, Gloucester, MA

October 8, 2013

Letter: The right must deal with election consequences

Gloucester Daily Times

---- — To the editor:

Now, far be it from me — a mere 50-something-year-old, gay whippersnapper, to question a man like Gerald Mahieu who, according to his earlier letters, came of age before the dominant era of the automobile and was one of the four people present at the table when the modern gay rights movement was born.

But, given the rather personal and insulting tone of his most recent letter (the Times, Saturday, Oct. 5), there are a few questions I feel obligated to ask such a mature, wise, and informed man.

First, can Mr. Mahieu please enlighten all us enlightened liberals just how President Obama is guilty of “bypassing” Congress?

If truth be told, President Obama included the Congress, Democrats and Republicans alike, in the drafting of the Affordable Care Act to such an extent that many liberals feel he missed an opportunity to enact the kind of single payer, universal system for which Ted Kennedy advocated so long.

The Affordable Care Act, as I have written before, has much more in common with what Richard Nixon proposed as president forty years ago and Ted Kennedy rejected and opposed.

I’d also like to know how the law is “dictatorial,” given that a mandate has, historically, long been an element of any reform proposal earlier Republicans were willing to support.

What is “dictatorial” about a law that was duly passed by both Houses of Congress, signed into law by the president, and subsequently ruled constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court —with the very conservative Chief Justice John Roberts in agreement with that ruling?

But there was one point the man who came of age before the dawn of the automobile era made with which I wholeheartedly agree.

Elections do have consequences.

And here are those consequences; in 2008, Barack Obama campaigned and won the presidency promising to reform our nation’s unjust and inadequate health care system.

In 2009, he saw that promise come to fruition and signed the Affordable Care Act into law. Then, 2 1/2 years later, Barack Obama handily won re-election after having kept his promise.

In 2012, the American Right lost the presidency, kept its majority in the House but lost several seats nonetheless, and the Democrats expanded their majority in the Senate.

In short, the “consequences” of the last two presidential election cycles have seen the American Right’s popularity, much to its chagrin and outrage, wane in significant ways.

And if past is prologue, its continued holding of the country hostage is likely to see that popularity wane still further.

That, whether Mr. Mahieu and other right wingers like or believe it, is only going to be a good thing for the country.