Under cover of darkness the most despicable of crimes are committed. Secrecy and opacity aid the deceitful in accomplishing the deeds they hope will never come to light—the light that demands accountability and justice. And it was in the middle of the night—one a.m. on Monday to be exact—that the United States Senate perpetrated one of its most duplicitous acts by voting to move forward a watered-down but still extremely dangerous healthcare bill.
The last few months of the healthcare debate have unfolded in a haze of backroom deals, taxpayer-funded bribes and outright arm-twisting. Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn provided the best description of the Congressional goings-on: “This process is not legislation. This process is corruption.”
Corruption is the only way to describe the outrageous behavior on display in the United States Capitol. With seemingly no regard for the honor of their office or the responsibility owed to their constituents, Members of Congress have engaged in acts usually characteristic of banana republic governments. The venal elected officials have sold for pork the Constitution they swore to uphold. Is this the hope and change Americans thought they were getting when they placed their faith and the leadership of their country in Barack Obama?
A complete government takeover or even an expansion of the nation’s healthcare system is certainly historic change—it will impact every aspect of society for generations. Such monumental change should be afforded a lengthy, open debate. Instead, the public is told healthcare must pass immediately in order to save the country. President Obama even used fear-mongering rhetoric that the federal government would go bankrupt without healthcare legislation.
If the healthcare legislation is really so important and if it will truly benefit Americans, then why is it necessary to bribe the people’s representatives? The just and honorable vote never requires a pay-off, at least, not for a legislator who truly represents the best interests of his or her constituents.
Instead of the hallmarks of honorable legislation that will genuinely improve America, the healthcare legislation and the process by which it is being passed are characterized by the sorts of behavior consistent with crime.