The Will of the People Wants Health Care Reform01.21.10
Despite what the Teabagger Crowd and the loud GOP mouthpieces want you to believe – that the election of Scott Brown as the 41st Republican in the Senate is evidence that Democrats are trying to shove health care reform down the throats of a large populace that does not want it – a large majority want reform and they want it sooner rather than later.
Counting the new Republican Senator Scott Brown from Massachusetts, the 41 Republicans in the Senate come from states representing just over 36.5 percent of the total US population. The 59 others (Democratic plus 2 Independent) represent just under 63.5 percent. (Taking 2009 state populations from here. If you count up the totals and split a state’s population when it has a spit delegation, you end up with about 112.3 million Republican, 194.7 million Democratic + Indep. Before Brown’s election, it was about 198 million Democratic + Ind, 109 million Republican.)
Let’s round the figures to 63/37 and apply them to the health care debate. Senators representing 63 percent of the public vote for the bill; those representing 37 percent vote against it. The bill fails.
It’s ridiculous that the screaming of the 37% can stop from happening what the overwhelming majority wants. This of course isn’t the Republicans fault entirely; the Democrats couldn’t get the health care bill passed even with the 60-vote filibuster-proof majority. I blame them both: the Republicans for their pledge to “Just Say No” to every single item of President Obama’s agenda and cry “Socialism” for anything the Democrats do manage to pass regardless of the validity of that statement; and, the Democrats for their lack of cohesion, lack of transparency and letting the Republicans control the soapbox to the general public.
I still don’t understand the “neo-Socialism” calls and the notion that threatening a political party does anything to help the citizenry – a politics based on fear instead of policy is not difficult: it merely means pointing fingers, saying “no” to everything, blaming everything on the opposing party, and throwing out the words “communism” and “socialism” to engage those primal fears still ingrained in people from 50 years ago. But, how does one run a government with those tactics? There’s no substance to saying to no – first, one needs something to which to say no. A productive opposition actually interested in governance and the welfare of Americans and not their own party’s power would agree with the common ground, say no to those aspects of policy that they disagree with, and propose alternatives. This would go back and forth until they came to a consensus. More or less. And the end of the day, the party in power will most likely shape the bill more to their liking than the others but that’s the general idea. (And, yes, there will always be some common, middle ground – only Rush Limbaugh seriously believes that the current health care situation in America is sustainable as it is right now with no reform.)
Democrats still hold a strong 59-41 majority in the Senate, 256-178 majority in the House. 63% of the population want health care reform. Scott Brown’s election should not change this.
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