The hatred which many Republicans harbor towards the nation’s first black president runs so deep that they and their leaders have no qualms about hurting the American people if, in their twisted minds, they see it as scoring points against him.
They do not mind if the pain is inflicted by misrepresentation, half-truths and outright lies. The idea is to cause political harm to President Barack Obama and frustrate his efforts to win re-election.
That, in fact, has been the only agenda item for the Republican leadership almost immediately after Mr. Obama’s surprise election victory. Although politics is “the art of the deal” and good politicians are willing to compromise, this crop of Grand Old Party leaders has sought to deny the president every single opportunity to implement an agenda that breaks with the failed policies of the past and leads America into a future in which much hope and promise are on the way to being fulfilled.
Even before they obtained a majority of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, Republican members of Congress have used every avenue possible to create and sustain gridlock over the past four years – and then have turned around and blamed the president for being unable to get things done.
Nowhere has this been seen so clearly as in the debate that took place over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Knowing that measure would guarantee Mr. Obama’s re-election and entrench the Democratic Party in power for decades, as analysts have pointed out, the GOP leadership seized on this so-called “Obamacare” to make their stand and assaulted the nation with astounding assertions such as the legislation would lead to “pulling the plug on grandma.” Even more astonishing, tens of millions of Americans bought into the big lie.
With Democrats holding the majority in the U.S. Senate and the president holding the veto pen, the Republicans saw salvation in a U.S. Supreme Court dominated by conservatives. After the court upheld the law, with conservative Chief Justice John Roberts casting the decisive vote, that should have laid the matter to rest. Of course it did not.
Now some GOP leaders, who were in the forefront of the legal challenge, are still trying to negate the impact of the law. At least four Republican governors, including our own Gov. Rick Scott, have vowed not to implement key provisions that would bring health insurance to millions of Americans – more than a million, in the case of Florida – and to create exchanges that would make insurance affordable. They claim it is too costly, even though they know full well that somebody has to pay the doctor and hospital bill when sickness comes.
Mr. Scott and others like him must be sent a clear message: Stop playing politics with people’s health. It is time to end this vendetta.