Small thinking wrought big defeat

Perhaps, just perhaps, if Republicans had not been so intent on making health care reform President Obama’s “Waterloo,” they might have been able to see more clearly.

Watching the partisan wrangling over the bill was rather like watching someone in a fight flailing his or her arms, rather than throwing strategic punches.

Oh, there was strategy, but it was fueled by small thinking. Republicans thought that playing to the fears of an American populace which reads little and understands less would be a good strategy. They thought that getting people like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin and Bill O’Reilly to rile people up that their goal of defeating President Obama would be met.

Never once did I feel like Republicans cared about “the people.” When they said “the American people,” they were not talking, or it didn’t seem like they were talking, about the large numbers of Americans who had no health care or access to health care. No, they seemed to be talking about a small group of like-minded people who think that people who believe that “the masses” ought to have health care were Socialists.


When I was little, my mother used to say “pretty is as pretty does.” She would also say that when you act ugly, you get ugly. Republicans acted ugly. The “Tea Party” to me seems to be a euphemism for the Ku Klux Klan. Instead of showing concern for Americans, the Republicans instead decided to descend into name calling and fear-mongering, playing to people who think America is somehow “lost” and needs to be “taken back.”

What about the people? Not just “the American people,” that elite group, but THE PEOPLE? I just didn’t hear any Republicans voice concern about US … or, the rest of us.

The attorney general of Virginia, and AGs of several other states, are going to sue, on the grounds that the new bill is unconstitutional. Really? I find myself thinking that if it was unconstitutional, that battle cry would have been heard long ago.

No, this defeat, bitter as it is in the mouths and spirits of Republicans, is about something else. It tastes so bad because the fight was a frantic flailing of political arms, rather than intelligent debate. It was about name calling, going so far as to call a Civil Rights icon a nigger, and an openly gay lawmaker a faggot. It was about so little dignity, and so much desperation, that someone actually spit on a lawmaker.

It was small thinking that wrought this defeat, small thinking of the caliber of thinking that tore this nation apart and led to the Civil War.

America is still a divided nation, and the division is still along racial and class lines…and oh, along party lines as well. Somewhere in our idyllic description of ourselves it says “United we stand;divided we fall.”

It would seem that we are falling.

And that is a candid observation.

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