Isaiah Webster

Category: POLITICS

America’s inaction on guns reveal immoral society

thoughts and prayers

The United States is on pace to set a new record for school shootings. The shooting today at Santa Fe High School in Texas was the 22nd school shooting of 2018 — a higher number than at this same point in 2017. We are averaging roughly one school shooting per week, and with 29 weeks remaining in the year, the nation could easily exceed 50 school shooting for the year at this current pace. (There were 48 school shootings that resulted in at least one death in 2017.)

Given America’s gun culture and the sheer volume of weapons readily available to anyone who wants one, mass shootings aren’t particularly surprising. In fact, given the pervasiveness of guns, it would be surprising if there weren’t multiple school shootings each year.

What’s surprising is that our governmental leaders continue to do nothing in response to this gun violence. And more important, the citizenry as a whole are not demanding that their elected leaders do more to prevent or reduce school shootings. This lack of action is stunning. It’s one thing to enact ineffective or unpopular gun control measures; it’s other matter entirely to do absolutely nothing at all.

Such inaction in the face of hundreds of innocent children gunned down in their schools reveals a society that is immoral. We have placed the right the bear arms above the safety and security of the most innocent among us. Not even the lives of our children is enough to move us to action. We are all to blame for this.

Americans truly are clueless

The Senate Judiciary Committee is considering whether Neil Gorsuch should become the next associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Meanwhile, a new C-SPAN/PSB Poll found that just 43% of Americans could name even one Supreme Court justice. Sadly for Justice Stephen Breyer, not a single person surveyed offered his name when prompted to name one of the eight current justices.

America suffers not from maliciousness, but from ignorance. Our politicians, our institutions, our media — all greatly benefit from a clueless citizenry. It’s so sad.

George Carlin

An opening for liberals

Over seven years of promising to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, Republicans finally produced an actual plan last night. Congressional Republicans didn’t bother to wait until the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) scored the plan, so they don’t actually know how much it will cost. And if they do know how many people will lose coverage under this plan — they aren’t saying.

In his effort to “Make America Great Again,” President Trump promised that he would replace the ACA with something “better” — meaning it would have broader benefits, costs less, and cover more people. The plan that Republicans have introduced does none of those things. And this development presents a political opening for progressives. (Vox has a great breakdown of the ACA and the new bill here.)

The Republicans never actually thought they would be in a position to really repeal and replace the ACA, thus, it really didn’t matter that their math didn’t add up or that the complexities of health reform would make any number of their ideas a non-starter. As long as they were in strict opposition to Barack Obama, they only needed to sound good — not actually promote coherent policy.

But now, things have changed. The Republicans control the White House and all of Congress. They now have the burden of governing. Now, much to their dismay, they must pass something. And there is broad disagreement even among them on what to do.

The reason the GOP didn’t wait for the CBO to score the bill is because they know it’s a budget-buster. Why wait and hand the Democrats a tool to beat you over the head with? And they aren’t even pretending that the new American Health Care Act will cover as many people as the Affordable Care Act currently does. Beyond those two realities are even bigger problems — this new bill contains no individual mandate, and replaces the ACA’s subsidies with tax credits. In other words, it will be easier for rich people to get covered, and far more difficult for poor or sick people to get covered. This new bill also contains almost no incentive for young people to sign up — since there will be no penalty for not purchasing health insurance.

This entire enterprise is a disaster. As The Washington Post notes, the GOP is slow-walking through minefields. The Democrats still have the burn scars from the last time they tried to fix health care in America. Now, they’ll have front-row seats as the Republicans flambe themselves. This represents the first policy opening for a liberal return to governing. The progressives should just sit back and watch the show, and be prepared to pick up the pieces in 2018 and 2020. And should anyone doubt that obstructing a president’s efforts to reform health care is bad politics, well, just look at the Republicans now in power.

 

The case of Timothy Kaine as vice president

KAINE

Earlier today I authored a diary at Daily Kos, arguing the case for Tim Kaine’s selection as Hillary Clinton’s running mate. Here’s an excerpt:

Giving great speeches, commanding great crowds, and landing zingers on Donald Trump is all great fun — but it isn’t the requisite set of skills needed to serve as Hillary Clinton’s governing partner. We know that Clinton is a serious policy wonk. We know that she values preparation, due diligence and networking — even building partnerships across the political aisle. Her campaign has all but acknowledged that, if elected, the administration will forego big wins in favor of smaller victories that could have a cumulative effect. This is the absolute right way to approach a presidency in succession to Barack Obama — and it will require a vice president of varied experience, temperament and political leanings. That vice president is Tim Kaine.

Read the full diary here.

Hillary Clinton makes history as the first-ever female presidential nominee