America's Image: Beacon of Light or Banana?

By John W. Lillpop

America has long been looked up to as a beacon of light in a world where corruption, greed, and tyranny often mock the very concepts of freedom, fairness, and rule of rule.

We were different, or so we thought, because of our Constitution, the balancing of power assured by having separate, but equal, branches of government, and a heritage of commitment to the rule of law.

Ours was not a government where matters of great importance were decided in dark, musty rooms by special interest sleaze merchants and elitist politicians willing to sell influence for personal enrichment rather than pursuing the common good.

Government “by and for the people,” was understood to mean open, honest resolution of differences, regardless of how substantial those differences. Adherence to rule of law meant that established rules and laws would always apply, regardless of how urgent the issue, and without regard to the intensity of the passions with which opposing views were held.

Above all else, executing the will of the people was of paramount importance. Advancing the career objectives of ambitious politicians was not.

Sleights of hand and behind the scenes chicanery are accepted as the mother’s milk of dictatorships and banana republics, but were understood to have no place here in America, home to the most sophisticated and civilized political system in the world.

Unfortunately, the tragic manner in which health care reform has been mangled by Congress and the White House has snuffed America’s image as a beacon of light and hope, and replaced it with that of the banana, the symbol of lawlessness, corruption, rule by fiat, and everything antithetical to democratic self-governance.

Over the course of the past six months, we have witnessed a government completely out of touch with, and actually intolerant of, the views of the American people.

We have stood aghast at a government that has deliberately snubbed the will of the people in order to pacify an incompetent president whose disapproval rating is at 52 percent and rising.

We have been shocked by a Congress that is willing to forgo established rules and procedures in order to “get it done,” it being socialization of the greatest health care system in the world, a process not favored by the American people.

Despite all of the cajoling, elbow bending, bribing and other unethical behavior executed on behalf of Barack Obama by Democrat leaders, there is still insufficient support among Democrats to pass the flawed ObamaCare into law.

All of this means that another level of chicanery and banana-republic tactics may be employed by Democrats to get their way,

As reported, in part, by the Washington Post (1), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may attempt to pass health care without having members vote on it:

“After laying the groundwork for a decisive vote this week on the Senate's health-care bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested Monday that she might attempt to pass the measure without having members vote on it.

“Instead, Pelosi (D-Calif.) would rely on a procedural sleight of hand: The House would vote on a more popular package of fixes to the Senate bill; under the House rule for that vote, passage would signify that lawmakers "deem" the health-care bill to be passed.

“The tactic -- known as a "self-executing rule" or a "deem and pass" -- has been commonly used, although never to pass legislation as momentous as the $875 billion health-care bill. It is one of three options that Pelosi said she is considering for a late-week House vote, but she added that she prefers it because it would politically protect lawmakers who are reluctant to publicly support the measure.

"It's more insider and process-oriented than most people want to know," the speaker said in a roundtable discussion with bloggers Monday. "But I like it," she said, "because people don't have to vote on the Senate bill."

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, not a man with whom conservatives often see eye-to-eye, hit the nail on the head when he said that the “American people are getting tired of this crap.”

Indeed, we are, Senator.

The big question: Are there enough Democrats in Congress with the integrity and back bone needed to restore that beacon of light and hope to America’s legacy?