Grief at the passing of Senator Kennedy has turned into raw political opportunism. Liberal Democrats, and their twittering mainstream media acolytes, are posing a loaded question which for them suggests its own answer: What would Teddy do about health care?
Fans or not fans-- we owe the Senator acknowledgment for a lifetime of service..
But the debt ends there.
We have seen a month of the true American Congress-- the town hall. America has spoken out--all kinds of people, from all the political parties turned out to speak out against the president's Big GovCare. Sadly, so many Democratic members of Congress chose to hide out and cower behind Web casts and phone calls rather than look into the faces of their constituents and see the anxiety of those they serve.
It was an August where dissent was demonized and some Americans were convicted in the media for merely gathering facts. They were labelled fear mongers. They were scandalized as evil-doers and members of a "mob."
A time when fear of snitch lists for fishy behavior culminated in viral e-mails from the White House to some of those who did not invite them. A summer where our own president invoked the moral righteousness of his plan when not implying the religious inferiority of opponents.
One poll shows that fifty percent of the American people oppose BigGovCare. Before we found out what the "public option" and other details of the plan included, most Americans were open to it. But then we heard about comparative effectiveness research and health panels, ominous quality-of-life year measurements, mandates and fines.
Your leaders know that their health care reform makes many of you feel sick. But Democrats in Congress, who once lauded a post-partisan America, now say that if they have the votes-- it's gonna be their way or the highway. The public be damned. Don't blame us blame the Republicans. -- We will save this presidency even if we shove the plan down your throat! Senator Harry Reid, unpopular even in his home state, may use a slick parliamentary maneuver called "reconciliation"-- which means the opposite-- that their will not yours be done.
Even though the president's popularity has crashed faster than almost any modern American president and stands now at less than fifty percent. Even though the confidence rate of American in our Congress stands at only thirty-two percent, The New York Times yesterday cheered the president on "Do it," they said invoking the worst of his angels, why, because "Yes you can!" Do it for Teddy.
If something is going to be done shouldn't it be done for you and your family and not Teddy?
The honest way to save a presidency and bring legitimate health care improvement is for the president to reject the Democratic partisan trajectory and illusion of transparency which has marked their health care politics.
I have catalogued a sickening ballet of distraction and deception that's gone on in the past few month in which the president punches Big Pharma and health insurers in the nose publicly in the Blue Room and then shakes hands, privately, in a White House back room giveaway which means higher drug costs and higher out of pocket costs.
What does this mean for you? It all means less choice and access to health care for all. Less care for seniors. Longer waits for shorter office visits with general practitioners instead of specialists. Cost benefits analyses of who gets what care and when. On every examining table a bureaucrat taking your pulse. Every man and woman a health care supplicant hoping that you are not too sick and have not lived too long.
The heat of August has shone a bright light on who we are and what we can afford as a people. To change the way all of us live our live and die for selfish short term political gain by invoking a departed liberal hero is to lose the confidence of Americans. To ignore the bright light shone by Mr and Mrs America is to ignore your oaths of office.
The future of ordinary but powerless Americans has always weighed heavier on America's scale of social justice than the political fortune of a sitting president or the imagined legacy of his now- departed political sponsor.
We hope and pray that the history we make in the coming weeks keeps faith with our founders' example.
Peter Johnson, Jr. is an attorney and FOX News contributor.
Peter Johnson Jr. is a successful and prominent appellate and trial lawyer. He has been an outspoken and eloquent analyst for the FOX News Channe on law, public policy, media and culture for the last 15 years.