This week, Republican congressman Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan will introduce a resolution calling on President Obama to apologize to Sergeant Joseph Crowley, the Cambridge police officer who arrested Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates.
No matter where you stand on the controversial arrest, the congressman's resolution is laughable. As the Democrats are fighting tooth and nail to try to fix healthcare, the Republicans are busy putting the final touches on a resolution that would ask the President to apologize for something he said, that in the grand scheme of things, is inconsequential.
A recent CBS News/New York Times poll found most Americans approve of government intervention in health care coverage. And 64 percent of Americans say the government should guarantee health insurance for all Americans. Yet, the only plan Republicans can agree on is to attack the Democrats. The GOP has no healthcare plan of its own, except to scare Americans to death about the Democratic plan by insinuating healthcare would be rationed, as if it is not already rationed by the private insurance companies.
In 1961, the man who Republicans worship today almost as much as they worship God himself, Ronald Reagan, fought valiantly against socialized medicine. At the time, Republicans released a record of Reagan making the case against Medicare. He, too, warned of the dangers of changing the healthcare system. Reagan said that if Medicare was passed, America as we know it would be gone forever: "One of these days we are going to spend our sunset years telling our children, and our children's children, what it once was like in America when men were free." Today, Medicare is one of the most universally popular programs in the country.
It is also ironic that the same people who believe that universal healthcare is a dangerous step towards socialism simultaneously praise the benefits of the VA healthcare system, which is as close to a socialistic healthcare system as we have.
On his HBO television show, comedian Bill Maher recently asked a Republican guest if for once, the GOP would come out on the right side of history. So far, the answer to Maher's question is no.
It's time we get healthcare for all Americans, not just for the privileged.