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Senator Ron Johnson Should Listen To Newt Gingrich

August 15, 2013

As I write this post today I am reminded that a federal judgeship for Wisconsin remains open, due to the antics of Republican Senator Ron Johnson.  He blocked two of President Obama’s nominations to fill the vacancy, insisting that both law professor Victoria Nourse and former state Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler were ‘too liberal’.  Granted, with the arrival of Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin in Washington there is now a consensus on three names for the bench, but let us recall the opening was announced in 2009 when Judge Shabazz retired.

During the time Johnson has served in Washington this judicial vacancy in Madison was declared to be an emergency by the administrator of federal courts.  No matter how one slices or dices politics this type of continual disagreement over allowing government to operate is nauseating.   And it needs to cease.

The same is true when it comes to the continual drumbeat from Republicans over the health care law.  There is seemingly never enough rhetoric from Republicans about repealing the law that will allow millions of Americans, many for the first time, to have coverage.

The latest bluster comes from congressional Republicans who insist they will not sign a needed continuing budget resolution unless it contains a clause to defund President Obama’s signature legislation.   Some are even threatening to shut down the government if they can not sink the funding.

I find it curious how so many Republicans who think only of the bottom line can not see the harm to our economic standing by such a foolish move.

Senator Johnson needs to do more than just howl against a health care plan that not only passed both houses of congress but also legal hurdles at the Supreme Court,    He needs to put forth a workable national health care idea as an alternative to the one he finds so politically expedient to punch away at.

Yesterday former House Speaker Newt Gingrich made some very pointed remarks about elected officials such as Johnson on this issue.

“I will bet you, for most of you, you go home in the next two weeks when your members of Congress are home, and you look them in the eye and you say, ‘What is your positive replacement for Obamacare?’ They will have zero answer,” Gingrich said.

Gingrich blamed the problem on Republican culture that rewards obstruction and negativity instead of innovation and “being positive.”

I am willing to listen to ideas Johnson might have, but up to now he seems more content to sing from the Tea Party hymn book than ante up with constructive dialogue.

One Comment
  1. tom permalink
    August 16, 2013 9:22 PM

    but the premise is that there needs to be a replacement to the healthcare law.

    In my community, the local school district just fired a bunch of people and put many down to 24 hours a week because of the healthcare law. I know that this mandate has been “delayed” (but I don’t know where the constitutional authority to do so comes from), but the school district is certainly not going to rehire the people just to lay them off after the next election. I suppose with the implementation of any new giant law there is some fear and confusion, but the administration had better fix this or people are going to be very furious–as they should be. My point is that big concerns seem to be arising in small corners of the law, and this is a law with thousands of corners.

    As this is the signature achievement of President Obama, his administration must take every step–including listening to Republican critiques–to ensure that this law delivers As Promised. If the law is disaster, one thing it will demonstrate is that the status quo was better and the premise of the need for some “replacement” was false.

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