Oh, those darn Republicans. Why can’t they just sit down, shut up, and go with the flow? Obamacare is the law of the land. What’s wrong with the GOP?
There are several theories. Greg Sargent believes that “today’s GOP has effectively abdicated the role of functional opposition party, instead opting for a kind of post-policy nihilism in which sabotaging the Obama agenda has become its only guiding governing light.”
What’s a “functional opposition party”? Is that the kind of opposition that opposes bills rhetorically but, when it comes time to vote, rolls over and plays dead? Yes, I would imagine that’s how liberals believe an opposition should function.
I tried to find a definition of “post-policy nihilism” online but didn’t have any luck. What exactly does he mean? Maybe it’s in some progressive encyclopedia or some other reference manual to which I don’t have access. Actually, I think Mr. Sargent is making stuff up again, but what do I know? I’m just a hippie-hating RINO. Maybe I am something of a nihilist because I sort of like Nietzsche and think Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera is great musical theater. But how that fits into Sargent’s “post-policy” jive escapes me.
As for Mr. Chait, he believes that a “hatred for lawmaking has emerged in the Obama years, first as a Republican tactic, and then as an apparently genuine belief system.” A “genuine belief system,” is it? This would be something akin to a religion, or perhaps kind of like the way that liberals have a “genuine belief system” relating to global warming. In other words, Republicans obstruct government as a matter of faith, not because they have made a judgment based on empirical data, or even life experiences. It’s a gross exaggeration, and if Chait believes that, he’s even more of a partisan hack than he’s let on.
And yes, there are Republicans who hate government and hate Obama, and who would oppose him even if he proposed that Ronald Reagan’s birthday be made a national holiday. That’s hardly the point. The fact is, there aren’t enough government-hating Republicans that could block legislation where Democrats honestly and willingly negotiated in good faith with the GOP. Republicans had zero input on Obamacare. The bill was passed without a single Republican vote, using the worst kind of legislative legerdemain. It was a bill that few who voted for it read, and no one understood. And the fact that unintended consequences of the bill are still being discovered less than three months before the official rollout of state insurance exchanges proves the irresponsibility of those who passed it.
USA Today gets positively snippy in their editorial, saying of Republicans:
Having lost in Congress and in court, they’re now using the most cynical of tactics: trying to make the law fail. Never mind the public inconvenience and human misery that will result.
“Human misery”? It is unbecoming for a major publication to employ hyperbole in its political analysis. That term is something a lefty blogger might use, or some rabid Democratic partisan in Congress. If there is to be any “human misery,” you should chalk it up to 1) the incomprehensible and haphazard manner the law was written in the first place, and 2) the delay — purely for for political reasons relating to the 2012 presidential campaign — in getting the numerous agencies and departments to write the many thousands of pages of regulations regarding Medicare, Medicaid, mandated insurance coverage, and subsidy eligibility, to name just a few areas that government will oversee under Obamacare.
No amount of cooperation by Republicans could have made up for the unconscionable delays in issuing these regulations that insurance companies needed to develop new policies, that states needed to develop the exchanges, and that businesses needed to plan for the future. But President Obama decided that much of the bad news that has come out in the past few months as the regulations have been unveiled — including the spikes in insurance premiums in several states — needed to be delayed until after he was safely re-elected. Who’s causing the “human misery” now?
“Public inconvenience”? Allow me a short guffaw. The GOP believes that overturning one-sixth of the U.S. economy by implementing Obamacare goes far beyond a little “inconvenience.” It is a massively destabilizing law that, even if Republicans had cooperated in its rollout, is set up to fail.