There are many people who believe that democracy as practiced in the
United States is the best possible
governmental system that has ever been invented, and that democracy as it has
existed for 200+ years in this country is permanent and eternal. This Forum is not among those people.
In order for democracy in the
to work, the two party system must produce co-operation and
compromise. Each side must be willing at
least part of the time to work with the other side to produce governance. Often the result is a compromise in which
each side gives up its secondary goals and objectives in order to accomplish it
primary goals and objectives. This doesn’t
have to happen all the time, and partisan politics allows the public to
ultimately determine policy, but it has to happen enough so that governance
takes place. U. S.
As should be obvious to anyone following politics and government, the system is breaking down. Republicans, particularly the Conservatives who every day dominate more and more of the party are unwilling to participate in democracy. They believe so strongly in their positions, so strongly that they are right and everyone else is wrong that no governing is preferable to accepting any policy supported by the ‘non-believers. This is currently playing out in Minnesota over implementing health insurance exchanges where uninsured citizens may purchase health insurance as mandated by the new health care act.
In setting up a marketplace where people can shop for insurance, the state has sought advice from consumer groups, labor unions, doctors and hospitals, employers, insurance companies, agents and brokers, and American Indian tribes.
But one notable group has been missing from the process: Republicans, who control both houses of the State Legislature.
American journalism in its zeal to appear non-partisan, and more importantly in its zeal to avoid charges of favoritism routinely made by Conservatives tends to report stories like this a being the fault of both parties. But a close reading of the story strongly supports the hypothesis that equal blame should not be accorded here.
Republican legislators declined an invitation to participate in a
administration task force guiding
development of the exchange. Twila Brase, president of the Citizens’ Council
for Health Freedom, a free-market group mobilizing opposition to the exchange
in Dayton ,
sees little difference between one established by the state and one run by the
federal government. Minnesota
“All exchanges must follow the Obamacare law and the Obamacare regulations,” Ms. Brase said.
So even though setting up health exchanges was once part of the Republican agenda and supported by a Republican Governor
When Tim Pawlenty, a Republican, was governor, he liked the idea of an exchange. “We will reduce costs by creating the
Health Insurance Exchange, to allow uninsured individuals access to health
insurance that will lower premium costs by roughly 30 percent,” Mr. Pawlenty
said in his State of the State address in 2007. Minnesota
now that they are part of the Democratic plan they can no longer be supported because they are part of the Democratic plan. Note the similarity to the insurance mandate, once a strong plank of Republican health care policy but abandoned because it is now a strong plank of Democratic policy.
Minnesotans go to the polls in November to elect the entire state legislature. They now know what Republicans want to do and what their agenda is. If the voters keep Republicans in control then they deserve what they will get, which is not good government, not bad government but basically no government.