The Republican Party has become increasingly divided over the last few years. From the relatively new Tea Party faction and libertarian movement, to the evangelical beholden, to the staunch conservatives and every shade in between, the GOP are starting to resemble a roomful of stray cats over the united party they once were. That united party once knew what it stood for, by in large: low taxes, a strong militia and the constitution. Oh and Christianity, least we forget.
But, this new lot of Republicans can't seem to unite on much of anything. And there's no question the GOP is having an identity crisis. They even held a conference
after Mitt Romney lost the presidential election to talk about "changing their image" and basically the need for a more unified party.
All that said, Republicans have found collectivism on one general notion: we must do everything in our power to make sure Barack Obama fails at everything he attempts. Make him a "one term president"
as Mitch McConnell so eloquently admitted. There is ample proof to show this is their goal. Just consider the amount of filibusters administered during Obama's time in office vs the entire history of filibuster use. The ratio is staggering.
It's no secret the GOP want to disrupt any Obama initiative possible. So, it shouldn't be a stretch to say that the Affordable Care Act, better known as 'Obamacare' has become the GOP's main target to collectively destroy as it's Obama's biggest achievement to date.
Side note, isn't it interesting that the word 'Obamacare' was originally a GOP creation, a slur meant to allude to the program being a socialistic/communistic nightmare that Obama should be impeached over? And somehow Obama and his crew managed to co-opt and spin the term into the official nickname with neutral connotation. Now that was impressive. But I digress. Where were we? Right. The GOP collectively hate Obama, and therefore by proxy want to destroy Obamacare.
Since Obamacare became law, we have seen the lengths the GOP are willing to go, as a united front, to cripple or appeal ACA altogether. There have been 46 congressional attempts to repeal or dismantle the Affordable Care Act
, all headed by Republicans. And, all attempts failed to pass. That's an enormous waste of congressional time, time that's funded by taxpayers, meaning it's ultimately a waste of taxpayer's money.
Then there was Ted Cruz's partial shutdown of the United States government
. This is certainly the most glaring example of the length any given Republican is willing to go to fight Obamacare. What ultimately resulted was anything but positive for the country. Thousands of federal workers were furloughed from work, national parks and monuments were closed and we continued to show political ineptness in the eyes of the world. The shutdown lasted 15 days. Obamacare still stands. All that actually resulted was a substantial drop in GOP approval ratings.
Another way Republicans have tried to stop Obamacare is through incredibly inflammatory rhetoric. This is a clear attempt to tarnish public appeal before the public even really sees the true pros and cons of the program in action. Mitch McConnell called ACA the “single worst piece of legislation passed in the last 50 years in the country.” Representative John Fleming of Louisiana calls it “the most dangerous piece of legislation ever passed by a Congress” and “the most existential threat to our economy … since the Great Depression.” Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli harks back to the Fugitive Slave Acts for a comparative affront to liberty. Those are a just a few examples. Here are more: The 12 Craziest Things Ever Said About Obamacare
Lastly, Republicans have actually found a successful ACA target at which they can rightfully comdemn: the Healthcare.gov website launch. I think everyone can agree that this was a poorly designed and executed launch. It surely hurt the image of Obamacare. But, the GOP backlash has again been wildly ridiculous. Their exaggerated claims make it sound like a failed website launch somehow means the entire program is doomed. Well, most every public or private website launch I've ever seen is initially rocky. There are always bugs to be worked out. Always kinks to be unkinked. I'm not saying that they did a perfect job. Far from it. But, it will be okay in a few months. Calm down people. If it's not okay at the end of the year, then start freaking out with full justification. Until then, stop over-exaggerating.
When it comes to the Healthcare.gov launch, Republicans have been acting more like vultures than elected officials of a democratic republic; they're actually excited that the launch is rocky. They want it to fail. Forget that it's law and their collective jobs as appointed officials is to make government and its programs run as effectively as possible. They would rather destroy the public image at every possible turn. They would rather shut down the government. They would rather have Ted Cruz filibuster for 21 hours straight in repeal. They would rather try to scare every American away from even giving ACA a chance, citing "death panels" and that it "literally kills women, kills children, kills senior citizens," that quote courtesy of Michelle Bachmann. Republicans would rather do anything they can collectively think of to make this Affordable Care Act a failure over simply helping or being rational and objective.
Republicans have finally found a political issue to unite around. Too bad trying to repeal or cripple Obamacare only results in negative action. A party united through collective hatred. To me, that's sad. Question is, do they hate Obamacare or just Obama? What hasn't been brought up in all this talk of mine are the pros and cons of Obamacare itself. And while I think that's absolutely a worthwhile conversation to have, it's certainly more nuanced than N.H. State Rep. Bill O’Brien's take, "And what is Obamacare? It is a law as destructive to personal and individual liberty as the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 that allowed slave owners to come to New Hampshire and seize African Americans and use the federal courts to take them back to federal… to slave states
I believe that's the GOP's resolve on Obamacare. They don't want to help it, or fix it, or tweak it, or contribute in any way to a most successful implementation that's best for everyone. They just want to bash it and blame Obama. At least the overwhelming majority do, as evidenced by their attitude and action. The divided GOP have found their identity, their collectivism, their uniting principle. Good for them. Bad for everyone else.