Back in 1787 our best and brightest gathered in Philadelphia to devise a new form of government. There was strong disagreement over how that government should be structured. They worked through a hot summer and wrote the Constitution. It created a government with three independent branches having checks and balances on each other. It has survived innumerable crises. Keeping our style of government functioning is far more important than any political issue. Unfortunately, far too many only care about seeing their issues advance. Frankly, I think there are some on both sides who wouldn’t mind a dictatorship provided it reflect their beliefs.
The history of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is a perfect example of this trend. It was initially passed with all kinds of shenanigans including the famous Cornhusker Kickback. Then the Democrats lost their filibuster-proof majority in the Senate and Harry Reid virtually shut it down. It didn’t even pass any budgets. Meanwhile, the Republican House voted over and over again to repeal the legislation without ever putting up an alternative. President Obama became a one-man legislature and basically did whatever he wanted regardless of what was in the law. Nobody was doing the job the Constitution assigned them.
Once the Republicans assumed control of the Senate, there was some increase in inter-party cooperation. Real change started to occur when Paul Ryan became Speaker. He was interested in legislating, not just throwing raw meat to the base. The Republicans have finally put together an alternative to Obamacare. It has passed both houses and been sent to the President. He will certainly veto it but that’s not the point. Finally, all parties are acting the way the Constitution says they should.
No matter our political views, we should all cheer this return to constitutional government. It’s about time we pay attention to the means not just the ends.