A cowardly Congress for an entitled America

July 23, 2017

In the winter of 1777 disease and exposure from lack of sufficient Congressional funding for proper food and clothing accounted for over half of the 2000 deaths at Valley Forge.  Between the first shot fired on Fort McHenry and Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, over six hundred thousand of the blue and the gray lay dead.

World War I took an additional one hundred thousand, its hellish bigger brother WWII claimed another four hundred thousand give or take. Korea, Vietnam, and the modern day “War on Terror” another one hundred thousand and counting.

In all, over 1.2 million men and women of the United States military have over the years given their lives either in the fight for, or the defense of freedom. I remind myself of that one sobering fact every morning of every day, that without their sacrifice, none of us are here.

And so it was that when I heard that within hours of Senator Mitch McConnell’s decision to move forward with a “repeal only, with a two year transition period” vote on Obamacare, Senators Susan Collins (R, ME), Sherry Moore Capito, (R, WV) and Lisa Murkowsi (R, AK), were already grandstanding that they would not only vote no on the bill, but that they wouldn’t even allow it a vote of the full Senate my anger and frustration went through the roof.

While Collins equivocating was expected, (why she doesn’t just switch to the Democrats I’ll never know) Murkowski and Moore Captio’s betrayal broke the hypocrisy meter. Both had just as recently as December 2015 voted yes on the very same bill being put forth now.

The ONLY difference being that THIS time, they could not hide behind a Presidential veto. This time they had a President Trump that would actually turn their votes into law. This time, their votes would actually mean something. And with that, their so profound, prior “courage” turned to cowardice in seconds.

Page Winfield Cunningham writing in the Washington Post’s Health 202 nailed em all: “we have the perfect example of how easy it is for politicians to cast a staged vote when it has no political repercussion but chicken out as soon as it does.”

Moore Capito went so far to parrot the standard meme that Republicans are mean and only Democrats “care” by having the gall to state: “I did not come to Washington to hurt people”.

Really Senator?  Why does no one in Washington “care” about the millions of people who were thrown off plans they liked, denied access to doctors they preferred, and who now struggle to pay for coverage they do not want and cannot afford to use? Are they not people being hurt?

Call me old fashioned. Call me not with the times. Call me whatever you will. But as I write these words, as I live and breathe, I cannot help but think that not one of those 1.2 million who gave all did so in the name of centralized government mandating coverage and dictating “essential benefits”.

Yet to listen to today’s Democrat party and the bobble heads of our national media that is exactly what our founders intended; government bureaucrats caring for everyone, overseeing all.  To the modern left wants are now rights and anyone standing in the way is evil.  And it’s all done with nary a word on the morality of hoisting $20 trillion in debt and counting onto the backs of our children and grandchildren.

If you’ve ever spent more than a minute reading of our founding and the notes from the debates of our Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, then you know how far we’ve strayed. If you haven’t, well, quite honestly, you should.

The single founding principle that this great nation sits upon is encapsulated in but one word:  Freedom.  Freedom to buy, freedom to sell, to produce and to pursue, to live your life, within your own means with as little interference from government as possible.

Whether your name is Murkowski or McCaskill, Schumer or McConnell, if you’ve reached a seat in the United States Senate you should at least know that one simple fact.  And no matter your party, no matter your re-election you should vote accordingly.

To do anything less is to deny the American people the very freedom their founders and all those since have bled and died for.

PUBLISHER NOTE:  A version of this column first appeared in the July 23, 2017 print edition of the Joplin Globe.

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