Is TrumpCare the requiem for the GOP?
© Getty

With every moment of enlightenment there come poisonous flowers, said Nathaniel Hawthorne, and we have seen it in every political and cultural moment.

In the playful 1960s, celebrating their 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love in San Francisco this summer, some would hear in the playful Beatles tune “Helter Skelter” about an amusement park ride with a circular slide, a call to murder.

ADVERTISEMENT

Since George W. Bush invaded Iraq in 2003 libertarianism has been undergoing a creative Jeffersonian awakening here but it as well has brought its pernicious travelers of dangerous intent.

 

Some have found their way to the House of Representatives. 

Some may today have even found their way into the White House. 

They are nihilists and you will know them by their works. 

They are the disgruntled veterans who refused to accept the loss in World War I and formed instead the Brown Shirts.

They are the broken soldiers who refused Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox, the zen moment in which our American condition would begin again, and instead followed Nathan Bedford Forrest to form the Ku Klux Klan which poisons the spirit and will of America still.

The war is over, the deal is done.

The Supreme Court has spoken.

But today Republicans — all of them — have found their Nathan Bedford Forrest moment. And this time House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is dead right.

"What is happening today is a lose-lose situation for the Republicans,” Pelosi said. “It's a lose-lose for the American people, that's for sure. But the people who vote for this will have this vote tattooed to their foreheads as they go forward. They have to answer for the vote. They can't say, 'President Trump made me do it. The speaker made me do it.' It's their vote, their boss. Their bosses are their constituents. Their constituents will be very affected by this."

Passage of the ObamaCare replacement bill will change everything. It will change America. And it will change California, where only 17 percent of Americans supported President Trump’s health care act, is ready. The race to 2018 and the race to 2020 starts today and it starts in California.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was among the first to speak out, calling “TrumpCare” a “nightmare” for the poor.

“Americans have been clear: If this is TrumpCare, we want to opt out,” Garcetti said shortly after the House vote the Los Angeles Daily News reports. “Health care is a fundamental right for all, not a privilege for the wealthy few — and the bill pushed through today by House Republicans would put lifesaving care out of reach for millions who desperately need it. No one should be allowed to die because they can’t afford to live, and this legislation would reintroduce that nightmare into the lives of families across America.”

On just the day before the fateful vote the Financial Times reported that the young Democratic mayor who has been mentioned as short-listed as a presidential contender in 2020 had expressed a willingness to work with other US cities to oppose policies of the Trump administration. 

“If Washington opts out of the Paris agreement on [climate change] we will adopt it here and I will get 80 other cities to adopt it too,” Garcetti said at a recent event. He had a similar message regarding the new administration’s immigration policies, they report, and the governors of California, Oregon and Washington last week criticised a planned presidential executive order to revise offshore oil and gas leasing in federal waters.

They may add “TrumpCare” to this agenda today.

California today has found itself to be what Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger called it.

“We are the modern equivalent of the ancient city-states of Athens and Sparta,’ Schwarzenegger said. “We have the economic strength, we have the population and the technological force of a nation-state. We are a good and global commonwealth.”

It was always there underneath, only waiting for its moment and to lead the nation to its fullest measure.

This is that moment.

Bernie Quigley is a prize-winning writer who has worked more than 35 years as a book and magazine editor, political commentator and reviewer.


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