The Washington Times-Herald

Z_CNHI News Service

September 9, 2013

Bomb throwing beats compromise in Obamacare debate

If you drew up a list of history’s staunchly partisan Republicans, Newt Gingrich would likely rank near the top.

A former GOP House speaker and occasional presidential candidate, Gingrich crafted his reputation as an ideological bomb thrower. He rose to prominence with his aggressive brand of conservatism and suffered at the hands of his own arrogance.

But here’s what the strident Gingrich had to say a few weeks ago about his party’s stance on President Obama’s health reform initiatives. Gingrich chastised his fellow Republicans for having “zero” options to the president’s package.

He indicated that opposition to Obamacare is a dead-end because Republicans have no plans other than repeated — and pointless — House votes to repeal it.

Although he referred to Obama’s presidency as a “disaster,” Gingrich found failure in the GOP’s response, which he dismissed as little more than “anti-Obama.” Instead, he argued, “we have to re-convince people you can have hope in America, that we can have a better future.”

The notion of cooperating to solve problems is hardly new. In fact, it’s a bedrock principle of representative government. Individuals working for different people and different interests come together and forge agreements for the common good. The final results may be imperfect, but they take various perspectives into account.

That didn’t happen with Obamacare because early on Republicans opted for a plan to just say no. They scored political gains with flat-out opposition and haven’t shifted.

Interestingly, former President Bill Clinton showed up in his home state of Arkansas last week to discuss health care reform. He sought to defend and explain it, contending that it provides better options for the American people that the old system.

However, Clinton acknowledged the package is less than perfect, citing the inability of some Americans to obtain subsidized coverage through the health insurance of employed spouses.

Text Only
Z_CNHI News Service
  • sleepchart.jpg America’s sleep-deprived cities

    Americans might run on sleep, but those living in the country's largest cities don't appear to run on much.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Who should pay for your kids ACT?

    Thirteen states paid for 11th-grade students in all public high schools to take the ACT college admission test this year, with several more planning to join them in 2015.

    August 20, 2014

  • Pets.jpg Why do people look like their pets?

    As much as we might quibble over the virtues and vices of Canis domesticus, however, and over whether human nature is any better or worse than dog nature, even dog fanciers don't usually want to look like a dog.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Another stumble begs questions about Notre Dame

    Notre Dame's vaunted reputation for formidable athletics and serious academics is again sullied by a cheating scandal. Maybe the high standards of the Fighting Irish are just too good to be true.

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ice bucket challenge trending up

    Internet trends are a dime a dozen these days. Everything from Tebowing to planking to the cinnamon challenge can cause a wave of social media activity that can last for weeks before fizzling out.

    August 19, 2014

  • Five myths about presidential vacations

    In the nuclear age, presidents may have only minutes to make a decision that could affect the entire world. They don't so much leave the White House as they take a miniature version of it with them wherever they go.

    August 15, 2014

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Debate filled with 'hate' gives Hamas a pass

    Political invective is dialed to the max, and everyone who disagrees is a "hater." But the hate police, who are so eager to cast labels, are ignoring the real wells of contempt in the Middle East.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg OU player's suspension shows pitfalls of addressing sexual assault on campus

    The University of Oklahoma's leading tackler is suspended for the season - or maybe not. Frank Shannon is still practicing with the Sooners amid a court battle over whether OU can discipline him after a sexual assault investigation. The tough issue of addressing assault on campus isn't just OU's problem.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can 6 seconds launch a career? A generation of Vine stars sure hopes so.

    A year ago, Shawn Mendes filmed himself singing a tentative acoustic cover of the Justin Bieber song "As Long as You Love Me" and put the results on Vine. He wasn't expecting much response. "I didn't really want anything to happen; I just kind of wanted to see what people would think," says Mendes, 16. "I posted that first Vine and woke up the next morning with 10,000 followers. That was pretty cool."

    August 14, 2014

  • Freshman.jpg 8 crucial tips for college freshmen

    With school starting back up around the country, no one has a bigger deer-in-the-headlights look than college freshmen.

    August 14, 2014 1 Photo