Wait a minute. I thought for sure that I voted for a Democrat. I mean, when I voted for Scott Murphy in the special Congressional election up in New York state last March, the one to fill Kirsten Gillibrand's seat, I really thought I had voted for a Democrat. I was enthused about my choice, and even though I was out of town for the vote, I made sure to get my absentee ballot in on time.
But after Murphy voted to nix the health care reform bill Saturday night, I'm starting to realize that I might have made a big mistake. I mean, Murphy can't really be a Democrat, can he?
I am sitting here asking myself what differentiates him from the two Republican weasels who occupied that Congressional seat before Gillibrand. For those of you who live up there, you know the weasels I mean:
First, and foremost (and for such a godawful long time), there was Gerry Solomon.
And then, John Sweeney. He lost to Kirsten Gillibrand after news emerged that he had roughed up his wife. Ayayayay.
For most of the two plus decades that I've lived in Columbia County, New York, outside of Albany, I would cringe when I thought about the Congressmen who represented (or should I say, misrepresented) me in Washington.
Then along came Kirsten Gillibrand, a moderate Democrat and a decided improvement.
When Hillary Clinton's Senate seat went vacant after last November's election, Governor Patterson selected Kirsten to fill Clinton's seat. Gillibrand became the junior senator from New York.
That left Kirsten's seat open, and that led to the special election. And that led to Murphy's election and that leads me right back to where I started.
I really thought Murphy would act like a Democrat, in the true sense of the word. I thought for sure I could count on him to support a health care reform bill that anyone with a brain and half an ounce of guts realizes that we desperately need in this country. The number of uninsured, and underinsured, Americans just keeps growing. The number of bankruptcies due to massive health care costs, just keeps rising.
So why didn't Murphy vote yes on health care last Saturday night? Was it some ideological principle he was advocating?
Or was he just worried about being re-elected in November 2010?
Well, so, he should worry about being re-elected.
Because in my opinion, his no vote on health care is enormous. To me it suggests he is either 1) gutless or 2) in the pocket of big or small business. It also shows me that he doesn't stand up for what a majority of Americans -- as well as the President of the United States AND the Democratic leadership -- believe is long overdue in this country: health insurance reform.
It's been like 90 years that we as a nation have been trying to pass a universal health care plan. The plan passed by the House on Saturday has its problems, and it doesn't go nearly far enough to be called a universal health care plan, but it is a darn good start.
And for that reason alone, I would have expected Murphy to support it.
Shame on you Mr. Murphy.
P.S. My cousin, who lives in Chatham, New York, lost her job with the state last year, and with it, she lost her health insurance. What galls her is that as a taxpayer, she is paying for YOUR health insurance. How unfair that you wouldn't see fit to vote in favor of a program that would give her access to the kind of care that you are assured.