With the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, surpassing expectations in enrollment and defying the naysayers' economic forecasts of doom, as well as predictions of the country being littered with the corpses of seniors and children, Republicans have now reached the fifth stage of grief. How they will deal with that final phase is not yet clear, but let us look at the Kübler-Ross model and how they have dealt with the first four stages.
Denial: In March, 2010, John Boehner symbolized the GOP denial of unstoppable realty best when in his final words before the vote on the House floor, he crowed like a frustrated capon that had been gorging on corn mash, "Can you say it was done openly with transparency and accountability, without backroom deals and struck behind closed doors, hidden from the people?" When Democrats responded with a resounding chorus of "Yes!", Speaker Boehner uttered the line that will be remembered as his Patrick Henry moment, "Hell no you can't!"
Yes, Republicans were in complete denial that what they most dreaded, that being an act that would prevent millions of their fellow Americans from being denied health coverage, being forced into bankruptcy or suffering and dying needlessly, was about to become law. And that in spite of the millions spent and the endless lies spewed. This could not be happening.
Anger: Yes, Republicans were angry. Of course they're always angry, but this was different. They perceived it as cruelly unfair to have this flawed and obviously unworkable law shoved down their throats, and by a Black man with questionable origin and religion yet. They began mobilizing their base, who responded by noisily taking to the streets with misspelled signs, funny hats, scooter chairs and assault weapons. So angry were they that some Republican leaders even began threatening secession, but became only angrier when the general reaction was, beside wild howls of laughter, about what one would expect from the homecoming queen being told by the school dork that he wasn't asking her to the prom. In other words, "Good! Secede you stupid fucks!"
Bargaining: Seeing that the situation was desperate, Republicans entered the next stage. Unfortunately, bargaining is not their strong suit and went something like this: "We won't destroy life as you know it if you just repeal Obamacare." However, this was not viewed as bargaining, but more as blackmail. Republican poll numbers began to plummet to never-before-seen negative digits as Americans registered their resentment at having a figurative gun stuck in the back of their collective heads because some child with leukemia might get treatment and her parents not end up in unmarked paupers' graves. Republicans gave up on bargaining.
Depression: With threatening, or as Republicans call it — bargaining — a resounding failure, the GOP entered the depression stage. As utter hopelessness took hold, they began the masturbatory process of staging meaningless repeals of Obamacare in the House, to the exclusion of all other business. When they reached fifty failed attempts, most people stopped counting, but realizing they had not yet gone blind or had hair grow on their palms, Republicans continued their pointless, costly fantasy.
Democrats were not without pity, however, and set up 1-800-REPEAL where Republicans could call and have a very sexy female voice tell them huskily that she just loved repealing Obamacare and they're so fucking hot and do it again baby. Oh yeah, do it again. Squeal.
Acceptance: This is the final stage, but Republicans are unlikely to reach it in our lifetimes. Even with 8 million people (and counting) signed up, the cost of healthcare dropping and less of our citizens likely to die, they just can't take that final, calming, humanizing step. And since they have no idea what to replace the ACA with, and no ideas for governing beyond giving rich people poor peoples' money, they will be running in 2014 and 2016 on taking health care away from millions and millions of people.
The outcome cannot yet be predicted, but one thing is certain. 1-800-REPEAL is always busy.
©2014 Kona Lowell
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