The last few days, I’ve been seeing versions of the same image showing up frequently in my Facebook feed:
I know the message that the Republicans are trying to send: “On issues that are fundamental to the American way of life (freedom, voting rights, racial justice, etc.) the Republicans have been on the right side of history, while the Democrats have been overwhelmingly wrong time and again.”.*
Who knows? It is quite possible that the Republicans are right about Obamacare, just like they were right on these three other examples.
It would sure be nice if they could find a more recent example of where they were overwhelmingly right (and the Democrats were overwhelmingly wrong). Since the infographic is about history, let’s do a little American History refresher:
- 13th Amendment: Passed Congress on January 31, 1865
- 14th Amendment: Passed Congress on June 18, 1866
- 15th Amendment: Passed Congress on February 25, 1869
- Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”): Passed Congress on March 21, 2010
*Let’s pause for a minute to reflect on how radically the identities of the two political parties have shifted since the Reconstruction Era. Can you imagine the Democrats of 2015 being almost universally opposed to increased rights and protections for illegal immigrants? Or having near unanimous GOP support for legislation allowing gay marriage? Right, wrong, or otherwise, neither of those things would happen today.
For the sake of argument (and avoiding partisan talking points), let’s assume that Republicans will one day be able to say “I told you so” on Obamacare. Is the implication here that the GOP has not been on the right side of history in over 140 years?
Obviously, I’m not naive enough to think that the Democrats have had a monopoly on being overwhelmingly right on the important political and social issues of the last 140 years.
But here is the message I get from this infographic: “Once upon a time, we were on the right side of history. But since we don’t have a good example of that happening since Andrew Johnson left office, we really hope we’re right on Obamacare.”
And that really doesn’t seem like something to brag about.