Republican opponents of the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act have already started to party in advance of their anticipated celebration of the Supreme Court’s decision. The Supreme Court has not ruled yet but with a 5-4 split of justices along party lines, Republicans believe they definitely have the edge. And they’re probably right. Politico reports that Freedom Works has scheduled a party for June 26. Some tea party groups are calling their own events “Dead Mandate Walking” in reference to the anticipation of the U.S. Supreme Court striking down the Affordable Care Act. Democrats and proponents of the law have been quiet and reserved hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.
All of the GOP party activity leads me to wonder is there any fun in seeing Americans suffer. Republicans seem poised for their best party since the Supreme Court handed down the Bush v. Gore decision in 2000. And we know how that turned out. This time around with the precedent of the Supreme Court on their side, Republicans have no reason to believe the 5 majority Republican justices will let them down. This time around, Republicans are acting like football players who score a touchdown and then dance in the end zone rubbing it in the other team’s face.
While spiking the ball and celebrating in the end zone on a football touchdown is fun, it is difficult to imagine how Republicans get so much fun and excitement out of millions of Americans losing health care benefits. The GOP is unrelenting about President Obama’s handling of the economy and millions of Americans out of work. And the Affordable Health Care Act would guarantee health insurance to millions including those who are unemployed, underemployed or without insurance for any other reason. As many of our fellow Americans are struggling to make ends meet while health care costs are rising, the GOP is planning lavish parties, gatherings and events to celebrate what may be the demise of the Obama Administration’s act to help insure millions of Americans.
Ironically, many of the same GOP opponents of the law, who are not wealthy Republican lawmakers with government insurance benefits, need the benefits of the Affordable Care Act. This is not a partisan issue when it comes down to those who need health insurance. But, many Republicans would rather cut their own arm off, if they thought it would hurt President Obama.
As for Democrats, if the Republican controlled Supreme Court strikes the Affordable Care act along party lines, it should be a rally call to fight back while the GOP is partying like it’s 1999. While Republicans may score a touchdown with the Supreme Court ruling, the real game doesn’t end until November.
Washington, DC based Debbie Hines is a former prosecutor and founder of LegalSpeaks, a progressive blog on women and race in law and politics. As a legal and political commentator she has appeared in national and local media including the Michael Eric Dyson Show, NBC, ABC and CBS affiliates, RT TV, CBC- Canadian TV, NPR, XM Sirius radio, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, Black Enterprise among others. She also writes for the Huffington Post.