What’s happening tonight in the United States Senate is one of the most brazenly cynical and breathtakingly shameful things I have ever seen in my lifetime. The Republican Senate Majority Leader is desperately strong-arming his members to vote to start debate on an as yet unidentified bill, the only guaranteed contents of which will be something they can call a repeal of Obamacare.
Legislatively speaking, this is the kind of maneuver you might expect if an asteroid was predicted to collide with earth in 7–12 days and immediate action was required to authorize a mission by Bruce Willis and/or Nicholas Cage and/or Samuel L. Jackson to plant a nuclear device on the surface of the object in an attempt to split it just right so that the pieces diverge and go around the earth while the rest of us try to get in as much fucking as possible just to be safe. This is decidedly not a maneuver that makes any sense in the context of a national discussion about healthcare policy, particularly if you don’t even have a workable plan that you can pass.
Let’s just step back for a moment and refresh our memories about something. Does anyone remember the good old days before Obamacare when healthcare and health insurance were cheap and getting cheaper? Yeah, neither do I. In fact, I remember everyone being pretty fucking pissed about how outrageously expensive healthcare and health insurance were getting, devouring an ever-increasing share of our yearly household incomes.
Now I’ve never thought Obamacare was perfect, but I did think it was probably the best we could do in the face of a hopelessly intransigent Republican Congress bound and determined to prevent the new black president from getting a single goddamned thing done, let alone pass a major piece of desperately needed legislation that would extend help to millions of middle- and low-income Americans, no matter how hard he tried to find common ground (by, for example, adopting Mitt Romney’s healthcare reform plan as his own!).
And so now we have an admittedly imperfect system that has drastically lowered the number of uninsured Americans while ensuring that, even though out-of-pocket costs are still higher than we’d like them to be, insurers must at least provide a robust package of preventive services and can’t exclude people with preexisting conditions. Yes, per capita healthcare expenditure continues to rise—but not faster than before the passage of the Affordable Care Act, when those costs often got us shitty policies that covered nothing.
So make no mistake—there is no urgent reason to cancel the whole thing. Obamacare is not actively hurting anyone. Repealing Obamacare would actively hurt millions. If Republicans had some great plan that would somehow make healthcare and/or health insurance cheaper, that would be one thing…but they don’t. Not only do they not have a plan they can pass even while they control all three branches of the United States government, but they haven’t even proposed a single plan that even feints at being able to solve any of the problems they pretend to care about.
So tonight Mitch McConnell is basically just saying “Fuck it, let’s just do something, anything, that we can call a repeal of Obamacare.” He’s dragging John McCain back to the Senate chamber with a glioblastoma that, if we’re being honest, may well be impairing his cognitive functioning, just to vote on opening debate on…well, on just some bill.
There is only one reason to keep fucking this chicken long after it’s been dead and begun to decompose. There is only one plausible motivation for being so determined to do this thing that there is no urgent need to do and no public support for whatsoever (17% for repeal-and-replace, 13% for repeal only). There is only one explanation for why Republicans would do a thing that will have catastrophic financial and health consequences for millions of their constituents and almost certainly put the final nail in their party’s coffin.
It is not a pleasant explanation, but it’s the only one gets to the heartlessness of the matter: This is the closest these miserable, old white fucks will ever get to lynching a black man.
We’ve always known this was about race, but it wasn’t until today that their cravenly wretched machinations laid it bare for all to see. This is not about improving healthcare, this is not about alleviating suffering, this is not about helping Americans, this not about conservatism. This is about symbolically nullifying the presidency of Barack Obama, a black man.
They hate that Barack Obama was President of the United States. They hate that millions of Americans benefit from a program he passed, a program they named Obamacare because they thought that would doom it. They despise our former president—a strong, dignified, intelligent black superstar who makes the whole filthy lot of them, but especially their bloated, limp-dicked, pussy grabbing Oompa-Loompa-in-chief, look like the drooling pack of impossibly small, impotent fucking losers they are. His legacy looms over them ominously and it is more than they can bear. They cannot allow this abomination to stand.
And this is their last chance to show us who’s boss around here. They can feel the motherland slipping from through their greasy, stubby little fingers and are determined to mount a rousing display of white, masculine dominance that will extend their reign for just a little longer. But they are shrunken men, raging against the inexorable tide of demographics in sad, tinny little squeaks that grow fainter by the moment.