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 McConnellGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Kavanaugh accuser set to testify Thursday McConnell told Trump criticism of Kavanaugh accuser isn't helpful: 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.

ADVERTISEMENT
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 PenceIndiana sisters with history of opposing Pence donate millions to Dems Hillicon Valley: Trump signs off on sanctions for election meddlers | Russian hacker pleads guilty over botnet | Reddit bans QAnon forum | FCC delays review of T-Mobile, Sprint merger | EU approves controversial copyright law Overnight Defense: Trump marks 9/11 anniversary | Mattis says Assad 'has been warned' on chemical weapons | US identifies first remains of returned Korean war troops 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 CruzViral video shows O’Rourke air-drumming to the Who’s ‘Baba O’Riley’ after Cruz debate Five takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's fiery first debate NY Times, McCabe give Trump perfect cover to fire Rosenstein, Sessions MORE (R-Texas); Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeEx-college classmate accuses Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct Kavanaugh accuser agrees to testify next week Reexamining presidential power over national monuments MORE (R-Utah); Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonKavanaugh, accuser to testify publicly on Monday Kavanaugh furor intensifies as calls for new testimony grow House panel advances DHS cyber vulnerabilities bills 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 FlakeGrassley panel scraps Kavanaugh hearing, warns committee will vote without deal Coulter mocks Kavanaugh accuser: She'll only testify 'from a ski lift' Poll: More voters oppose Kavanaugh’s nomination than support it MORE (R-Ariz.); Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoThis week: Democrats pledge ‘sparks’ in Kavanaugh hearing Congress faces September scramble on spending California passes bill to ban controversial drift net fishing MORE (R-WV); Bill Cassidy (R-La); Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanGraham calls handling of Kavanaugh allegations 'a drive-by shooting' Overnight Health Care: Senators target surprise medical bills | Group looks to allow Medicaid funds for substance abuse programs | FDA launches anti-vaping campaign for teens Bipartisan group wants to lift Medicaid restriction on substance abuse treatment MORE (R-Ohio) and Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiKavanaugh accuser set to testify Thursday Kavanaugh accuser agrees to testify next week Murkowski says she’ll wait until Ford testifies before making decision on Kavanaugh 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 CollinsKavanaugh accuser set to testify Thursday McConnell told Trump criticism of Kavanaugh accuser isn't helpful: report Dems see Kavanaugh saga as playing to their advantage MORE (R-ME) and Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerGOP plays defense on ObamaCare’s pre-existing conditions Heller embraces Trump in risky attempt to survive in November McConnell suggests he could hold Senate in session through October 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 ClintonGraham: There's a 'bureaucratic coup' taking place against Trump Fox News poll shows Dems with edge ahead of midterms Poll: Democrats in position to retake the House 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.


The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.