Can someone please explain the point of the following to me? (Via TPM.)
Two days after President Obama’s commanding reelection victory, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) solemnly declared Obamacare the “law of the land” — apparently signaling that it was time to move beyond the GOP’s now-hopeless quest for repeal.
The conservative pushback was swift and brutal. Immediately, Boehner’s office was forced to clarify that he remained committed to repealing the law.
And so House Republicans will vote on Thursday — yet again — to wipe out the Affordable Care Act. By their own count, it’ll mark the 37th time they’ve voted to fully repeal or partially dismantle the President’s signature achievement.
Seriously, this is yet another of those political phenomena with a purpose that eludes me entirely.
Given the monument to ineptitude and dysfunction that is the US Congress, there are plenty of wholly legitimate issues on which we can hope to make zero progress in the foreseeable future. Gun control was one recent casualty of the partisan split, and I suspect immigration reform will be another. Pretty much anything that isn’t a non-binding resolution in praise of apple pies baked by Jesus gets a one-way ticket to Impasseland these days. I get it.
But with those other issues, there is at least a gesture toward tackling a problem that both parties pretend they want to fix. They disagree on how to fix it (background checks vs something something mental health care for gun violence, path to citizenship vs border security for immigration reform, etc), but there is at least some kind of shared notion that Something Must Be Done.
Repealing the Affordable Care Act? Not so much. Is there a single human being on the face of the earth paying the merest scintilla of attention who thinks there is any chance at all that it will get repealed, at least during this session of Congress? Even the most violently frothing Obama hater out there must recognize the utter, unalloyed pointlessness of holding a repeal vote in the House, right?
Fine, sure, OK. I can grok why House Republicans would need to have a vote to repeal it. Dumb, but marginally understandable. But multiple votes on the same issue that will accomplish diddly-squat? WHY?!? How could anyone think that’s anything other than a tremendous waste of time?
I swear, the only truly reliable thing about this Congress is that no matter how stupid I think it is, it will always find a way to act stupider.