Friday, June 22, 2018
Politics

Too little, too late from Rep. C.W. Bill Young

By week's end, he was one of the few people in Washington making sense.

U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Indian Shores, was calling for an end to political grandstanding and pledging to fully restore government funding.

This was absolutely appropriate.

It was also too late, and not enough.

Bill Young has been a member of Congress for 42 years and knows better than anyone in the Capitol building that this government shutdown is futile and obscene.

Consider that he recently told the Times' Alex Leary that the GOP had made its point and it was time to get back to work. He acknowledged that Speaker John Boehner had caved to an outspoken minority because he lacked support from the rest of his party.

And why did Boehner lack support?

Because leaders such as Young abandoned him to fall in step behind the smug tea party frat boys.

When his time in Washington is finally complete and his legacy is up for debate, this may go down as one of Young's darkest hours. This is a man who has earned the nation's respect. A man with a pocketful of political currency, and a moderate district that adores him.

Yet instead of using this clout to stand up to the obstructionists in his party, he timidly followed the crowd on a path toward this dangerous government shutdown.

And for what?

To make a point?

Republicans in the House have voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act more than three dozen times. Their point was already abundantly clear.

Everything else was just childish and pathetic.

Look at it this way:

The Affordable Care Act was passed by Congress. It was signed by the president. It was approved by the U.S. Supreme Court. And less than a year ago, Americans shunned Mitt Romney when he vowed to repeal it. Yet a handful of Republicans are still insisting the president negotiate, and presumably limit, the scope of Obamacare.

This is like a football team that lost every game during the season, but now refuses to leave the field unless it is allowed into the playoffs.

You lost. Stop stomping your feet and admit it.

Why, in heaven's name, should the president retroactively negotiate on something he's already won at every level?

Do you suppose Republicans would cave on gun control if the Democrats tried something like this? Of course not. Gun control battles have been fought and won, and Republicans are not going to cede an inch on existing laws.

Yet this small group of House members thought they could pressure the president by punishing the American people. And when the president refused to budge, they could not understand why everyone was blaming them.

This is not about the merits or flaws of Obamacare. That debate was a long time ago.

And while it is certainly within the rights of Republican legislators to disagree with the philosophy behind Obamacare, as well as question whether it will have a positive impact in America, there is no way they can defend their insubordinate refusal to recognize and uphold the law of the land.

And a leader such as Bill Young should have stood up and said that a long time ago and with a lot more authority in his voice.

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