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 McConnellGOP Green New Deal stunt is a great deal for Democrats The national emergency will haunt Republicans come election season Trump: McConnell should keep Senate in session until nominees are approved 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 PenceKamala Harris shopping trip stirs Twitter campaign trail debate Pence met with silence after mentioning Trump in Munich speech Bill Kristol resurfaces video of Pence calling Obama executive action on immigration a 'profound mistake' 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 CruzEl Chapo's lawyer fires back at Cruz: 'Ludicrous' to suggest drug lord will pay for wall Democrats have a chance of beating Trump with Julian Castro on the 2020 ticket Poll shows competitive matchup if O’Rourke ran for Senate again MORE (R-Texas); Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenate approves border bill that prevents shutdown Push for paid family leave heats up ahead of 2020 New act can help us grapple with portion of exploding national debt MORE (R-Utah); Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonWhite House, GOP defend Trump emergency declaration GOP senator says Republicans didn't control Senate when they held majority GOP senator voices concern about Trump order, hasn't decided whether he'll back it 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 FlakeTrump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Live coverage: Trump delivers State of the Union Sasse’s jabs at Trump spark talk of primary challenger MORE (R-Ariz.); Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoDems slam EPA plan for fighting drinking water contaminants GOP senator: Border deal is 'a very good compromise' Push to include contractor back pay in funding deal hits GOP roadblock MORE (R-WV); Bill Cassidy (R-La); Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanGOP Green New Deal stunt is a great deal for Democrats Steel lobby's PR blitz can't paper over damaging effects of tariffs Trade official warns senators of obstacles to quick China deal MORE (R-Ohio) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiOn unilateral executive action, Mitch McConnell was right — in 2014 The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Trump escalates border fight with emergency declaration On The Money: Trump declares emergency at border | Braces for legal fight | Move divides GOP | Trump signs border deal to avoid shutdown | Winners, losers from spending fight | US, China trade talks to resume next week 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 CollinsGOP Green New Deal stunt is a great deal for Democrats On unilateral executive action, Mitch McConnell was right — in 2014 Congress must step up to protect Medicare home health care MORE (R-ME) and Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerTrump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Trump picks ex-oil lobbyist David Bernhardt for Interior secretary Oregon Dem top recipient of 2018 marijuana industry money, study finds 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 ClintonFemale Dems see double standard in Klobuchar accusations Klobuchar, O'Rourke visit Wisconsin as 2020 race heats up McCabe's shocking claims prove the bloodless coup rolls on 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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