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GOP waves the white flag

By   /   November 1, 2013  /   Be the first to comment

Never has so little been gained  from  so much machination. The Republican Party finally slunk away from its ruinous death march. The GOP accomplished nothing of any merit: no defunding of Obamacare; no tax cuts, or limits to entitlement spending. Instead, they managed to give themselves two black eyes and a plummeting approval rating.
Why House Majority Leader John Boehner  wasn’t paying attention to the disastrous roll-out of the health care initiative is also a mystery. He could have changed the conversation immediately and made  whatever  points he wanted to make because of the Obama administration’ s self-inflicted wounds. There was and is a lot to criticize about the floundering  debut.  Here’s just a couple of examples.
Technical failures have plagued the implementation of the health care law. Passed in 2010, giving Mr. Obama a good head start to work out the kinks,  the administration allowed outdated technology to be used to process the applications. Most analysts think a solution is many weeks away and will extend beyond the deadline to sign up. The president finally turned to Silicon Valley for help. One specialist opined that as many as five million lines of software code may have to be rewritten before the site performs properly.
Competition is sparse, particularly in disadvantaged rural areas. On October 23, 2013, the New York Times noted that little competition exists in 58% of rural areas which, in turn, has precipitated high prices for premiums (and subsidies).
The meter runs for the repairs, and the lack of competition.
These problems could have given the Republicans grist for the mill, but instead there is anger over the perception that the GOP inconvenienced millions of people with the government shut-down. Furthermore, the reputation of the United States, which is beginning to look like an  artful dodger on its debts, has taken a hit. For the record I really don’t think that the Republicans care one wit for the “problems” the health care program is experiencing since they really want to dismantle it. It’s hard to pretend that they want to fix something when before its debut all they talked about was breaking it.
The “hearings” in the House as to what went wrong would have had more credibility if the Republicans had not already announced their conclusions before the evidence was collated. All in all, for so-called smart people the GOP is, well, dumb as an elephant. Their fixation on Obamacare, the close-down of the government, and the near fiscal disaster to the economy obscured their best case against implementation of this health care plan.
In an op-ed piece in the above New York Times, a columnist noted that a web site can eventually be fixed but the same cannot be said of the party that has been marching to the drums of a fringe group outside of the government. He observed  that the Republican House  decided to camp out  in its own graveyard.
I think this writer raises an important observation. Preventing things from getting done is not the same as getting things done. The Republicans cannot continue to be the party of intransigence in a nation that craves progress. The GOP needs a different repertoire and they need it now.

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