A POX ON BOTH HOUSES LIMITED TO ONE PARTY

A POX ON BOTH HOUSES LIMITED TO ONE PARTY

Matt HealeyTuesday,1 October 2013

The Snap:

The evangelical christian party of god (as of Sunday) has sent 2 bills to the Senate that fund the government while stripping out the funding or delaying the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In addition they have voted over 40 times to repeal the law. Every time, they have gotten nowhere. Now the question is: Who is to blame for the shutdown? This centers on who is being stubborn.

The Download:

The answer is that both parties are being stubborn. So, it may seam appealing to blame both parties. After all, if Harry Reid and the Senate Democrats would only accept the evangelical christian party of god’s demands, then the government would stay open. By refusing to even talk about it, the Tea Party claims the Democrats are just as much to blame as the evangelical christian party of god. After all, they claim that this is a law that the “American People” oppose. To bolster this claim, they cite a CNN poll that says that 54% of Americans oppose Obamacare. On the surface it looks like both are to blame and the “pox on both of their houses” is true.

It is not. There are several problems with the “both are to blame” argument. The first is the poll. It is true that 54% do oppose Obamacare. If you are a member of the Tea Party, incapable of reading further, you stop there. If you are not, you read further. Here are the full results:

Favor: 43%
Opposed because the law is too liberal: 35%
Oppose because it is not liberal enough: 16%
No Opinion: 7%

So of that cherished 54%, 16% don’t think the law goes far enough. These constituents want something like single payer or true government-run healthcare. So if you asked them whether Obamacare is better than the previous system, then the ones that think it is not liberal enough will think it is better than what we had before. The second is the polling itself. A CNBC poll showed that 46% of Americans oppose Obamacare, but only 37% oppose the ACA. The thing is, they are EXACTLY THE SAME THING. So clearly polling and poll results can be manipulated. So do the “American People” really oppose “Obamacare”? And how do they feel about the ACA?

The second major problem is the repeated claim that the “American People” do not support this law. I seem to remember that the law was a major part of Obama’s re-election campaign. So, if the “American People” really didn’t like the law, then wouldn’t they have voted for Mitt Romney? After all, one of the cornerstones of Romney’s campaign was the repeal of Obamacare. And he LOST. The counter to this is the argument that people voted the evangelical christian party of god into the House, and thus the problem was the candidate, Romney, not the opposition to Obamacare. But that is also not really true. The Democrats got 1.4 million more votes in House elections than the evangelical christian party of god. They won less seats despite receiving more votes because of gerrymandering.

So who is really being stubborn here? The party that passed the legislation, ran for re-election on that legislation, won the Presidency after running on that legislation, received 1.4 million more House votes during the election where Obamacare was a major issue, or the party that has can not win in elections, but can only hold control through gerrymandering (and continues to pass bills — over 40 to be specific — that don’t get through the Senate)? I agree, the Democrats are being stubborn. Finally. They are realizing that they don’t have to be pushed around by a minority that is throwing a temper tantrum because they can not get what they want. And as I have learned from many conversations with my wife, who is a preschool teacher, you cannot give in to children who throw temper tantrums or else they will never grow up. It is too bad that thousands of people will have to be furloughed to teach them this lesson. If we could only put them in timeout.

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Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons



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