STILL TICKING

It’s Friday, July 28, 2017.

As Google helpfully reminds us, it’s the centennial of the Silent Parade. It was a protest on New York’s Fifth Avenue by as many as 10,000 African-Americans against lynchings and other violence directed toward them.

It was one of the first civil rights protests in American history. While the events that triggered should give us no pride, the fact that such a peaceful protest can lead to change should.

Just wanted to throw down some quick thoughts about last night’s barely failed Senate vote to strip health care from millions of Americans.

The three Republicans who voted against this deserve a lot of credit. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski stood firm for weeks against both what was being done and how it was being done.

And John McCain came around at some point – maybe he couldn’t brook the idea that he was handing a victory to someone who has consistently insulted him.

I support Obamacare, so I’m happy. But I have to think that last night’s vote is a victory for what McCain keeps calling “regular order” – the idea that someone puts legislation on paper or into a file, it goes through hearings and debate, and then people vote.

That doesn’t seem so complicated. It seems like the outline for the “Schoolhouse Rock” song “I’m Just a Bill.”

But Trump and McConnell – and don’t leave McConnell out of any rant you might have about this process, because history’s condemnation of this autocrat should be severe – tried to circumvent the process to get their way.

Had they succeeded, they would have passed a measure that affected a huge swatch of this country, without the country understanding what the hell they were doing.

One other thought about the Republican senators. They’re probably being vilified on Fox News, Breitbart and other cesspools of right-wing media.

But last night, they might saved the Republican Party.

The fury that would have been directed at the GOP on all levels had this measure passed would have been Category 5. Democrats would have been even more riled up that they already are, and by the time the 2018 midterms came around, people would have seen that they bought the Brooklyn Bridge with these people.

Yes, that fury will still be there. Trump and his merry band of sycophants and offspring will ensure that. But that fury got diffused just enough last night.

Until the next obscenity from these people. It’s coming.

And then this: As Yogi said, “It’s not over ’til it’s over.”

In the case of Obamacare, it’s never over. Defending this law might be what we do for the rest of our lives.

But given how effective this law at helping people living healthy, or even just plain living, lives, the battle is worth it.

Congratulations to those who held this off. And keep fighting.

 

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