I feel optimistic today. Despite my political leaning, I’ll hoist a glass to three Republicans. They are, from left above, Senator John McCain of Arizona, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and …
I feel optimistic today. Despite my political leaning, I’ll hoist a glass to three Republicans. They are, from left above, Senator John McCain of Arizona, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Senator Susan Collins of Maine. These three (whom one observer described as “an endangered species—Republicans with morals”) responded “no” along with 48 Democrats July 27 to defeat the latest secretive and convoluted Obamacare repeal bill voted upon by the U. S. Senate. The event was appropriate to the Republican Senators’ activities of late on the matter of health care, as the vote on the repeal bill came in the middle of the night for whatever reason.
There was a collective sigh of relief around the nation among the hoi polloi, everyday Americans. But just frustrated rage from Donald Trump, so determined to erase the name of Barack Obama from history and replace it with his own—and to fulfill major tax-break promises he undoubtedly has made to his hedonistic well-heeled friends in the lounge down at Mar-a-Lago.
According to estimates released by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office the so-called “skinny” Obamacare repeal would have left 16 million more Americans without health care insurance by 2026, and raised premiums by roughly 20% in all years between 2018 and 2026.
Trump, GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell, et al, I fear don’t really understand the social conscience of McCain, who they’d thought would dramatically champion their cause. It’s because social conscience is an alien concept to so many of them. Whenever the chips are really down for his fellow Americans, McCain has risen to stand tall. I can’t speak admiringly enough of him after, despite diagnosis of brain cancer, he flew back to Washington to assume his role as a true patriot. Some call him a political “maverick;” I call him a patriot with a conscience.
And women, of course, still get short shrift in some of the good-old-boy, “smoke-filled rooms” of troglodytic tradition. But hot damn! Two of them, Republicans, came through in the pinch—despite veiled threats from Donald Trump. I’m sure I’ll disagree with them here and there in the future—especially Murkowski, who will have a big say on environmental exploitation, such as drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge . . . cutting a road through the wilderness to develop Alaska’s north slope.
However, now that I have seen and appreciated her in a new light, I certainly will have a greater respect for her opinions—as she continues to serve her Alaskan constituency.
Murkowki chairs the powerful Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. She also heads an Appropriations sub-committee with authority over the Interior Department budget. I will have to support her at some point I expect over such dim-bulbed self-serving Trump sycophants as Rick Perry, Secretary of Energy. It’s yet not clear how Montanan Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the Interior—a regulatory-relief zealot like Trump—will be weighing in on such matters.
I’m not so familiar with Senator Collins, but I’ve read about her stand on health care that “She was forthright about her problems with the Senate Republican approach, including its sweeping cuts to Medicaid, the government healthcare program for the poor, and the expected increase in costs for older Americans who buy private health insurance.” Trump didn’t bother lobbying her—and if he knows what’s good for him, he’ll leave her alone in the future also.
So there we have it. America’s center-stage heroes, three Republicans with a true soulful concern for their fellow citizens. True grit. I believe they could well take a good share of the lead in any bipartisan debate on health care that might evolve in Congress—along with such stalwarts as our own Washington State Democratic Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell. I’ll be praying for McCain to be able to hang in there.
Let’s just keep Donald Trump from mucking about in things looking for ways to body-slam Barack Obama and make a buck in the process.
NOW, SPEAKING OF WOMEN (and children . . . and health care) brings me to the subject of comments to forums such as this one. A majority of them seem to wander off topic into insinuations, presumptions and personal insults. I’m going to present an example here from a discussion in one of my recent blogs that began with decisions by Donald Trump and wound up directed toward totally unknown and presumed possible life decisions made by Marge Samuelson’s children.
Marge wrote in response to Sky Hardesty’s question, “What has he [Trump] done to make your life worse?” She replied: ‘It's not so much what he has done but what he hopes to do. Pull support from Planned Parenthood. Which gives women who do not have health insurance access to birth control, mamagrams, Pelvic exams. I have a few relatives who count on this program. My children now have health insurance thanks to President Obama and can get insurance even though one has asthma and the other migraines, both considered pre-existing conditions. I could go on but Justin hasn't answered my question yet, Sky, so what makes you support Trump and in what way has Justin & your life improved with Trump? How do the women in your life feel when he degrades women, which you can not deny he does frequently?
(I’ve screen-grabbed this so have a photo of it word for word, to forestall any challenge.) Hardesty said: “Marge, we all make choices in life. Choices that I am sure in one way or another lead to the need for cheap/free health care for your children. Choices that I am sure lead to the need for those relatives to count on free care from Planned Parenthood. Degradation of women? So what? A leader without a filter is a lot more comforting than one who simply says things he wants us to hear. No one is perfect.”
As I see it, that all is both insulting to Marge and members of her family—and degrading to both her and women in general. Let alone a pathetic attempt at defending old pu**y-grabber Donald—whose disdain for the needy and suffering, and minorities of all types, already has become legendary.
This all is why I open the discussion door here once again. I receive a major part of personal assaults a lot of days. I sort of don’t mind it all—as it gets the character of others revealed by the bright light of their own words. “Hoisted by they own petard,” so to speak. Criticism of Trump is a different matter altogether. He is in a position to drastically affect the future of civilization . . . chose the spotlight, claims unfettered authority, demands blind allegiance. We’d be foolish to let him bully us at will without striking back
Marge and I (and others) will carry the standard of human dignity and morality forward and have one anothers’ backs during this social armageddon brought about by Donald.