The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

November 12, 2013

GOP running scared

Daily Item

---- — In Donald Ely's editorial about the government shutdown, he observed that if you repeat a lie often enough, people will believe it. It's also true that when a lie is repeated, good people shouldn't be silent.

If Mr. Ely thinks he can persuade independents that the Republicans didn't cause the shutdown, he must be (pardon the expression) smoking crack like the mayor of Toronto. He lectures us that Congress gets to vote on every law "twice": once to pass the law, and again to fund it. Why stop there? There are thousands of laws passed since 1789: does whoever controls the House get to "revote" on every single law each year and only fund laws they like?

The Republicans are desperate for us to believe the fairy tale that it's normal to hold the entire government hostage and fund everything except one law they don't like. Who does that? Oh right: the Tea Party. In the final week, there were enough bipartisan votes to end the shutdown, but John Boehner wouldn't break the Republicans' "Hastert rule" meaning nothing gets voted on that wouldn't get all Republicans' support.

Mr. Ely, there can be Republican or Democratic bills, but once a law is passed, there are no Democratic or Republican laws. They are American laws. Your party would be better off now if they'd quit voting 46 times (and failing) to repeal a law, and get back to work creating jobs.

My friends and I fought hard for health insurance reform and yes, we're disappointed that the website isn't better. But the media has been obsessed with stories about insurance companies (whose old worthless insurance plans can no longer be sold thanks to the law) trying to scare their customers into buying more expensive plans with them instead of using the new marketplace exchanges. If the Republicans really thought Obamacare would be a disaster, they would leave it alone and reap the political benefits. They are running scared because they know once people get signed up and insured, our country will be stronger for it, and the American people will know who was on their side all along.

Jove Graham, Lewisburg