The Daily Vigil, 7/7/17: Pat Toomey and the BCRA
No funny business today, my heathens. We’re right into the thick of it with- you guessed it!- health care. And as an added bonus, we get to talk about one of my state’s biggest embarrassments, Senator Pat Toomey. (If you can’t tell I have opinions about this man).
Pat Toomey’s Town Hall: Two days ago, Senator Pat Toomey held a town hall on health care. Some hailed this as a good thing- a Republican meeting his people! But while I hate to burst that bubble, I must, because all is not as it seems. Pat Toomey is a gutless sniveling coward, and this “town hall” was a stunt. You see, Pat Toomey really doesn’t like talking to his people. He dislikes it so much that on the rare occasion when he does meet them, he does so in a tiny-ass TV studio. “Because of capacity limitations at the station, admittance to the town hall is by invitation only,” the article says. Rest assured, though- this is by design. The man is a US Senator; he could have more or less whatever venue he wants. He could easily book an actual town hall or auditorium with room for hundreds.
But Pat Toomey doesn’t want to do that.
Follow the Money: One might ask, “Dan, why is Pat Toomey so afraid of his constituents?”, and to that I would quietly hold up the following chart, Wile E. Coyote-style:
So, good ol’ Pat ranks as the 4th highest-paid Republican out of the secret cabal that wrote the BCRA. You know- the Better Care Reconciliation Act, or the Senate health care bill? The bill that screws literally everyone except the absolute richest Americans? Yeah, that BCRA. The one that’s polling at an atrocious 17% approval rating among the American public. That’s just 2% more popular than Chris Christie.
Caught With Their Pants Down: But how could Toomey support such a cosmically bad bill? I mean, sure, he just won re-election, but typically politicians don’t go out of their way to piss off their constituents (unless you’re the aforementioned Chris Christie, I guess). How could Toomey- no newcomer to politics- write a bill that ends up being such absolute, unmitigated ass?
This is my favorite part.
Remember that “town hall” Pat held? Well, someone asked him essentially this exact question. And Pat, being the wordsmith that he is, responded thus. [ahem] And I quote:
“Look, I didn’t expect Donald Trump to win, I think most of my colleagues didn’t, so we didn’t expect to be in this situation,”
…You had more than seven years, asshole. Seven years of non-stop bitching, moaning, and vanity votes to repeal that y’all knew were going nowhere. SEVEN YEARS of “Oh, if only we had the House! If only we had the Senate! If only we had the White House! If only we had the Supreme Court!” You have it all. Do you honestly mean to tell me that over the better part of a fucking DECADE, nobody in your caucus got a focus group together to write out a party-supported draft bill just in case?!
My distaste for Toomey is extra thick because he’s in my state, and thus I take him as my responsibility (even though I voted for McGinty). He’s bought and paid for, hiding behind relentlessly curated “constituent events” and the fact that he has over five years before he has to face re-election again. The one cause for celebration in all this is that, despite his best efforts, the BCRA looks like it is almost dead. Keep calling your Senators against the bill just to be safe, but even their efforts with this much money behind them can be defeated if we fight hard enough.