William L. Garvin: Presidential Petulance and Pettiness

Obama Cry Baby

There have been seventeen previous shutdowns during tenures of five presidents. It wasn’t until the current eighteenth shutdown that we have a president so enamored with himself, his presumed intellectual superiority, and a complicit media bolstered popularity, that he refuses to negotiate in any way, shape or form. He even belies his professed constitutional law proficiencies by unilaterally changing “settled law” with executive orders then relying on a “settled law” argument to dispense with opposition proposals. Even more troubling is his unseemly display of presidential petulance and pettiness that is a national and international embarrassment.

It is helpful to review legislative history in order to more fully understand the continued opposition to the “train wreck” known as Obamacare. First look at the Social Security Act of 1935. It was passed in the House with the support of 89% of Democrats and 79% of the Republicans. The Senate followed suit with 87% of Democrats and 64% Republicans. How about the Medicare Act of 1965? In the House, there was 81% Democrat and 50% Republican support; the Senate was 84% Democrat and 41% Republican. While these bills enjoyed strong bipartisan support, such was not the case with Obamacare. In the middle of the night, without having read the 2,000 plus page bill, House Speaker and presidential sock puppet Nancy Pelosi forced an 87% Democrat and ZERO percent Republican passage. Likewise, with senatorial chicanery, i.e., reconciliation, Harry Reid strong armed a 100% Democrat and ZERO percent Republican passage.

The typical, knee jerk reaction of liberals is to trot out the canard of racism when they complain about the one-sided Obamacare vote. Look at the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In the House, 80% of Republicans voted for the act as did 61% of Democrats. In the Senate, 82% of Republicans were in support along with 69% of Democrats. Yet, in an astounding display of revisionist history, the OCD Democrat Party calls the GOP racist! Progressive selective amnesia kicks in by forgetting that the governors blocking the integration of schools were Democrats and the Ku Klux Klan was affiliated with the Democrat Party, not the GOP.

So much for the past, let’s look at the sordid present. Republicans think that Obamacare is bad for the country on moral, religious, and constitutional grounds. While elements of the act have merit, it is increasingly obvious that giving the government control and involvement in one-sixth of the economy is turning out to be the disaster that the Democrat Obamacare author predicted. While Republicans prefer to repeal Obamacare, they have compromised with many alternative proposals. They have offered to fully fund the government and scaled back Obamacare challenges from repealing to defunding to delaying to treating everyone equally by eliminating unconstitutional exemptions to eliminating the medical device tax (which everyone seems to concede is a very bad idea). Harry “the Undertaker” Reid has not only buried every single House Republican bill but has also refused to attend or appoint anyone to attend a conference committee. Reid preferred to shut down the entire government rather than modify any aspect of Obamacare…and he did. Keep in mind that the law was already modified by executive order to grant exclusions to congress, their staff and big corporations. The Secretary of HHS has issued so many waivers that they won’t even list them anymore!

Continuing the campaign of presidential pettiness, Reid the Undertaker also buried a House bill to fund national parks and memorials. Acting with unusual speed (as if they had received direct orders from the President!), the park service erected barriers in front of the open air, 24/7 World War II Memorial and threatened to arrest the WW II vets who were arriving on Honor Flights! Open air memorials have never been closed during previous shutdowns. The Obama administration spent more time, money, and resources erecting the “Barry-cades” than it takes to maintain the memorial! Furthermore, the Commander In Chief spent more time, money, and resources keeping American veterans out of their memorial than he did in rescuing Americans from terrorists in Benghazi.

Mustering up faux outrage, Reid also complained about children with cancer not being able to get into the National Institute of Health clinical trials. The Republican House immediately passed a bill fully funding NIH. As usual, the Undertaker buried it. When asked if he would pass it if it would save even one child, he coldly queried “why would I do that?” If there is ever government accountability (oxymoron?), that should be the epitaph on the tombstone of a political career. It can be buried next to the hopes of a presidential aspirant whose headstone reads “what difference does it make?” These are shameful moments in American history and a frightening glimpse into the Obama/Reid/Pelosi soul and character.