Friday, January 31, 2014

work hard and be kind: goodbye to the GOP

Remember when Conan O'Brien was ousted from the Tonight Show, in a bizarre move, the fruits of which are still playing out? I do. This is one I ocassionally flash on mentally, even four years later. Beautiful, heartfelt advice, borne of pain and redeemed by kindness. (Plus, it was followed by a gyrating Will Ferrell belting out Freebird, his enormously pregnant wife and a huge American flag! Top notch.)

I find myself resenting the arrogance and the cynicism of the GOP. You know what they are, the lot of my local conservative representatives? They suffer from the very malady they like to toss casually towards constituents who don't feed their narrative. They're entitled.

Please let the record reflect that U.S. Senator Mark Begich and Alaskan Sen. Bill Wielechowski have answered my friend Allison. They both appear to see a moral imperative for healthcare to be provided. Medicine to be dispensed. As for Pruitt, Parnell, Keller, Dunleavy ~ I can only assume it doesn't fit their schedule or their schtick. An Alaskan family with oodles of military service, graduate degrees, professional work, and bootstraps integrity who needs expensive preventative care for a genetic disease? Republicans don't appear to have a pat answer for that --- and what's worse, they're ignoring the question.

Question: How is a college student living at home whose family falls under the eligibility guidelines for Denali Kidcare supposed to buy $12,000 worth of drugs each month?

Question: Can college kids, within certain age, income, and courseload boundaries, remain on Medicaid?

Every tea party tagline I've previously found solace in falls short: work hard, play fair, pay your own way. None of it applies in this case. Unless I come into money on a Romney scale, this is a healthcare expense I couldn't fudge into my budget. You probably couldn't either.

And ~ a disclosure. I truly believe the endgame of Leftist American public policy means my family is rounded up for our indiscriminate breeding habits, our religious gun-clingin', and our allegiance to anything higher than a labor union. The nerve. But are these just fear-mongering tactics, employed by hapless asshats to keep the peasants in line? One wonders. As for this day and this cause, our representatives in the Democratic party are showing professional, warm and courageous behavior. The Republicans have been silent. As if the principles (anti-abortion, small gub'mint, big liberty) of their base voting bloc gives them hostages. I owe you nothing.

Both practically and philosophically, the kicker is that a clear resolution may not come --- there may not be some dramatic shift in the Affordable Care Act, and the tragedies might continue to wander in and out of daily life under the Marketplace. The Republicans weren't expected to have superhuman powers, just humane ones. Do your job. Hardships endured by American families under the top-down insanity of the ACA appear to pad the GOP's ego-boosting ideology, rather than motivate them as problem solvers. Does anyone grasp that a young man could die due to the wild mismanagement of Obamacare --- and judging by the behavior of its leadership, my party would be content to blame the president rather than get on the phone and work for change? Loyalty is earned through risk, not platitudes.

So, I thank the Catholic mothers of these two Democratic senators. Thank you for raising sons with manners. When summarizing Rees' story, I didn't know how to end it except with a plea of sorts. I hoped that someone somewhere would simply be responsive. Maybe even someone powerful enough to effect policy change. Does the cynic in me say it could be "just to get a vote"? Sure. What are politicians, if not vessels for a vote? It's when my vote is taken for granted that I'll shake you off my shoes like so much dust. Goodbye to the Alaska Republican Party, and thank you immensely for all that I learned with you.

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