t have any.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.