Did Americans cast their ballots for this kind of chicanery?
It is an iron tenet of conservativism that the more government does in secret, the less freedom Americans possess. Republicans aren’t supposed to trust closed doors in Washington. But that hasn’t stopped their hiding behind them.
According to Bloomberg, “On Tuesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan said the bill is being handled under normal legislative procedures.” Since when do warriors for reform hide behind “normal legislative procedures”? These are the same normal procedures under which Obamacare was originally drafted — with the help of not-quite-dispassionate insurance companies — and jammed down the throat of an unsuspecting electorate. Normal procedures are shady, private, surreptitious, and above all, they make room for everyone. Name a bill drafted in the shadows that turned out well for the American people.
When law-writers close the doors it is because there are people besides lawmakers in the room.
The safe and transparent solution would be for the GOP to repeal Obamacare as they said they would. This will mark the beginning of voter trust. From there, the debate about replacement can be carried out in open territory where all voices can be heard, evaluated, included, or dismissed.
This is everything Americans hate about politicians rolled into one issue.
The only reason for leadership to be terrified of an open-door solution is if their draft cannot withstand transparency. In this case, they are rightly afraid of sunlight — afraid of votes on the issue, afraid to show their constituents they lack the courage to keep their word, and afraid, perhaps foremost, of special interests.
This is everything Americans hate about politicians rolled into one issue. Vacant promises, inaction, spinelessness, self-interest and a shroud of secrecy to sew it all together.
The third month of the 115th Congress has just begun. Unless you have a key to the “dedicated reading room,” it seems safe to say this is not the revolution we have been waiting for.