Monday, December 21, 2009

Is Being the “Party of No” So Bad?

Leftists have been painting Republicans as “the party of no” in recent months because they have tried to put a damper on the Left’s agenda. And with the health care reform bill debate, Congressional Democrats have been pushing this notion even harder, suggesting that Republicans don’t care about children or the poor and middle class.
As you might expect, I’m going to take a different perspective on it. The health care reform debate reminds me of a little kid in a store who sees a toy he or she really wants. The child asks the parent for the toy, the parent says “no,” and the child retorts with, “But I want it.” As any parent will tell you, at that point you have two choices: continue to be adamant in the hopes the child will give up (after a period of whining, crying, kicking, screaming, and other kid activities designed to make the parent feel bad), or relent to make the child happy and, more importantly in some cases, keep him or her quiet.
With health care reform, the Left (surprise, surprise) is acting like the little kid. They want some form of government-run health insurance and they’ve asked the Republicans to let them have it. The Republicans have said no. And now the Democrats have unleashed the political equivalent of a temper tantrum.
The thing about it, though, is that being told “no” is a good thing sometimes. We may not know it when we’re kids, but usually parents have a bit more knowledge and wisdom working for them than we do, so their refusal to acquiesce to our demands helps us to avoid mistakes. Other times, we may not know that the parent doesn’t have the money to pay for the toy or may be getting the toy in question later for a special occasion, such as a birthday or Christmas. In that case, saying “no” isn’t designed to discourage or enrage a child, but rather to give him or her what he/she wants under different circumstances.
With the current health care reform bill, there are a number of alternatives that have either been rejected out of hand or not given full consideration. Granted, some of them aren’t going to work as well as expected, but if we are looking to reform the current health care system as it pertains to insurance, we owe it to the American people to consider all options. Just because Democrats won both houses of Congress doesn’t mean they can ignore what is right for the country, and the same goes for Republicans. It wasn’t right when they did it, and it’s not right now when they’re the victims of it.
Although “the party of no” is a catchy phrase and holds a lot of partisan negativity, I’m not sure it’s so much of a put-down anymore. If Republicans are just objecting to the Leftist agenda out of habit, then the label would be negative. But if the Republicans are objecting because they want to actually fix the health care system in this country, I’d prefer them to be “the party of no” if they object to the Democrat plans rather than saying “yes” to keep them quiet for a short time.

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