Yesterday in the Senate, we got a bit of history and a bit of theater. The history came when Mike Pence got a rare chance to exercise one of the few unique powers of the Vice Presidency and cast the tie-breaking vote on a measure to proceed with debate on repealing and replacing Obamacare (it had tied 50-50, with all 48 Democrats saying nay – something they’ve had a lot of practice at - and all but two Republicans voting yea.)
The theater came from the other side of the aisle, when the vote to allow continued debate on a health care bill sparked loud chants from protesters in the chamber of “Shame!” and “Kill the bill, don’t kill us!” Order had to be restored. They have obviously absorbed well the message of the Democratic leadership that even agreeing to continue talking about the problem will make people die. Got that? “Debate kills!” That must have been why they passed Obamacare on a party line vote without allowing any debate on it in the first place.
But the over-the-top venom didn’t stop there. Even Sen. John McCain, a Senate icon and military hero who returned to the Senate in the midst of battling brain cancer, was viciously attacked by the left for his vote to allow continued debate. A vote that, ironically, had been accompanied by an eloquent and historic speech about the need to stop mindlessly attacking the other side and listen to people who might disagree with you on issues. His vote was greeted by shockingly hateful, nasty comments on Twitter, wishing pain and death upon him – again, not even for supporting any particular bill, just for voting to allow debate to continue. You can see some of it at the link below, although I warn you, some of the language is both cruel and obscene. It’s proof that some people can shout “Shame” at others without having any idea what the term means.
If it were possible to have a civil conservation with these venom spitters, I’d like to ask them a few simple questions. If they could answer with words instead of violent attacks, I think this is how it might go:
Me: Why are you so dead set against even debating a replacement for Obamacare?
Them: Because if you take away Obamacare, people will die!
Me: But Obamacare is dying on its own. It’s a financially unsustainable system. Insurers are fleeing it, leaving some places with one or no choices of insurance plans, and premiums are skyrocketing, so consumers are fleeing.
Them: Then Congress could prop it up by putting more money into it!
Me: So an unsustainable system can be sustained by pouring even more money into it?
Me: But we’re already pouring so much money into unsustainable entitlement programs that we have a $20 trillion debt. Where will all that money come from?
Them: Tax the rich!
Me: The rich didn’t get that way by handing over all their money to the government. They’ll put it into tax shelters, killing job growth and reducing federal tax revenues. So your solution to fixing the health care system is to tax and spend until the economy craters and the government goes bankrupt?
Them: You want people to die!
Conclusion: I can now see why they are desperate to avoid debates.