I Still Don't Get It

We are exhausted and tired from fighting the most convoluted and destructive legislation that I’ve seen in my lifetime.  We are on the verge of changing the relationship between government and the individual in a very detrimental way.  We are heading the country toward a cliff on a Sunday afternoon, and it’s time to ask a question or two before we press on.

Representatives in the House, objecting to the bill on many rational and worthwhile points,  have been urged by the President to vote YES in order to ‘save his Presidency.’

The question that rings in my ears is ‘Why should that matter to Congress?’  What great debt do they (and by extension, we) owe the President?  How does it benefit the country to ‘save his Presidency’ at the cost of Trillions of dollars we do not have?

If the President were an expert in health care, and had proven that ‘his plan’ worked anywhere else, it might be plausible to say that Congress owed him the opportunity to execute the plan.  But I have read thousands of articles and blogs and government websites, and the only thing clear to me is that the President’s ‘plan’ consisted of nothing more than vague platitudes and anecdotes.  If his plan existed, we would have been able to compare its features to the bills before the Senate and the House and judged whether the bills met the plan or didn’t.  Instead, we’ve had to have a free-form, chaotic, arm twisting, convoluted path to a 2,300+ page bill that is far from cohesive or coherent.

If the President were renown for actual leadership on any issue, it would also be plausible to say that Congress ‘owed’ him this bill to ‘save his Presidency.’  From what I can see, his record is tragically thin in this regard.  In fact, it seems that he has spent more time on Capitol Hill as President over the past year than he did as a sitting Senator.

If the President feels that ‘his Presidency’ is at risk, he must understand that what he is urging is contrary to the popular will and the sense of Congress.  Why does he feel that the needs of ‘his Presidency’ outweigh the needs of Congress?  How is the Executive Branch somehow more important than the integrity and capacity of Congress as a co-equal branch of government?

I just don’t get it.

Congress should act according to its Constitutional role and vote for legislation that it believes best serves the American people. Period.

Cooperation with the Executive Branch, while important on many issues, such as national defense, is important but not required.  Remember when Senator Clinton, Senator Kerry and others insisted that obstructing the war in Iraq, after they voted for it, was the highest form of patriotism?

So why is it now vital to ‘save the Presidency’ over health care?

Some members of Congress and the President have insisted that health care was in ‘crisis,’ while then taking over a year to bring legislation to the floor.  They have stumbled and mismanaged the process all along the way, giving us very little assurance that they actually know what they’re doing.

They are bringing the legislation to the floor in a chaotic, crisis-filled atmosphere for a very rare vote on a weekend.  All to ‘save the Presidency’ while saddling the country with the most unpopular, costly legislation in decades.

Again, I just don’t get it.