I can almost guarantee that there are others on this site who will vehemently disagree with the headline. There are many readers who likewise will question the accuracy of it. I have already gotten messages from folks who say I am dangerously close to being an Establishment Republican, and they make that claim as though the term didn’t lose all meaning and relevance during the 2016 Republican Primaries.
But here is the deal: Rand Paul has helped the most liberal Republicans in the Senate – John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, and Susan Collins – do what they have always wanted: Make Obamacare a permanent entitlement.
Because of Paul, the Affordable Care Act can proudly join the ranks of food stamps, social security, Medicaid, and other entitlement programs that Republicans will threaten to reform every time they need to win an election.
Paul’s antics have effectively killed the last chance Republicans had in the modern era to make any sort of reform in the nation’s health care system. Even if the full promise of repeal is dead, it could have taken a piece of Obamacare with it to the grave. But, we do not have that chance now, thanks to the junior Senator from Kentucky.
What is so infuriating about Paul’s actions is that he has contradicted virtually all of his positions in order to stand against the Graham-Cassidy plan. He backed the so-called “skinny repeal” because it was the “last best chance” for reform – yet Graham-Cassidy is in many ways similar to skinny repeal, and it has become the last “last best chance” we’ll have.
He has talked about taking power away from the federal government, and yet he has declared his intent to vote to keep power over health insurance with the federal government by voting against a bill that would give that power to the states in the form of block grants.
He has worked tirelessly to bring about individual liberty, but will vote against a bill that removes the government’s power to force you to buy health insurance, regardless of whether or not you can afford it.
Paul has burned a bridge with conservatives who are paying attention. He has forsaken virtually everything he has said he stood for in order to help John McCain. Think about that.
I’m sorry if you’re a fan of Rand Paul. I really am. But his actions when it comes to Graham-Cassidy indicate that, much like the senior Senator of his state, Mitch McConnell, words are more important to him than action. It’s disappointing, but that is what we’re left with.
I realize I’m just a blogger, and maybe I’m in the minority here. But, this is something we at RedState have been talking about for years: the words of politicians should be backed up by action. If they aren’t, we have to find someone who can back them up and get them elected instead. I won’t say it’s time to primary Rand Paul… but the people of Kentucky deserve better. If he can’t be better… then yeah.