I've been a Democrat for 72 hours, so far so good

I've been a Democrat for 72 hours, so far so good
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I was not ready for the welcome I received from rank and file Democrats.  It’s been a little overwhelming.  I expected suspicion, mistrust, and the cold-shoulder.  I was judging their reaction to my joining the party through my Republican eyes of 44 years.  Suspicion, mistrust, and the cold shoulder is a sort of GOP value, at least that is my experience.

The reaction of conservatives has been much different.  72 hours after joining the Democrats, they are still name calling.  It appears that’s all they have is hate spewing.  I’m reminded of a line from The Star Wars Movies “Return of the Jedi,” when the Emperor says to Luke:

“The Emperor: [To Luke] Good! Use your aggressive feelings, boy.  Let the hate flow through you!”

For me, the GOP has stepped into the Dark Side.  Stripping the poor of Healthcare and all this hate I read out of the GOP is tearing us apart.  I realize that is all they have.  When confronted with their own behavior, their only defense is to do more of the behavior.

One of my favorites was sent to me by a woman who has written me at least half a dozen long winded rants.  In her last tome, she accused me of being a narcissist, and it is not earth shattering that I left the party.  In her defense, she said she didn’t know anything about me but don’t let that stop her.

To some, it is earth shattering.  Over the decades I have raised a lot of money for the GOP.  I mean a lot of money.  What is good about the money I raised is it is not from ideological kooks who like to blather on the internet but when it comes to parting with even a nickel for a candidate, they grow silent.

My donors’ lists are issues-based list.  I have lists of people who will give large amounts of money to Members of Congress who are free-traders; or those who are in manufacturing.  Those lists are gone from the GOP.  I got a call from a moderate Republican over the weekend reminding me of our friendship.

Our friendship is not gone but if it is based on my raising money, then it never was a friendship.  I suggested he come join me in the Democratic Party.  We will see defections if the GOP loses the House and we will see them in the Senate as well.

I do have some concerns about the hate I am reading out of some Democrats these days.  We don’t need to walk down that same path with the GOP.  We have compassion and empathy on our side in the Healthcare debate.  The GOP has cruelty and greed.  Our plan is not perfect, and President Obama has stated that.  The GOP is unwilling to work with us to correct the problems with the plan.  They want us to go back to the poor being in the cold.

They say under the GOP plan, the poor will have a choice.  That is true.  They will have the choice of buying substandard insurance or eating.  If they have a preexisting condition they are out of luck.  That sure is a “fairer” plan.

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has unveiled his own Healthcare plan today.  I’m sure that’s a gem.  I briefly scanned it.  You can see he is a Libertarian and not a Conservative if you can read his writing without total revulsion.  On a first read, the plan can be summarized as “die.”  I’m sure it will have brisk support from Funeral Directors and Casket Makers.  This is right up their alleys.

Ted Cruz (R-Tx) is again hearing voices and is pretending to be the Whip or the Majority Leader and trying to get the GOP to vote for the Senate plan before the August recess. He will fail.  It is his nature to fail anyway, but the GOP Senators are hiding from the folks back home.  That is not a good harbinger of a vote coming anytime soon.

The best outcome for the GOP at this point is for a motion to proceed being raised and soundly defeated in the Senate in a bipartisan vote.  That would give them the cover they need to not walk the plank for Trump as the House has done.

There are a few questions that have come up from my GOP, and new Democratic colleagues which need to be addressed.

“What about Bernie, can you, Bob, how can you support Bernie?”  Who says I support Bernie?  Bernie Sanders is not and never has been a Democrat.  I can no more support Bernie than I can support Trump.  I ran across the Bernie supporters on Twitter when I supported Hillary.  Know what their reactions were?  To a person, they were polite.  They asked me to “please consider Senator Sanders.”  When I told them I couldn’t they said they understood and thanked me for my time.  That’s a far cry from the words I heard from Conservatives. From what I see, the Democrats don’t single you out for hate if you disagree with them.  Maybe there are some who do but nowhere to the extent in the GOP.

“Bob, how can you support Madigan?”  I don’t support Madigan.  Madigan is about Madigan and not about the principles of the Democratic Party.  I don’t live in his House District so I can’t vote for him, and I sure am not going to give money to him or raise money for him.

“Bob, how can you support labor unions?”  The same way I can support those who want to own a firearm.  Labor Unions are protected free speech under the Constitution under the First Amendment just as owning a firearm is protected by theSecond Amendment.  I support the Constitution of the USA.  I believe the day we find a way around any Amendment is the day we are in a lot of trouble.

My welcome to the Democratic Party has been warm and kind.  I have heard from some highly placed Democrats in Washington.  Their reaction has been, “It’s about time.”

No, it is not about time.  It was past due.

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