The banana republic push

Anyone who has ever played pool, chess or golf has probably encountered someone who asks for a “do-over.” These folks rely upon the generosity of their opponents to allow them to correct their mistakes. When such folks lose, they throw a tantrum. When “checkmated” they knock over the chess board. In golf, they break their clubs.

When this happens in a game, it is merely juvenile behavior. When it happens in government, it is reprehensible and people get hurt.

Ideologues on the right love to cite British author, George Orwell’s “1984” to (ridiculously) call the President “Big Brother,” but these folks forget that Orwell wrote another novel called “Animal Farm.” In that book, the law stating “all animals are equal” is changed by the pigs to read “all animals are equal, but pigs are more equal than other animals.”

In imitation of Orwell’s villains, the ideologues in the House of Representatives are implying the last two presidential elections “don’t count.” They are suggesting an important law that has been passed by both houses of Congress, signed by the president and upheld by the Supreme Court – a law that would benefit millions of uninsured Americans – should be scrapped or delayed because certain members of the House of Representatives want to endlessly “relitigate” the last two elections. These fanatics say America is a “republic,” not a democracy. What kind of “republic?” How about a “banana republic” where elections and duly-enacted laws can be overthrown at will by a handful of sore-losers?

The ideologues like to lecture others about the Constitution, but forget those who designed that document – men like George Washington, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton – warned about the dangers of allowing extremist factions to dictate policy. Now these folks are throwing a temper tantrum that has shut down the federal government and endangered the livelihoods of 800,000 workers because they have been unable to destroy or delay the Affordable Care Act. Complaining about the ACA before it is implemented is like complaining about a hamburger a week before the restaurant opens.

If (as the ideologues claim) “a majority of Americans hate Obamacare,” why isn’t Mitt Romney president? Why should the extremists in Congress get a “do-over” when average Americans can’t?

Fred O’Neill