In previous letters to the editor, I generally have tried to present the progressive view on a given subject without being overly partisan. Of course, the positions of the Democrats usually are closer to mine than the Republicans, but that has mostly been incidental.
In fact, I strongly believe that we are better off as a country with a strong, articulate and rational conservative viewpoint as a contrast to the progressive position. Debate improves proposals of both sides.
But in the current crisis, there is only one side – that of the American people. The Affordable Care Act was passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law by President Obama. The Supreme Court ruled it constitutional. The American people ratified it by re-electing Obama rather than Mitt Romney, who made the ACA his major position.
Now, a small group of members in the House of Representatives show that they believe in democracy only when they get their way. They have tried to blackmail the Senate and the executive branch and judicial branches of government by inflicting pain on ordinary people and the entire economy by shutting down the government.
I believe Republican leaders have said they have to kill the ACA now because they think it will work to help people afford health care. I repeat: They want to kill it because they think it will help people!
After numerous cuts to programs that provide the safety net for our most vulnerable, this latest attempt brings me to ask the question that Joseph Welch asked U.S. Sen. Joe McCarthy almost 60 years ago, “Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”
The events of the next few days will supply the answer.
Andy C. Reese