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The movie annoyed me for years.
I was about 10 when I watched the heroes finally strike oil. And as that black geyser spurted skyward, the oil men screamed and hugged one another and had a wonderful time jumping up and down as new millionaires have every right to do. But meanwhile, all that oil was going to waste! They had no buckets or basins or anything in which to catch every drop of their new success. I wanted to stand up in the theater and yell, “Save the oil, dummies! Save the oil! You can have a party later!”
And that’s exactly the way I feel now as the Republicans fritter away the best opportunity they could ever have, short of a “Macy’s window,” to erase the last 21 years of GOP defeat and turn it into another Reagan era. (“Macy’s window” is a New York political expression meaning, “Our guy is so far ahead, the only way he could lose is if they caught him doing it naked in Macy’s window!”)
The political stench of Obamacare is just getting started. As the pain of Obamacare broadens and deepens, Democrats will soon be referring to right now as “the good old days”! One reason exposed liars don’t do well in politics is, we don’t like liars. This is worse. These Obama lies are heavy with pain for the voter. Did any Watergate lie cause real public pain? Did Iran-Contra cause any voter to lose his health insurance? The difference between the lies of Obama and the lies of any other president is the difference between a harmless snake and a poisonous snake, or summer lightning and streak lightning. Or, as Mark Twain most famously said, it’s the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.
And how do the Republicans deal with this opportunity? By saying, in effect, “Don’t bother us with policy or action right now. We’re having too much fun just watching!”
The Republicans don’t have time to just watch, or even to enjoy. Every Republican should be told, “Don’t let anybody catch you smiling. Flaming, escalating indignation is the only appropriate mood. If you don’t feel it, fake it!”
If demanding repeal of Obamacare seems harsh, it’s only because flaccidity and surrender have been inculcated as cardinal virtues within the Republican Party, where the noblest act is not to fight and win for the American people, but rather to demonstrate your ability to “cross the aisle” and work harmoniously with the other side. Americans who wanted to go to war after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor were not warmongers. Yet establishment Republicans recoil in horror at the thought of really opposing Obamacare.
The immediate and total repeal of Obamacare should not be viewed as extremist. It should be the consensus starting point for all honest observers. Today’s Obamacare invites repeal like fire invites water. And yet we hear Republicans meekly echoing the main Democratic talking point, “Alas, what can we do? Obamacare is the law of the land!”
This may be opinion, but it falls very close to the “two-plus-two-equals-four” type of opinion. The Affordable Care Act – Obamacare – would never have passed if it weren’t for the lie that, “If you like your health plan and your doctor, you may keep them, period!” As Tucker Carlson of the Daily Caller astutely pointed out on Fox News, this was no throw-away line Obama allowed to infiltrate one of his speeches. Or two or three. The Democratic salesmen of Obamacare hammered, kept hammering, virtually built a church on that li(n)e. No lie, no law. Hence, no legitimacy to Obamacare and no serious argument against repeal.
There must be a free-market pathway to health care for all, but first things first. Get rid of this one now. There were zero Republican votes for Obamacare. Job 1 for Republicans is to lift that statistic from the part of the wine cellar where nobody goes and out into the light of day. A great day for truth was Oct. 25, 1956, when the Hungarian Freedom Fighters brushed aside Moscow’s communist stooges and took over the radio station. “We are here to tell you we have lied,” Radio Budapest blared forth on that day. “We have lied in the morning, in the afternoon and by night. We have lied during the week and on weekends. We have lied on normal days and on holidays. We have lied on AM and on FM. Now we shall lie no more.” And for the next 10 valiant days, as their ragtag forces had the Soviet Red Army on the ropes, that promise was kept.
Mr. President, your lies have caused much pain. Your lies are the only reason your Obamacare passed. For the sake of decency, legacy and history, stop the lying now and accept repeal with graciousness. You might have beginner’s luck.
Abba Eban, the Israeli diplomat who was so articulate that I, even as an Israel supporter, wanted to mash my fist in his face, once said, “The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.”
Abba, when we meet in heaven, remind me to tell you about Republicans!