Visions of good government danced in their heads…
Congressman John Dingell with some bald blogger. Photo by Anne C. Savage
Every year, Congressman John Dingell, the Dean of the House of Representatives and someone I’m proud to call a personal friend, pens a holiday jingle. This year’s is a perfect summary of the year past and the Republican-fueled gridlock that gripped Washington, D.C.
‘Twas the night before Congress would shut down the country
Yes, all sides screwed up, if I may put it bluntly
The Senate grew tired, as Ted Cruz spoke all night
While the White House was scrambling to build a website
And here in the House, “Let’s repeal it!,” they’d shout
“You can keep your old plan!” said the President, with doubt
And so rhetoric flared, rich with words set to rile them
As the inmates controlled the Congressional asylum
“We will no-way, no-how raise that federal debt ceiling!
Make concessions on revenue? That’s simply unappealing!”
With the shutdown impending, they instead went full YOLO
“It brings economic stability!” said the Sunshine State’s Yoho
But that one thing that they love, more than Koch’s or the rich
My Republican friends chose to scratch that one itch
Their obsession for years. An addiction, in fact;
“Let’s vote forty-six times! Roll the ACA back!”
“We’ll repeal and replace!” …but replace it with what?
Though void of solutions, they’ve not kept their mouths shut;
“But that website, atrocious! Cancellations, how scary!
And all this the fault of that Socialist, Barry!
We have no ideas present, and no help on the way,
We don’t need a solution! Just delay it! Delay!
Bring the Secretary here! We can ask her some questions!
But we won’t bring ideas. And we’ll make no concessions.”
So Sebelius appeared, to the public’s great interest,
and a long line of questions from my dear friend John Shimkus
“I won’t yield to this monkey court!” Frank Pallone exclaimed
Because the GOP plan was just “Shout!” and “Complain!”
Joe Barton brought Powerpoints! And YouTube! And charts!
But deep down they all knew, in the heart of their hearts,
That the website improvements being made by the minute
Would mean thousands enrolling in the plans they found in it.
Yes, the website had flaws, marred with errors and glitches.
But costs no longer soared for a wheelchair or stitches.
You’ll get good quality care, at an affordable rate
But please bear with the errors, please endure the wait
There are already benefits that are driving down costs
Like free preventive care, without fees or a loss
Prescription prices down, as the donut hole’s nixed
Got kids? They’ll be covered ‘til age 26.
Caps on coverage for care? Preexisting conditions?
Why, we’ve solved those two, too, though we’re just politicians.
We must see this plan through, stay steadfast on our path,
For we can’t throw the baby away with the bath,
No more fear. No repeal. I will surely vote Nay
Each repeal vote cast costs taxpayers millions per day
We must focus our efforts on more pressing of matters
For we owe our constituents more than partisan spatters.
They want jobs and opportunity: The American Dream
Do you remember what that is? And recall what it means?
It’s lifting our neighbors up when hard times have them down
It helped build this great country, it’s our bedrock, our ground.
It’s what made our proud nation the best in the world
Protecting unemployed workers, and their boys and their girls
Leaving no family hungry, with great burdens to bear
Keeping the promise of seniors’ and veterans’ care.
I look forward to January, as we start Second Session
My one hope for this season? That we all learn the lesson
Of a Congress so lost and so deep in the ditches
We’ve neglected the public, their best interests, their wishes
So I call on my colleagues on both sides of the aisle
End the partisan games, stop that bickering so vile
Our people want results, and we must answer their call
So Happy Holidays friends, and a blessing to all.