To the point week of 3-25-10

298

I FIGURED THAT THIS WEEK we wouldn’t address anything controversial, so I’m only going to talk about zoning ordinances, moving sixth graders, and healthcare.

Actually, only one – healthcare.

Before I start, I want all of you to know that I’m sure that you’ve read thousands of words about how horrible the new healthcare package is. You’ve no doubt seen screaming people waving signs and declaring that the world is coming to an end, because surely this is a sign of the Apocalypse.

And those are just the anchors on FOX News.

By the end of this some of you will no doubt get out your pen and paper and begin to write a multi-page letter that decries how terrible this piece of legislation is, and how it will now ruin tens of millions of lives.

And you may be right.

Or you may be wrong.

I don’t know.

I don’t care.

Because this column has very little to do with the actual legislation. Rather, it has to do with the political machinery behind it.

President Obama proposed it. Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill endorsed it. Republicans can’t believe such horrible legislation was being proposed and passed over their loud objections.

The American people deserve better.

But you can’t believe what you read or hear, because the people who are now writing and reporting the information are so bias and slanted that their mission is to enrage you – not inform you.

Let me rephrase a section from some previous paragraphs. To do it, you’ll all have to go back about three years with me.

Ready?

President Bush proposed it. Republican leaders on Capitol Hill endorsed it. Democrats can’t believe such horrible legislation was being proposed and passed over their loud objections.

The American people deserve better.

I believe that the 535 members of Congress honestly want to help you. They want to help me. They want to help us.

But they can’t, because political parties get in the way.

My opinion is that very nearly the same healthcare legislation could have been proposed three years ago by the Bush Administration, and everyone would have again picked a side and gone to battle.

They would have just been on the opposite sides that they are now.

I got 12 emails on Tuesday of this week. They were either from the Republican Senatorial Committee, telling me what a horrible person Brad Ellsworth is; or they were from Representative Baron Hill’s office explaining his support of the bill; or from private organizations with a “dog in the fight” who wanted me to know that they were demanding a “pound of flesh” from those who supported/didn’t support the bill.

Somewhere, Evan Bayh is smiling.

Somewhere along the line, Congress and those who try and persuade Congressmen and Congresswomen turned into a pit of vipers.

Is it Nancy Pelosi’s fault? By the way, did you know she got a new plane?

Is it Texas Republican Representative Randy Neugebauer’s fault? He’s the guy who yelled “Baby Killer” while Michigan Representative Bart Stupak was speaking in chambers on Monday?

By the way, did you know that Bart Stupak is Pro-Life, and wouldn’t vote for the bill until he was assured that no federal funds would be used for abortions?

In fact, he may have been a “baby saver”.

But I digress.

Now it appears that 14 states have filed lawsuits in federal court seeking to stop the implementation of the “historic healthcare bill”.

Is it a coincidence that 13 of the 14 are Republicans?

Now I’m not coming down on Republicans here, because – as I said earlier – if this had happened a couple of years ago, the 14 attorneys general would have been Democrats.

Because, you see – it’s not about what’s right or what’s wrong – it’s all about who’s proposing it.

Your party? Love it.

Their party? Hate it.

Now I’ve read as much of the legislation that my sleepy eyes will allow, and I’m sure some of you are firing up the Microsoft Word file now, but really, truly,

Don’t we deserve better, no matter whose in charge in Washington?

If there’s items in the legislation that lawmakers feel shouldn’t be in there, then tell us what those are; don’t simply run around screaming “The Sky is Falling! The Sky is Falling!” because apparently you think we’re too stupid to understand the facts.

For once, I’d like to see a member of Congress step up to a microphone and say, “I may be in the same party, but this is a train wreck”.

Or:

“I may be on the other side of the aisle, but to me this legislation makes sense for the American people.”

So here’s where I come down: Like it or not, the majority of the American people elected Barack Obama President of the United States (yes, I know, YOU didn’t, but apparently people did). When he ran, he talked of change and making hard choices, and this is one of those.

Love it or hate it – it’s not the status quo.

In fact, all of this reminds me of another politician who ran for office with little experience, and he promised that if he was elected he was willing to make difficult decisions that many of his constituents wouldn’t like, but had to be made.

And then Republican Mitch Daniels got elected Governor of Indiana.

And he made decisions that Democrats screamed about and Republicans hailed (Remember leasing the toll road?). For four years, “My Man Mitch” was anything but to Hoosier citizens.

But, in the end, he did what he told us he would do if we elected him, so you have to give him that.

And four years later we elected him to another four year term.

Sometimes tough decisions have to be made in the face of a disapproving public. Maybe this healthcare bill will prove to be all that dissenters claim it to be; or maybe it will do what proponents claim it will.

I don’t know, and neither does anyone else.

But it’s time to make decisions based on other factors than what party the person represents who wrote it.