The party of Lincoln has no soul — the GOP and its toxic healthcare bill
© Keren Carrion

There is not enough space to properly list all the things wrong and ugly that exist in the Republican Senate version of the Health Care bill. It is mean, cruel and without a heart.

Sen. Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Health Care: Florida becomes epicenter of COVID-19 surge | NYC to require vaccination for indoor activities | Biden rebukes GOP governors for barring mask mandates McConnell warns Schumer cutting off debate quickly could stall infrastructure deal Top House Democrat says party would lose elections if they were held today: report MORE (R-Ky.), the Republican majority leader, has no shame. He symbolizes and personifies the GOP, which at its core, and with very few exceptions, is the Selfish Party. I've got mine and the rest of you are on your own.

A piece of legislation that deprives 22 million Americans of health insurance. That doesn't seem to bother McConnell one bit.

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You would think one group of citizens who he would be concerned about are the residents of his own state of Kentucky. Under Obamacare, Kentucky the largest reduction of uninsured people of all the states in the country.

 

No, McConnell's first priority is making sure the very wealthy can get a tax cut. The poor, low-income, disabled — they belong to a voter bloc he does not need.

"Those people" aren't useful to him.

If this awful bill passes the U.S. Senate, I believe this will be the scenario.

The vote will come down to 50 to 50.

A tie vote which Vice-President Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceOfficers' powerful Capitol riot testimony underscores Pelosi's partisan blunder RealClearPolitics reporter says Freedom Caucus shows how much GOP changed under Trump Want to improve vaccine rates? Ask for this endorsement MORE will break by voting yes.

Sounds and looks familiar.

Remember that was the exact vote which allowed Betsy DeVos, among the most unqualified Trump cabinet nominees, to be confirmed.

This is how it will all come about.

The four most rabid and extreme conservatives will yell and scream that the bill is too kind and generous and then after a decent interval, fold. Put senators Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzUp next in the culture wars: Adding women to the draft Biden's bipartisan deal faces Senate gauntlet 228 Republican lawmakers urge Supreme Court to overrule Roe v. Wade MORE (R-Texas); Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeThis week: Senate starts infrastructure sprint Senators introduce bipartisan infrastructure bill in rare Sunday session Biden's bipartisan deal faces Senate gauntlet MORE (R-Utah); Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold Johnson Johnson suggests FBI knew more about Jan. 6 planning than has been revealed: report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions Ron Johnson praises conservative author bashed by Fauci MORE (R-Wisc.) and, last but not least and probably the loudest, Rand Paul (R-Ky.) into that group.

Then some decent moderates who are truly and sincerely torn with doubts won't be able to stand the partisan pressure. Yes, they will speak with conviction and principle, but in the end they just won't have the courage to vote no.

Unfortunately, put these senators in the above mentioned category: Senators Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeBiden nominates former Sen. Tom Udall as New Zealand ambassador Biden to nominate Jane Hartley as UK ambassador: report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Goldman Sachs - Voting rights will be on '22, '24 ballots MORE (R-Ariz.); Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoSeven-figure ad campaign urges GOP to support infrastructure bill The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions GOP skepticism looms over bipartisan spending deal MORE (R-WV); Bill Cassidy (R-La); Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanHillicon Valley: Senate report finds major cyber shortcomings in federal agencies | Gig firms seek Mass. ballot question to classify workers as contractors | Blizzard's president steps down after workplace protests Senate report finds major cybersecurity shortcomings among federal agencies The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions MORE (R-Ohio) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiGraham's COVID-19 'breakthrough' case jolts Senate Sarah Palin says she's praying about running for Senate against Murkowski Graham says he has COVID-19 'breakthrough' infection MORE (R-Ak).

Portman and Murkowski deserve special attention. Both are smart and honorable.

Portman just got re-elected by a wide margin in 2016. He repeatedly makes statements that demonstrate an admirable degree of independence. He is not afraid to stray from the party line, but in the end I don't think he will have the guts to say no to his party.

Murkowski I will remind you was not elected as a Republican. She won as a write-in and an Independent. Quite a feat. She too will sadly buckle. She will forget her belief in Planned Parenthood and expansion of Medicaid to her rural poor residents and vote with McConnell.

She voted against DeVos, but she will not be a profile in courage this time.

The two Republicans who said they will vote no and mean it are senators Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsGraham's COVID-19 'breakthrough' case jolts Senate The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate finalizes .2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill Schumer: Democrats 'on track' to pass bipartisan deal, .5T budget MORE (R-ME) and Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerDemocrat Jacky Rosen becomes 22nd senator to back bipartisan infrastructure deal 9 Senate seats most likely to flip in 2022 On The Trail: Democrats plan to hammer Trump on Social Security, Medicare MORE (R-NV).

Collins is a true moderate. She's proud of her thoughtful and conscience-driven political philosophy. She practices what she preaches. Her word means something.

Most of all the voters of Maine like what they see and want her to continue to be the way she is.

Heller is the very most vulnerable Republican up for re-election in 2018. In fact not one of the other 7 Republicans up in 2018 have anything to worry about. Most of them are locks for re-election.

Nevada is a state which Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFive takeaways from the Ohio special primaries Shontel Brown wins Ohio Democratic primary in show of establishment strength READ: Cuomo's defense against sexual harassment investigation MORE carried in 2016. Quite simply, Heller wants to keep his job.

Mitch McConnell will proclaim victory by the barest of margins. But politics is a game of wins and losses. It doesn't have to be pretty or neat.

Trump will sign anything presented to him. All he has ever cared about is that he be called the winner. Content and substance, he doesn't care. He doesn't have the time, energy, discipline or interest to pursue.

This scenario I outlined feels right to me. I really hope I'm wrong.

Republican senators — surprise me. Prove me wrong. Show me there are at least three of you who will not play the game.

I don't think it will happen.

It's 2017 and the Republican Party is devoid of a soul.

Mark Plotkin is a contributor to the BBC on American politics and a columnist for The Georgetowner. Previously, he was the political analyst for WAMU-FM, Washington's NPR affiliate, where he co-hosted the "D.C. Politics Hour With Mark Plotkin." He later became the political analyst for WTOP-FM, Washington's all-news radio station, where he hosted "The Politics Hour With Mark Plotkin." He is a winner of the Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in writing.


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