Today, I’m taking a break from our platform, healthcare legislation, and all things Twitter. This choice is not because our resistance is over or because we can take our eyes off the ball, but because things in DC are still very fluid, making “current events” hard to cover, especially since I write these posts a day in advance. Instead, I’m asking you to join me in exploring newspaper stories from 31 July 1917; my commentary will be minimal since the stories speak for themselves. This post was prompted by this tweet from last week, and my awareness of how much of our history is lost or forgotten.
I’m continuing my look at the healthcare planks of both the Democratic and Republican Party platforms, despite the fluid events in the news about the status of BCRA[p] and the ever-changing Republican plans to destroy the ACA. We need to know just what the Republican positions are, not matter how unworkable, because if we know anything, it’s that they don’t quit. And if by some miracle a chance for bipartisan fixes to the ACA comes about, we need to know what fixes, additions, and changes Democrats might have in mind; Medicare for All is still unlikely, even if a push to work together somehow comes about.
Senator McCain’s surgery and his as-of-yet unknown date of return to the Senate; a BCRA(p) bill that must be passed under the FY17 budget resolution, using the reconciliation process (thus preserving a FY18 budget resolution/reconciliation process for tax reform); senators announcing they are no votes on the MTP for widely-varying reasons; and a squabbling Republican caucus that is being “enticed” by McConnell in any way possible have combined to create a perfect storm for the Resistance. Every delay enables us to make more calls and create more pressure, and every delay brings us closer to the end of FY17, the adoption of a FY18 budget resolution, and the resulting loss of the ability to use FY17 reconciliation for the repeal and replacement of the ACA. In the event you’re starting to feel the Resistance Burnout Blues, today I’m comparing and contrasting the Democratic and Republican platform planks related to healthcare. Because of the timeliness, detail, and complexity of the topic, I will be covering healthcare in two separate posts, today and on Thursday.
So you thought you were going to get Part Three of my exploration of the party platforms today, didn’t you? Well, I’m tired and busy, and that combination means that my research and posting is going to be put off another week. The platforms aren’t going anywhere, so I will be returning to them…one of these days.
“May the foundation of our new constitution, be justice, Truth and Righteousness. Like the wise Mans house may it be founded upon those Rocks and then neither storms or tempests will overthrow it.” — Letter from Abigail Adams to John Adams, July 13, 1776
“Do you recollect the pensive and awful silence which pervaded the house when we were called up, one after another, to the table of the President of Congress to subscribe what was believed by many at that time to be our own death warrants?” — Benjamin Rush
“I have said that the Declaration of Independence is the ring-bolt to the chain of your nation’s destiny; so, indeed, I regard it. The principles contained in that instrument are saving principles. Stand by those principles, be true to them on all occasions, in all places, against all foes, and at whatever cost.” — Frederick Douglass
“Let the annual return of this day forever refresh our recollections of these rights, and an undiminished devotion to them.” — Thomas Jefferson
Before I start today’s look at the Democratic and Republican Party platforms, your Resistance reminder to call, call, and call again. Yes, even if you have Dem senators and even if you know your senator is a jerk who is in favor of #Abomnicare: Information for contacting those senators on the [allegedly] wavering list…
It’s often said, probably with a great degree of accuracy, that a party platform is forgotten soon after a convention is over. For the next few weeks, I intend to turn conventional wisdom on its head and will be exploring, comparing, and contrasting elements of our platform with the Republican Party platform. Because the platforms are lengthy, with the exception of today, I won’t be covering them word for word. For those who want to read ahead, the Democratic Party platform is here: 2016 Democratic Party Platform and the Republican Party Platform can be found here: 2016 Republican Party Platform.
At church on Sunday, we were given the opportunity to take a “spiritual gifts inventory.” As someone who is closer to True Heretic than True Believer, I thought it would be an interesting exercise and might even help me figure out what role(s) I want to take on in my church. As expected, the inventory aggravated me (why, oh why, do some Christians insist on using militaristic language to describe their faith?), but it did provide some useful, but not particularly surprising, insights. I’m very low on the scale of things like evangelism and far higher on more pragmatic items like administration and “craftsmanship” (which is defined as the ability to use physical materials and artistic skills to create…items for caring ministries; as someone who sews, that makes sense). My highest category of all was “humor,” which for this inventory is defined as “The ability to bring laughter and joy to situations and relationships to relieve tension, anxiety, or conflict and to heal and free emotions and energies needed for effective ministries.” Well, if that’s my “gift,” I’m going to run with it. Today’s post is dedicated to relieving the tension and maybe even finding a little joy. Enjoy!
What follows is a personal reflection, addressed as much to myself as to the Village. Make of it what you will…
Bill Maher said something grotesque last week, and social media blew up. In what has become a predictable pattern on Twitter (and DK and just about any other platform), people of color and allies said, “No. White folk can’t use that word.” White folk whined, “Hypocrites! If black folk can say it, why can’t we?” Persons of color responded, “Look it up…lots of explanations out there already”, while white people yelled, “No, YOU explain it to me!” And then there were the subtweets and discussions about whether using racist language makes one a racist, with never-ending cross-talk as individuals claimed conflicting definitions of racism. And so it went.
I chose to mostly ignore the arguments for several reasons. First, I don’t particularly like Bill Maher, don’t watch him, and don’t generally listen to him. Secondly, if I’ve learned one thing over the years, it’s that when issues of race and racism come up, listening to persons of color is important and necessary, so I didn’t feel I had anything to add to the “discussion.” Finally, I generally considered it just another moment of a loudmouth white guy saying something stupid, and really, is that anything new?