Wednesday July 26, 2017
An American Travesty, Worn with Pride
John Cassidy, New Yorker, “The Senate Health-Care Vote Is a Travesty,” before the Motion-to-Proceed vote yesterday:
When future historians look back on American governance during the early decades of the twenty-first century, they will have many tragic and troublesome episodes to dwell on: the hanging chads of Palm Beach County, the invasion of Iraq, the passage of the Patriot Act, the Citizens United ruling, the Republican-controlled Senate's refusal to grant Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland a hearing, and the election of Donald Trump and his subsequent dumbing down and demeaning of the Presidency.
In this chronology, Tuesday's health-care vote may also figure prominently: it could well be remembered as a historic abuse of the legislative process that the Founders spent so much time and energy constructing. Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, is asking his colleagues to vote blindly and authorize consideration of a health-care-reform measure that could dramatically affect the welfare of tens of millions of Americans and shake up roughly a sixth of the U.S. economy. ...
It is a ludicrous situation, and one that makes a mockery of the idea of the Senate as a highfalutin deliberative body. No major bill in recent history has been railroaded through the upper chamber in such a manneróconceived of and written in secret, and subject to no markups or committee hearings. If McConnell were to succeed in getting some sort of bill passed, it would be a travesty.
About the only thing that can be said for the lawmakers who brought things to this juncture is that they have been pretty open about their intentions. Indeed, they appear to wear their cynicism with pride.
The motion to proceed passed. Now they're voting on all kinds of versions of a health care bill to see which one sticks. The GOP can do this because it has its own propaganda machine (Fox News, Breitbart, Drudge, Rush, Alex Jones), and can spin this travesty as a victory.†