The White House / Flickr trump signing cuba bill...
The White House / Flickr

Regardless of what happens with the Senate healthcare plan, Republicans are going to try to blame it on someone else.

How do I know this?

Because they’ve actually admitted it:

If premiums spike and plans exist, can we still blame it on Obama and get away with it?

When you control government, this means that you’re responsible for the actions of government and all government programs. This means you’re responsible for:

1. Passing laws (like the Senate version of healthcare). If you pass a law, you are responsible.  

2. Existing laws. If you don’t like them or if they’re not working, pass something better. You can do this because … Guess what? You control government.

3. Government agencies like the State Department and the Department of Defense. You’re in charge of these agencies. They’re not a “deep state” that is undermining you. If you don’t like something about them, guess what? You’re in charge of them. 

4. Protecting democracy. This includes checks and balances on power, upholding the right to vote, and ensuring that people have simple and easy access to voting. It also includes ensuring that people have trust in the process and the outcome.  

5. Upholding our Constitution and individual rights.  You control the Supreme Court. As such, you’re responsible for making sure laws are constitutional and upholding individual rights. 

6. The general welfare of our country. If something happens and continues to happen, and there are known public sector remedies and you do nothing about it, you’re responsible. See also: Heroin abuse, gun deaths, child trafficking.

7. Managing the economy. You control inflation. You can increase job growth. You greatly influence who benefits and who doesn’t. You determine whether standards are high or low. And you can borrow and/or coin money. 

Olympic National Park, Washington Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park, Washington.
Olympic National Park, Washington.

8. Protecting natural resources. You determine how much pollution is tolerable. You determine the safety of food and of our workplaces. You’re responsible for protecting consumers. 

9. The safety and security of our nation. 

10. Public goods and services that people can’t provide for themselves. Not everyone can build their own electric power plant, for example. Basic economic infrastructure falls into this category: roads, bridges ports, and public transit. Increasingly this also includes virtual infrastructure, such as Internet connectivity. The capital necessary is so great and the public benefit so obvious that this is typically funded by government (though often developed by private sector enterprises).

11. Who gets to own businesses and the conditions of running a business. 

12. Justice for everyone. Laws should be fair and moral. When laws aren’t perceived as fair, or they’re not being upheld, government won’t be seen as moral. See also: Police shootings of black people, discrimination against minorities, and travel bans. 

13. Progress in areas like science and the arts. 

14. The social safety net. The safety net provides economic security that allows innovation to flourish (without fear of losing everything, as in the case of healthcare or unemployment benefits), and for the country to maintain a certain level of civilization. As the owner of government, how much or how little we do this is largely determined by you. 

15. Freedom of the press—even when the press might be critical of you

I could go on and on. If this seems like a lot, that’s because when you control government, you’re responsible for a lot. 

This means Republicans are responsible for our nation and a whole bunch of things that happen within our nation that they either 1) have direct control over, or 2) greatly influence. You represent us—We, the people. And if you represent us poorly, I’m not sure how you blame this on anyone else.

This includes the success of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If you pass something else, you are responsible. And if you don’t do something better, then you are responsible for the success of the ACA.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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