Opinion: GOP leaders are the real problem

Congress isn’t broken; the Republican Party is. This is not about Republican party members. Being a Republican means believing in a philosophy, a way of governing and certain values. They happen not to be my beliefs, but I’m not prepared to say that those values are wrong or bad. It’s simply a different worldview.
My family has lots of heated discussions between our liberal and conservative wings. In contrast, the Republican leadership are, I believe, dead wrong — even unpatriotic — in many of their actions. The recent Zika funding conflict highlights the problem. In February, the president asked for funding to fight Zika and to protect American citizens.
The Republican leadership decided to play politics with our health by denying funding unless Democrats were willing to approve an unrelated amendment to stop funding Planned Parenthood. The outcome will be to slow vaccine research and inhibit our ability to monitor the new disease.
This is partisan politics. It seems to be more important to Republican leaders to advance their agenda than to protect pregnant women and their future babies. This recalls Mitch McConnell’s statement to the National Journal in 2010 when he said, “The single most important thing that we want to achieve is for Obama to be a one-term president.” A party leadership that views politics as being more important than governing is, in my opinion, misguided.
Harry Chaucer
New Haven

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