Fox: Dump Gordon? Change we can agree on

Friday, September 4, 2009

I saw a bumper sticker the other day I really agree with, even though I think it came from someone whose political views are diametrically opposed to mine.

The message was clear:

Works for me. And yes, I'm a Democrat.

But after watching Marshall County's representative to the House blunder his way through the last month, I think it might time for Gordon to move on to a post-Congressional career.

It's not been a good summer for Gordon.

For the longest time, he refused to hold town hall meetings with his constituents during one of the most heated political summers ever. He finally decided to hold two of them -- one in Murfreesboro, the other in Gallatin -- but only after excessive media heat.

Before then, he said he "misread" an amendment dealing with funding for abortions, initially voting to bar private insurers from paying for them before changing his vote. As a result, the amendment was defeated, 30-29.

But the last straw for me is his opposition to a public healthcare option, one that would help insure millions of Americans who do not have access to health insurance.

For most Democrats, the public option is a deal breaker -- and a no-brainer once you get past the myths, lies and distortions of the anti-reform crowd: No, the bill doesn't include rationing; there are no death panels; there is no free health insurance for illegal immigrants.

In fact, most anti-reformists forget that we already ration healthcare, based on power, influence and the ability to pay. And that the "death panel" term already exists in the insurance industry: they're the people who decide to terminate coverage for critically ill patients who've lost their job.

Then again, I'm not sure the anti-reform crowd can be reasoned with.

When the comment "when I was growing up, if you didn't work, you didn't eat," is met with applause -- as was the case at Sen. Bob Corker's town hall here last week -- what do you do? Feed only 80 percent of Marshall County?

But there's a lot he should do.

* He should poke a lot of holes in the argument that healthcare reform would be cost prohibitive. He should point out how the cost of the uninsured and underinsured is passed on to you and me. He should point out that healthcare costs might have been the determining factor in forcing businesses like ICP and Sanford to cut their workforce and take jobs out of Marshall County.

* He should mock the non-sensical socialism argument, because we all know providing a government option isn't anything close to a government takeover. He should point out that taken to the extreme, anti-reformists would deem fire and police protection socialist tools, too. And he should point out that the anti-reform crowd would love to shut down programs like Medicare and social security.

* He should ask the anti-reform crowd to ante up and be a part of the solution. But they won't: the current healthcare bill contains more than 100 Republican-written amendments, but has no Republican supporters.

Most importantly, he should stop trying to appease those who will never vote for him.

Stick to your morals, Bart. Healthcare is a human right and a moral issue. Remember that "whatever you do to the least of my brothers, you do to me."

And if you can't do it? We'll find someone who can.