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Madness

Dear Editor:

The Republican House has finally slipped into total madness. They are spending our tax dollars to sue the president over doing his job when they can’t do theirs. The professed reason is the president’s delay of the individual mandate under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Now, the ACA is the law that these same idiots have voted to abolish 50 times, again spending tons of our tax dollars in utterly futile efforts. And the Republicans themselves have actually urged the very same delay that they are now suing over. In fact, in July 2013, this same House passed a bill demanding postponement. They get their wish and sue.

Contrast this to a similar situation with President W’s signature initiative, the Medicare Part D drug coverage. Bush arbitrarily extended the enrollment period for beneficiaries for six months, largely because of an enormously flawed rollout. Weeks into the launch of what was then the most sweeping health care reform law in a generation, Boehner declared, “The implementation has been horrendous.” Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) said, “This is a huge undertaking and there are going to be glitches. My goal is the same as yours: Get rid of the glitches.” Does any of this sound familiar?

In response to W’s delay, did the Democrats in Congress sue him? Nope. They did not support the legislation, largely because of the perpetual half-trillion dollar annual cost with no offsetting revenues or cuts. Once the legislation was passed, however, the Democrats actually worked to help make the program work. Said then-Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, “I voted against it, but once it passed I certainly determined that I would try to do everything I could to make sure that New Yorkers understood it, could access it, and make the best of it.” What a difference. And I might note that Medicare Part D was initially less popular with the public than the ACA at its worst, with only 21 percent of Americans supporting the legislation.

Of course we all know that the ACA mandate delay is just a smokescreen to hide the Republican’s real intent with the lawsuit — stopping the “lawless Commie dictator” Obama, who is allegedly ruling by Executive Order. His 181 actually ranks him just 19th of the 44 presidents. He is far ahead of those other lawless radicals Eisenhower (484), Coolidge (1,203), and Teddy Roosevelt (1,081). And then there is George Bush, who made greater use of “signing statements“ than all other presidents combined, taking issue with over 1,200 provisions of laws he signed. Signing statements direct executive agencies to apply the law according to the president’s interpretation of the Constitution, not Congresses. That sounds to me like flaunting the intent of Congress, as Obama is supposedly doing.

Fortunately, the public opposes the lawsuit. A CNN poll found that Americans disapprove of the GOP’s expensive political stunt by 57 to 41 percent. Hopefully, this desperate absurdity intended purely to appease the far right-wing will come back to bite the Republicans in November.

John Porco

This story was posted on August 14, 2014.