On the Senate floor this week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid abused the dignity of his position with yet another desperate attack on Republicans and other Americans who understand the dangers of President Barack Obama’s flawed health care proposal.
Rather than debating the unremarkable “merits” of the Democratic plan, Sen. Reid arrogantly and prematurely declared that he was on the “right side of history” and that the Republicans were on the wrong side. More than that, he insisted these Republicans were the same types of people who opposed ending slavery and giving women the right to vote.
I suppose no one in Sen. Reid’s office could be bothered to learn that it was a Republican president under whom the slaves were freed and that it was Republican President Teddy Roosevelt’s third-party movement which was the first to support women’s suffrage. Who needs facts when you can make wild allegations?
More than that, though, Sen. Reid’s comments display the Democrats’ fundamental inability to sell their health care proposal with real arguments and facts.
Reid would have you believe that Republicans should lose this debate because they are inconsiderate and blind, morally culpable for the failings of our health care system, and as guilty of pushing down their fellow Americans as those who oppressed women and enslaved an entire race. If he’d had more room in his speech, perhaps Republican actions would also have been likened to those who drove American Indians from their homes and interred Japanese-Americans during World War II.
Reid would have you believe this, because it’s much easier for him to face than the reality that he’s peddling a flawed version of “reform” which the American people just won’t buy.
The Democratic party controls the White House. They have a considerable majority in the House of Representatives and a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.
Let’s go through that again. The Democratic Party could, without a single Republican, pass any health care bill they wanted through both houses of Congress and get it signed by a Democratic president.
It is not simply the Republican Party — much less some mythical monster of slavery-loving Republican terror — which is stopping Harry Reid and his posse from passing his beloved monstrosity of a bill. No, the people in his way are ordinary Americans, the same ones who rallied at town hall meetings, who are fighting to preserve their independence in their health decisions and to keep our country from piling on even more debt.
The Republicans are not arguing, as Reid seems to suggest, that our health insurance system is above reform, or — heaven help us — that we are better off with several million people with limited access to health care. No, the Republicans, in concert with the American people, are arguing that this proposed reform is no reform at all, and it will only serve to make our country, and our health care system, worse off than it is now.
Many have asked Sen. Reid to apologize for his crass remarks, something he has adamantly refused to do. Me? His comments were undeniably arrogant, foolish, and undeserved. But if we’re going to push for an apology, let’s push for the ones we really need to hear.
Let’s ask Sen. Reid to apologize for ramming an unwieldy, bureaucratic nightmare of a “reform” bill down the throats of the American people without taking the time to look beyond his liberal talking points for a real solution to the problems.
Let’s ask Sen. Reid to apologize for spending more time behind closed doors playing political games than transparently addressing and debating different aspects of this proposal with the American public.
If they cared to, Democrats could cobble together a socialized, single-payer system which covers our insurance bills by selling Maine to Canada, and there’s not a single thing Republican congressmen, voting completely in unison, could do to stop them.
And then let’s ask Sen. Reid to work with us to find an alternative solution which won’t ration our medical care, weaken our economy, and remove our choices. This country deserves better than what Sen. Reid and the Democratic Party have been offering.
Michael Reagan, the elder son of the late President Ronald Reagan, is chairman and president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation (www.reaganlegacyfoundation.org).