IF OBAMA’S FOR IT, WE’RE AGIN IT, THOUGH WE USED TO BE FOR IT

So goes the mantra of today’s Republican Party. Many policies and laws and programs were once supported by Republicans that, once Barack Obama assumed office, suddenly became dirty, soiled and unthinkable ideas that only the most depraved Kenyan socialist would desire.

The most blatant and brazen example, of course, is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA or ACA for short) which was largely a replica of the very same health care reform enacted in Massachusetts when Republican Mitt Romney was governor and for which he eagerly takes credit. Even more so that law is virtually identical in its most important provisions to the Republican introduced health care reform bill introduced in the U.S. Senate in 1993. There were 22 co-sponsors of that bill, only two of whom were Democrats. True there are substantive differences in many ways but both plans included a mandate for individuals to purchase insurance as well as a mandate for employers to provide coverage for their workers, together with state based exchanges to offer the insurance to individuals.

Remember, twenty-eight states filed suit against the individual mandate calling it unconstitutional. Yet, the origins of the 1993 Republican plan  lie in this 1989 paper from The Heritage Foundation which clearly calls for such a mandate.  http://www.heritage.org/research/lecture/assuring-affordable-health-care-for-all-americans

A mandate on individuals recognizes this impl i cit contract. Society does feel a moral obligation to insure that its citizens do not suffer from the unavailability of health care. But on the other hand, each household has the obligation, to the extent it is able, to avoid placing demands on society by protecting itself. 3) Provide help to those who cannot afford protection. A mandate on households certainly would force those with adequate means to obtain insurance protection, which would end the problem of middle-class “free riders” on society’s sense o f obligation

Former Senator Dave Durenberger (R. Minn.) was a co-sponsor of the 1993 bill and still supported its essentials as the ACA took shape. http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Checking-In-With/Durenberger-1993-gop-bill-q-and-a.aspx

And comparisons between 2009 and 1993 bills can be found here.  http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/graphics/2010/022310-bill-comparison.aspx

In 2007 a law was passed mandating more efficient light bulbs, the Energy Independence and Security Act. It was passed overwhelmingly by both houses of Congress and signed by REPUBLICAN President George W. Bush. But then, after Obama took office and the provisions of that law were coming into effect, all of a sudden conservatives renounced the law and Rep. Joe Barton (R.-Tex.) introduced legislation to repeal the 2007 Act. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/12/business/energy-environment/12bulb.html

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky said not only did he resent the light bulb standards but he also blamed the government for poorly working toilets in his house because of the regulations on how much water they should use.

Common Core, the set of educational standards for math and English language arts, used to have nearly unanimous approval from Republicans and Democrats alike. But ever since President Obama made a brief mention of his endorsement of these standards in his State of The Union Address in 2012, voices of opposition have arisen from the right with some shouts of “Obamacore” likening it to the derisive term used for the ACA and also bringing charges of a federal takeover, this time of education.

Most significantly the negative rhetoric has come from a lot of potential Republican contenders for the party’s 2016 Presidential nomination, including Rand Paul, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Mike Pence, and in a complete reversal of his earlier backing, Gov. Bobby Jindal of La. (He has even threatened to use executive action to undo his state’s adherence to the standards. Those words, naturally, are dripping with irony.)  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/20/us/politics/republicans-see-political-wedge-in-common-core.html

Curiously Common Core was a state generated  initiative with the National Governors Association’s enthusiastic approval, recounted in this summary from Tennessee. http://www.tncore.org/sites/www/Uploads/Common_Core_Facts_History.pdf

What about Cap and Trade you ask. Well that proposed method of reining in at least some of the carbon emissions contributing to Climate Change is now another of the Communist plots being hatched by Obama. When he took office in 2009 a form of cap and trade was proposed which immediately drew fire from Republican politicians and conservative media alike. http://www.speaker.gov/general/newspapers-condemn-administration%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Ccap-and-trade%E2%80%9D-carbon-tax-all-americans

Here in Morgantown, West Virginia a writer of a letter to the editor of the local newspaper roundly damned those who would impose limits on emissions and he declared that no Republican Senator would ever propose such evil. Except, as should be obvious, a Republican Senator HAD proposed such “evil”. John McCain, with co-sponsors, introduced cap and trade legislation in both 2003 and 2005 and Sen. Joe Lieberman(I-Vermont) followed with essentially the same legislation in 2007. Each had the root title of the Climate Stewardship Act.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_Stewardship_Acts

But that law, if passed, would have been a mere successor to emissions trading established by the Clean Air Act of 1990 which instituted a form of cap and trade that was based on an idea by Boyden Gray, President George H.W. Bush’s White House Counsel.  http://www.smithsonianmag.com/air/the-political-history-of-cap-and-trade-34711212/

Such complete reversals of formerly acceptable, even touted, political stands have been maintained only in order to make things uncomfortable for the tenure of President Obama and are parts of efforts to thwart him at every turn.

The Republicans/ and or conservatives exhibiting this unabashed behavior have earned themselves many epithets from those of us who choose to apply facts, logic, and reason to our political opinions. Many of those epithets are better muttered under one’s breath. But for the sake of clarity let us just rename the party of lincoln and the base political movement that is at its core.

Contrarian is a more fitting sobriquet as it more clearly describes the actions from the right as contrary is defined by Merriam-Webster:

perversely inclined to disagree or to do the opposite of what is expected or desired.

https://www.google.com/search?q=contrarian&rlz=1C1FLDB_enUS528US560&oq=contrarian&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.6241j0j4&sourceid=chrome&es_sm=93&ie=UTF-8#q=contrary

Perverse indeed. They have used the whole damned chicken.

 

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