This image says it all. About the difference between Republicans and Democrats these days, the Party of No vs. the Party of Yes.
On October 1 the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, started to provide health insurance to the 30 million or so people in this country who live under the fear that they will be unable to get and pay for needed medical care.
That same day, Republicans in Congress shut down the federal government in an effort to deny millions of people the health insurance they desperately desire. If you doubt this, read the stories about the Obamacare exchanges being overwhelmed with web site traffic on opening day.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We found out that there have been times this morning where the site has been running more slowly than it normally will.
The reason is because more than one million people visited health.gov before 7:00 in the morning. To put that in context, there were five times more users in the marketplace this morning than have ever been on Medicare.gov at one time.
That gives you a sense of how important this is to millions of Americans around the country. And that's a good thing. And we're going to be speeding things up in the next few hours to handle all this demand that exceeds anything that we had expected.
If I was a registered Republican, I'd be ashamed of my party. The only reason 800,000 federal workers aren't getting paychecks is because Republicans are so afraid of Obamacare being a great success, they want to stop it from getting started.
Heartless. Cruel. Selfish. This is the not-so-grand GOP these days.
Many Tea Party House Republicans were elected on a promise to defund Obamacare. Any rational, reasonable, realistic person knows this is impossible. Democrats control the Senate and the White House. No way will this happen.
But Republicans are pretending that killing Obamacare is possible. They're raising lots of money via that false promise. After they fail, the Tea Party types can say, 'Hey, we tried." Problem is, millions of people are being hurt by this idiotic Republican attempt to do what can't be done.
Meanwhile, Democrats are going about the business of helping uninsured Americans, having put Obamacare into effect.
Which has been given a stamp of approval by the Supreme Court. Also, by voters in the 2012 election, who resoundingly chose Obama (yes to Affordable Care Act) over Romney (no to Affordable Care Act). Normally opposition political leaders would respect the voice of the people.
Republicans, though, are living in their own Crazy World where reality has a tough time busting through the barriers of wishful thinking and denial erected by Obamacare haters.
I worked in health planning and policy analysis for about 15 years in the 1970's and 80's. Back then, as now, it was obvious that without universal health insurance of some sort, the problems in the health care system couldn't be fixed.
Every other industrialized nation has been able to figure this out. The United States has been the lagger. Until October 1.
On that day I'd been listening to (reasonable/rational) talk radio while doing errands. Getting out of my car at the south Salem Fred Meyer store, I'd just listened to someone talk about how people were rushing to the Obamacare web sites to learn how to sign up for health insurance.
Walking across the parking lot, I briefly was overwhelmed by a burst of emotion.
I'd labored for those 15 years to make Oregon's and America's health care system better. Through the places I worked -- Oregon Health Sciences University, State Health Planning and Development Agency, Oregon Health Decisions -- some successes were realized by me and a host of others.
But October 1 was a breakthrough.
I felt like I'd played a small part in finally bringing near-universal health insurance to the United States. This will save many, many lives, and prevent many, many people from suffering medical care bankruptcy. I felt really good at that moment.
Meanwhile the Republican Party was trying to undo all the good that Obamacare was bringing to those people. How GOP leaders can look at themselves in the mirror without thinking "there's an unfeeling asshole" is beyond me.