So the fact that the GOP was dumb enough to expose its hidden hand early on before the health care debate started showed that the questions around the cost of the legislation were mere political semantics and gamesmanship.
Let’s be realistic. If the GOP really cared about costs of a watershed health reform like the one now in place and its impact on the burgeoning federal deficit, they would not have taken this nation to war on false pretenses that ended up costing taxpayers billions of dollars.
When President George W. Bush and his cabal were taking the country to war and Secretary of State General Colin Powell was beating the drum before the United Nations, there were no Tea Party protesters on the lawn of the capitol to stop the Bush presidency.
There was no opposition among Republicans to stop the aggression and later what would be revealed was a highly orchestrated and sophisticated move to forcefully politicize the intelligence community to endorse the Republican administration’s move to war in Iraq.
Michigan Republican Attorney General Mike Cox is joining 12 other attorneys general around the country to challenge the constitutionality of this new legislation and exclude Michigan from it. His reasoning is that people should have the option to opt out of this new legislation if they decide against it. Perhaps Cox is referring to all members of the Tea Party movement who are galvanizing their supporters around a ballot language that would be placed on the November ballot.
But interestingly, Cox did not take the Bush administration to court over a war that failed to identify any weapons of mass destruction and cost many lives. Cox did not go to court to exclude Michigan soldiers from taking part in a war that has now created a dent on the image of honest Republicans, some of whom have repented.
But, then again, Cox is a candidate running for governor this year and perhaps has been advised to take this issue head-on and make political hay out of it. And interestingly, some of the other attorneys general are running for office as well.
Let me remind Cox that Michigan is more diverse than his advisers might think. The repulsive and cancerous notion of the Tea Party movement will not resonate in the Hispanic, African American, Native American, Arab American, Asian and other communities of color.
Because these communities have had to bear the brunt of medical apartheid — the cruel, telling and disturbing health disparities — that have long been the textbook case for medical scholars, the Centers for Disease Control and other study groups.
For example, African-American women are 35 percent more likely to die of heart disease than their White counterparts, and 28 percent of Latinos have nowhere to seek health care compared to 15 percent of Whites. Black babies are dying three times the rate of White babies.
The legislation contains programs to promote access for Medicare beneficiaries with limited English proficiency by providing reimbursement for culturally and linguistically appropriate services.
If Cox, under the pretext of constitutional legality, is willing to go against these mammoth improvements in the legislation that show how communities of color will greatly benefit, then he may soon be approaching his gubernatorial Waterloo.
The daily hypocrisy and unchecked double standards of the GOP leadership in Congress and its new propaganda machine, the Tea Party movement, must be seen for what it is.
The opposition to President Obama was not about cost as was revealed by the deliberate invoking of scare tactics like death panels. The GOP and its massive right-wing propaganda machine are opposed to President Obama because of his common sense ideology, compassion for the common man and an unwavering recognition that America with its bountiful resources can, in fact, solve seemingly unsolvable problems the country faces.
It is time for those who bring no meaningful alternatives to the table of equity to realize that the pendulum has swung. Even conservative columnist David Frum told his colleagues passing the health care legislation was, in fact, the Republican Waterloo. And it will be suicidal on the party that tried to take the thunder off the Obama election by placing an African American, Michael Steel, at the helm of the Republican National Committee, to now campaign to repeal and take back the health benefits that 32 million stand ready to receive. They must have forgotten that most of those 32 million are voters.
What the Democrats have demonstrated is that they can solve big problems with a president who is determined — and not afraid of being castigated by his opposition.
Welcome to a new day. It’s been a long time coming.
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