Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 7:51 AM
Nothing is more fatuous and misleading in American politics than (mostly Republican) politicians claiming that they are doing “the will of the American people.” And nothing has inspired them to make this claim quite like their partisan efforts to repeal Obamacare.
But you’d think that orchestrating 32 congressional votes to repeal Obamacare and failing each time would indicate to Republicans that repealing it does not comport with the will of the American people. Yet these self-professed servants of the people have orchestrated another vote, which they know will fail (or the 33rd time) when all is said and done today.
At any rate, whenever you hear politicians claiming to speak for the American people just bear in mind that the American people are so divided along party lines these days that no politician or political party can even claim to speak for a simple majority of the American people on any issue. Which is why listening to Republican leaders, you’d think that anyone who supports Obama and the Democrats is no longer an American.
Obviously, forging compromises is the only way to get anything done that comes close to reflecting the will of the American people. Unfortunately, ever since Barack Obama was elected president, Republicans have been acting like a cult of born-again Christians who see Democrats as godless heathens. This is why they reject any notion of compromise as a cardinal sin: it’s either their way or some un-American, un-Godly way.
No less a person than Speaker John Boehner betrayed their new jihadist approach to politics just weeks after Republicans won control of the House in November 2010. He did so during an interview on the December 12, 2010 edition of 60 Minutes when Leslie Stahl stated that surely “governing means compromising” and then asked why he was so unwilling to say that he and the Republicans would be willing to compromise with Obama and the Democrats.
[We are doing] the will of the American people. [As for compromise] I utterly reject the word.
This, in a nutshell, explains why we’ve been treated over the past two years to the spectacle of Washington gridlock over every piece of legislation, including those merely extending policies Republicans once supported. And anyone who thinks Mitt Romney is going to usher in a new era of bi-partisanship should remember this:
During their August 11, 2011 Republican presidential debate he stood on stage with seven other candidates and pledged to utterly reject a compromise to reduce the national debt which gives them 90 percent of the spending cuts they want and only 10 percent of the tax increases Democrats want. In other words, governing for Romney, Boehner and all Republicans these days means getting 100 percent of what they want because they believe only they are interested in doing the will of the American people. This, my friends, is the very definition of political jihadism!
Meanwhile, as if this looming tower of babal were not troubling enough, consider the absurdity inherent in purportedly informed representatives looking to the hopelessly uninformed people they represent to tell them what government initiatives to support or reject.
Take Obamacare, for example, the media are replete with reports showing that the vast majority of people who express religious opposition to it have no clue what it actually provides, which in many cases are health benefits these ignoramuses would give an arm and a leg to have. Not to mention that polls routinely show that at least one-third of those who oppose this healthcare reform law are Democrats who, far from wanting to repeal it, actually believe President Obama compromised with Republicans too much in formulating its provisions. Yet Republicans say they are determined to repeal Obamacare because this is what the American people say they want.
Mind you, this absurdity obtains not only with Obamacare. Because if you were to survey them on any subject – from foreign policy to taxes – the arrogant ignorance of the American people would be on full display.
The will of the American people?! God help us….