Commentary: An Open Letter to Congressman Boucher and Senator Webb



We stand at a strange time in America.  A President, elected on an exuberant wave of popularity, finds his standing with the American people in virtual freefall.  His signature endeavor, reform of America’s health insurance system, has gone from the centerpiece of his platform to the catalyst for his fall.  And yet, even with the majority of Americans opposing this particular bill, President Obama and the Democrat congress are insisting on forcing it upon us, with little concern for the consent of the governed.

It is beyond the scope of this letter to explore why America has turned against the bill.  Suffice to say that we don’t see much in a bill that is over twelve times larger than the National Defense Act of 1947 (the act that established the Department of Defense) that would be beneficial to either our health care, or our liberty.  As such, this bill needs to be stopped.

The Republicans are powerless to do anything about it, whether they wish to or not.  No amount of compromising will stop the bill or fix it.  They lack the numbers to put up a real resistance and the influence with the leaders of the Democratic Party to affect the outcome.  Given the toxicity of the bill, the Democratic leadership’s lack of interest in compromise (even to the point of suggesting that a bill can be bipartisan without bipartisan votes and that locking the loyal opposition out of the process would make it even more bipartisan) and their lack of power, obstruction is the only option available to them.

This means it is the responsibility of the House and Senate Democrats to step up and put an end to this bill.

Congressman Boucher, Senator Webb, I am calling on the two of you, specifically to take this action.  The reasons are twofold.  First, you both are legislators from the Commonwealth of Virginia.  This state is the birthplace of American Liberty.  It is only natural that it should be the place where that same liberty makes a stand and defeats the greatest legislative threat our nation has ever had to contend with.  Second, both of you have taken principled stands on the issue, already.  Congressman Boucher, you voted against the bill the first time around.  Senator Webb, your insistence that Senator Brown be seated before debate continued on the subject was a bold break with party leadership.  In short, both of you have credibility on the subject.

What I am calling on you to do is to rally together a group of Democrats who are willing to kill this bill and start fresh.  I understand that there is grave political risk in this, however our nation is calling on you to take that risk, regardless of how the party leadership may view this action.  The risk to the Democratic Party, should this bill pass, is far greater, and the risk to the American public, greater still.

If this bill passes, there will be a strong backlash against the party.  The audacity of forcing a plan on a free people will not go unnoticed.  The Democratic Party will not be seen as the party of the worker or of the common man, but rather the party of the autocrats.  It will have been lead there by President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Majority Leader Reid, however the rank and file will also be held accountable for not reigning in the party leadership.  Republicans learned, in 2006, how this works.  Given the nature and gall of the violation of the public trust, however, the backlash against the party will likely be deeper and longer-lasting.

That is why you need to step up and oppose the party leadership on this, even to the point of replacing them, if need be.  Neither the Democratic Party, nor the country will benefit from the passage of this bill.  If you succeed in defeating this bill, you can be part of a new Democratic Party that remembers its Thomas-Jefferson roots.  If not, if you stand idly by while our congress betrays the will of its employers, then you will be seen as complicit in the fall of the Democrat Party.  Is that worth a few thousand pages that only serves special interests?

Senator Webb, you ran with the motto “Born Fighting.”  Congressman Boucher, you represent a district nicknamed the “Fighting Ninth.”  It’s time to fight.

-Kenneth Miller, Blacksburg VA