Sen. Mike Lee displays childish attitude
Children are prone to throwing tantrums when their will is subverted by figures in authority. Most children grow out of this phase once tough life lessons teach them about the idea of compromise. Some of these rough, though necessary, experiences, however fail to change the mindset of some children, and they grow up without the coping mechanism of conciliation that life so graciously extends to them.
Even more seldom, these children grow into positions of power — even elected to the U.S. Senate — as is the case with tea party favorite Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah). The emphatically junior senator from Utah is throwing a fit on the national stage over the impending vote on a continuing resolution in October.
This continuing resolution would not only provide funding to ensure a fully functional government but also give much-needed financial assistance to what Sen. Lee views as the unrighteous, socialistic Affordable Care Act, colloquially known as ObamaCare, which provides care to those in less than optimal fiscal situations.
ObamaCare has long been the target of conservative criticism, with allegations ranging from socialist takeovers to the extreme prediction that it would institute death panels for the elderly. Sen. Lee has made his stance abundantly clear on the issue — he is willing to take the entire government hostage in order to get his way. Implementing his childish logic, the junior senator has declared that it is his way or the highway.
Sen. Lee isn’t alone. To his aid he has called a cadre of tea party-endorsed senators to sign a proposal declaring that it is better to shut down the government than to allow the abominable Affordable Care Act to continue in its loathsome existence.
His allies include heavy-hitting names such as Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.); both individuals carry quite a bit of clout in conservative camps. All in all, the sulking senator has summoned a formidable opposition to the Affordable Care Act — a total of 11 senators officially support his no-holds-barred, no-compromise approach to the October vote.
Standing in Sen. Lee’s way, of course, are the Marx-loving, freedom-hating Democrats who happen to control the Senate, not to mention a like-minded President with little to no motivation for repealing his own legislation. Surprisingly, however, Sen. Lee has his own party poised against him.
His compatriot Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) has refused to stand with the junior senator, and the more seasoned Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) are also abstaining. In fact, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) has gone so far as to call it “the dumbest idea I have ever heard of.” For the first time in my life, I couldn’t agree more with a Republican senator.
Like a child misbehaving, those in authority are reprimanding Sen. Lee. Unlike any regular child, unfortunately, this particular outburst could have serious implications for a multitude of people. If the government shuts down, countless employees who rely on their job for sustenance will go without pay.
Furthermore, if the Affordable Care Act does, by some unfathomable miracle, get repealed, many implementations beneficial to the average starving student would go away. Good luck getting insurance, all you students in your early twenties.
Is this what the proud intellectual tradition of democracy has been reduced to: electing children to Congress? I suppose no one should be too surprised — tea party rhetoric has oft equated compromise to capitulation, as if politics were a battle to be won or lost at any and all costs.
But, looking at the situation, polarized as the country is, I find it disturbingly comforting that both Democrats and Republicans can agree when they see what an abysmal failure at governing he is, and what is unequivocally an irrational, unfounded and base-less idea.