And then there is the proposed nationalization of healthcare. Congressional Democrats can’t seem to fathom how their stupid, un-enlightened constituents could possibly dare to question a proposal to intervene into some of the most personal and intimate area’s of a person’s life. Those who dare to ask questions, or worse yet disapprove, have been labeled by Congressional Democrats as “un-American,” “evil,” “Astroturf,” and “the mob,” and have been accused of “carrying swastikas,” “trying to bring down the President,” and have been compared to the KKK in the days of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The Congressional disdain for the “commoner” hit a crescendo last week when Liberal Democrat Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, at a town hall meeting in her district, was caught on video suddenly stepping away from her podium to take a call on her mobile phone, even as an audience member was on-microphone, in mid sentence, asking the Congresswoman a question about healthcare.
Nothing says “I don’t care about the idiot voters” like a member of Congress taking a mobile phone call, while a constituent is trying to ask a question.
So, yes, those controlling Washington these days are performing horribly. But what can Republican offer as an alternative?
The current healthcare mess provides tremendous opportunity for Republicans. For starters, Republicans could pledge that they will not legislate any healthcare “reforms” that they would not live with themselves. It’s no secret that the healthcare benefits afforded to members of Congress are of superior quality. Yet, Democrats continue to draft legislative provisions that in some cases would restrict people’s access to healthcare, in other cases would tax people’s existing healthcare, and have contemplated the possibility of levying taxes on “plastic surgery” purchases.
The message being sent by the Democrats to America is “we’re better than you, and we’ll decide what you need,” yet that’s an unacceptable message for most Americans. Republicans can’t simply talk about private-sector reforms (although that must be at the epicenter of the message); they must now address America’s outrage towards the Congressional majority‘s arrogance, and convey that, “no, we are not better than you, and we want better choices for everybody.”
Republican leaders would also do well to convene a series of “heatlhcare alternative” town hall meetings across the country. Republican leaders who have sound, free-market heatlhcare reform ideas - some members of Congress would fit this description, like Congressman John Shaddegg of Arizona and Congressman Eric Cantor of Virginia, but so would Governor Tim Pawlenty and perhaps other Governors as well - should arrange their own speaking tours across the country. The message here would be “we have an alternative to the President’s plan, we’re in the minority, yet our vision is closer to yours..”
The opportunity for Republicans is at hand. Can they seize the moment? Can they do any better?
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.