Forget about the Last Tweet. Forget about Michael Flynn. Forget, if you can, about Donald Trump.
Remember who has the ball.
It’s difficult sitting isolatedly while trying to estimate just how strong opposition to the Trump Health Care plan is. We’re not the most technically savvy blogger in the Union. We haven’t a dozen screens or even a text messenger with which to keep ourselves up-to-date. We don’t have assistants or editors or researchers working at our beck and call.
But this week we watched as olenagenous Mitch and his enabling wife, Elaine Chou, came smashing up against reality. She, for being unable to open her mouth (let alone her eyes), in recognition and defense of women throughout the nation who stand to lose health care, forcing them and their families to stay up nights trying to imagine how they are going to (a) keep those home-fires burning, (b) keep their own parents alive and well either at home or in assisted living centers, (c) keep sending their children to day-care, (d) afford minimal medical care especially in rural areas.
Mitch, who doesn’t appear to have parents alive, or even a memory of them in his heart, for the first time in many years stands diminished in nearly every way. He can’t find 50 votes for his bill in the Senate, although he’s certainly not above buying them with our tax dollars. He and his silent lieutenants, after a run of eight years obstructing American progress, now stand all alone, naked, before their voters. And we voters are not happy.
Trying to rush through Congress an enfeebled health-care outline for action that denudes millions of warm clothing, food, livable wages, healthy drinking water, nonregressive taxes, failing infrastructure – McConnell is revealed finally for what we all along imagined him to be: mean-spirited, devious, secretive, slippery and untruthful.
But from what we see and read, millions of American voters have already scented decay on that Hill and are not about to let its odor poison them further. Sit-ins, stand-ins, marches, emails, advertisements, banners, town hall meetings, letters-to-the-editors, seminars teaching people to recognize the signs of “Tyranny,” and determination to fight it – like the Wave in a stadium – are circling the nation, heading north/south, east and west, having plainly reached a point of exhaustion that is well-beyond frustration and closer to furious confrontation.
The nation has learned to identify legislators of value and probity, as well enablers and treasure-hunters. There are still too few in the former category and too many in the latter.
But in both the House (up for grabs next year) and the Senate (1/3 of whom have to face their constituents in 2018, too), the reality of having to join the army of lobbyists – becoming thereby faceless and unworthy of television interview time, or fall back on their original day jobs as attorneys, doctors, developers – also unworthy of wide public notice – despite the extra loot they may find in “private” enterprise – is unthinkable.
They may have to join the eighty percent of the public who find the new “health care bill” flawed, mean, cobbled together out of a desire to pass something rather than a desire to pass something worthy of a great nation.
“Compromise” is anathema to this crowd, as is bipartisanship. To have to work with members of the opposition on anything is as verboten and frightening a future development as they can imagine. So, in view of the increasingly well-organized and no-longer-to-be ignored electorate – people that daily call or write or text or email their displeasure, who march and wave flags of defiance and resistance – these too-well fed, too-well-insured “representatives” who had earlier bet their farms on Mitch and Donald and Paul (and the ever-silent and extremely cautious Mike), are being forced to “make nice.” Hedging, smiling tremulously, allowing as how the Bill might eventually be improved with the participation of others, these “reps” are desperately attempting moral and mental turn-arounds even though most of these seem exactly what they are: temporary shelters from the storm.
This is called career management.
These next ten days are pivotal. By all means, take the Fourth of July off and spend it with your loved ones. But keep those fires banked for July fifth.
America is on the verge of demonstrating to the world its humanity, its concern for the lowest as well as the highest. There is hope in the air. Use these ten days as 24-hour workshops of democracy. Forget who voted for whom. Concentrate on the health and safety of your neighbors, friends, families.
Look into the future and return to it.
We alone can make America great again.