Elections Have Consequences... Except in the Minds of Republicans

Steve Sack / Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Cagle CartoonsI’m old enough to remember when elections had consequences. A time when voters made a decision as to what direction the country should head, at least politically. That “golden age” was as recent as 2005, when President Bush said, “We had an accountability moment, and that’s called the 2004 election.” Simply put, elections have consequences, and whether Democrats liked it or not, the people had spoken.

In 2012, the American public had a clear choice for which direction they’d like the country to move towards. Both major parties laid out clear and starkly contrasting visions: the Republican Party’s philosophy of, “You’re on your own,” versus the Democrat Party’s, “We are in this together.”

The centerpiece of the respective party’s opposing platforms was Obamacare. Romney said he’d repeal it. Obama said he’d affirm it. What did the voters say? Well, the election wasn’t even close. Obama crushed Romney in the Electoral College, 332-206, and carried every single battleground state except North Carolina. Not only did Obama win the popular vote by a margin greater than 5 million, House Democrats received 1 million more votes in congressional races than their Republican counterparts. THE PEOPLE SPOKE!

For the fanatics, nihilists, religious zealots, and know-nothings who are now calling the shots in the Republican Party, they really don’t give a flying fire-truck what the public thinks, they’re too busy pandering to the small handful of billionaire funded super PACs, whose entities exist for one purpose only: to repeal every program or safety net ever implemented by the federal government, so that corporations can profit from our lives - from the cradle to the grave.

In justifying the GOP’s vote to shutdown the government should the Congress not defund Obamacare, Speaker Boehner cited a CNN poll that shows 59 percent have an unfavorable view of it. Yes, ironically Republicans suddenly care what the public thinks. Funny how they are inversely unenthusiastic for polling data when it shows that 60 percent are against shutting down the government over defunding Obamacare, or equally polls that show 90 percent of Americans are for gun background checks.

More significantly, a Washington Post/ABC News poll shows 62 percent of Americans say they need more information to understand Obamacare. In other words, a majority of those who say they have unfavorable view of it likely do not know how it works, or were led to a negative view thanks to the right wing echo chamber and/or the endless barrage of negative television advertising funded by the billionaire Koch brother’s Americans for Prosperity. A media watch group found that between July 1 and September 16, the Koch brothers ran more than 3,200 spots to slam Obamacare. That’s four times the number of ads placed in the same period by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, charged with implementing the law. Over the course of the next two weeks, the gonzo billionaires will spend $3.1 million advertising in six states. Welcome to the plutocratic Corporate United States of America.

The GOP and their billionaire backers are desperate to defund Obamacare now because they know its popularity will soar once the law goes into full effect. They know that once it is fully implemented, it will be impossible to take its many benefits away from voters (“Keep your government hands off my Medicare”). They know once it is in full effect, it will be impossible to tell the 129 million non-elderly Americans who have some type of pre-existing health condition that they must return to the pre-Obamacare days of being denied coverage altogether. They know once the law is in full effect, it will be impossible to end coverage for the millions who will for the first time have coverage through the expansion of Medicaid. They know that once it goes into effect, the public will be reluctant to return their healthcare needs to the mercy of the insurance companies. Now, ask yourself this: if Republicans are so sure Obamacare will be a failure, then why not let it fail and then let the Democrats pay a heavy electoral price for said failure? They know there’s no chance of failure, which is why they’re so desperate now.

This is why the sufferers of Obama Derangement Syndrome on the Right are holding the economy, government workers, and the American people hostage, because they know that their scare mongering will soon be exposed for what it is – a corporate agenda driven to ensure the failure of Obama and, in turn, to hurt Democrats in 2016, regardless of the cost.

They know the public will discover their erroneous justifications for taking healthcare away from 30 million Americans, and thus putting the full faith and credit of the United States in peril, and for further hurting the economy and stunting job growth, were concocted purely for political expediency rather than determining what is not only in the nation’s best interests, but for what is also the will of the American people. When the jig is up, hopefully, maybe then the Republican Party will return to that golden age of when elections had consequences.

CJ Werleman is the author of God Hates You. Hate Him Back, and Crucifying America. Follow him on twitter: @cjwerleman

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