It sounded more like a high school football game than the United States House of Representatives. When the House Republicans secured their 216th “yes” vote for the American Health Care Act on Thursday, the Democratic leadership immediately began taunting the rival “team” by singing: “Na na na na, Hey Hey Hey, Goodbye.” A few of the Democrats even added some choreography by waving goodbye while singing.
The implied message by the juvenile action was that the Republicans who voted to repeal and replace Obamacare had just ended their political careers. The jeering and mockery displayed makes you wonder how in the world there could be any confusion as to why Americans have so little respect for Washington D.C. politicians. It’s no wonder why the “Drain the Swamp” message has so many people engaged.
The process leading up to this historic vote was certainly an emotional one. It is absolutely understandable why Democrats were upset with the passing of the bill. There were no estimates on what it might cost or how many people will lose coverage. And the Democrats do believe sincerely that many American citizens will be left behind and worse off than before. The feelings and the conversations need to be real and expressed. But displaying behavior that is usually found at adolescent sporting events seems below the dignity of the House of Representatives.
However, this also goes for Republicans in the Senate that most likely will pass the bill using the Vice President to cast the tie-breaking vote. The behavior of both parties in this climate is absolute nothing but partisan banter. How this plays out will not be known until 2018.
The focus should be the future of bi-partisan politics. We have a two party system that uses debate over disagreement as the basis for democracy. And then the public has a chance every two years to make decisions based on this discussion regarding who should take the lead in the political system. Almost every poll relays that Americans prefer bi-partisan compromise and seeking consensus to belligerent independence. And we want our leaders to function with respect. That’s a message relevant on both sides of the aisle today.
Do you believe that what we saw in the House after the vote is a bad thing for the health of our democracy? Do you think our House leaders understand and care about the values of the people they represent?
Credit: CNN Politics