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1994 all over again

September 26, 2010

Congressional midterm elections are just around the corner, and there’s a lot of dissatisfaction with the Democrats right now. That’s understandable considering what little of their ‘progressive’ agenda they’ve gotten accomplished so far, not to mention their incessant pandering on the platform of ‘the least worst,’ but that doesn’t mean things will be any better with the Republicans back in power.

Of course, getting anything useful done in Congress is like pulling teeth regardless of the party in charge, but seriously, these people are more dangerous to personal freedom than they’ve ever been. They might say they want to reduce the size of our government because it’s such a drain on national resources and inhibits economic growth, and are totally against government intrusion, but then they turn around and try to use the very same bloated government to force their conservative/religious values on the entire country.

If the Republicans get back into power again, they’ll pull all the same old tricks like trying to prevent gay people from having equal rights; telling women what to do with their bodies; go back to pushing abstinence-only sex-ed; limiting or eliminating federally-funded stem-cell research; extending tax cuts that will only add to the growing deficit; increasing an already bloated military budget at the cost of everything else they can dismantle (e.g., public education, Medicare, Social Security, etc.); you get the idea. Heck, they’ll probably even start another war just for the hell of it.

While the majority of Democrats in Congress are almost as bad, I think things will be far, far worse if the Republicans manage to sweet-talk their way back into power with their Pledge to America. It’ll be 1994 all over again with Newt and his Contract with America, only worse because they’ll have the Tea Party Express behind them, condemning masturbation, Muslims and the evil socialists on the left who want all Americans to actually have access to healthcare like they do in every other wealthy, industrialized nation on Earth.

In fact, conservatives are already bemoaning the threat of ‘big government,’ and promising to repeal the recent insurance reforms passed by Congress and signed by the president, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. The question is, What would Republicans do to improve healthcare if they were in charge?

Well, at one end of the spectrum, there’s Mike Huckabee. According to him, people with preexisting conditions are like houses that’ve already burned down, so I think his plan would be to essentially allow insurance companies to tell people with preexisting conditions to go fuck themselves since they’ll just eat into their ridiculously large profit margins.

At the other end, there’s Mitt Romney, who actually signed into law an insurance reform program when he was governor of Massachusetts that’s similar to the reforms Obama signed into law this year, so he’d repeal ‘Obamacare’ and replace it with ‘Romneycare,’ which would basically be the same thing, but since he’s a Republican, his individual mandate would somehow be more constitutional.

As for the rest, they’ll probably fall somewhere in between these two positions, which means their ideas for improving healthcare in the U.S. will lie somewhere between cutting corporate taxes and letting insurance companies do whatever the hell they want, and instituting some half-assed reforms like Obama and the Democrats did, but just calling it something different like ‘Common-sense Healthcare Reforms Our Nation Can Afford.’ Then Fox News will hail them as the saviours of democracy and the free market. Oh, and abortion will be illegal.

Unfortunately, these things are cyclical, and each party’s half-ass attempts to implement their agendas almost always seems to make things worse. It’s sad and it makes me sick that the most we can do it pick the ‘lesser of two evils’ at any given election instead of having some real choices and the power to immediately recall our elected officials when they’re not getting the job done. But I’d like it even more if I didn’t have to worry about right-wing fundamentalists gaining popular support with their puritanical, anti-gay, anti-Muslim rhetoric. That stuff’s poison, pure and simply.

I truly wish that the Republicans were what they purport to be—fiscal conservatives who want limited government involvement in public and private affairs. At least I can respect and tolerate that, even if I disagree with their positions ideologically. But since the GOP has allowed itself to be captured by the religious right, or at least panders to them to the point of adopting many of their stances on social issues, I’m honestly afraid of the damage they’ll do if we, as a nation, allow ourselves to be duped into voting them back into power again.

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2 Comments
  1. Oh, the hyperbole.

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