The House just sent the American Health Care Act to the Senate. From there, it’ll face a tougher fight through Senate revisions before reaching the President’s desk. For the the first time in seven years, the prospects of repealing Obamacare are actually pretty high. Republicans around the nation are cheering. Democrats are spinning it as a call to retake Congress in 2018.

Most of my friends are Republicans, as are most of the readers on this site. I support their desire to rid the nation of the abomination of Obamacare. I also respect the need to put the GOP stamp of approval on a replacement plan. Heck, there are a couple of things in the AHCA that I don’t mind; it’s a slight improvement over the ACA.

One thing I wholeheartedly disagree with is the notion that the AHCA is a step towards smaller government. This does nothing to rein in DC. It keeps the national government firmly entrenched in an area where it absolutely, positively does not belong. By doing so, it prevents the free market from helping millions of Americans by driving down health insurance costs. It adjusts the mandate by shifting the penalty, but the mandate remains nonetheless. It gives states the option to opt out of pre-existing conditions, yet no state will actually use this option. Why? Because by giving the AHCA the GOP stamp of approval, any hope of educating people on the vast negatives associated with the pre-existing conditions clause have evaporated.

It isn’t just the AHCA. Look at the spending package that keeps the government funding President Obama’s sustained laundry list of programs. Look at pushes for huge infrastructure spending. Look at every big government program that is not facing extinction despite the GOP having full control in DC.

As a Federalist, I look at today’s GOP the same way many politically savvy conservatives view it: better than the Democrats. After the rise and fall of the Tea Party as well as a short-term spike in conservatives winning primaries over moderates, we’ve seen the status quo of the Establishment reaffirmed in 2017. The AHCA is just the latest example.

These are unpopular notions to be posting on sites that are supportive of the Republican Party, but I’m not alone in my dissent. Conservative pundits and Federalism-minded journalists around the nation are speaking out.

Ben Shapiro at Daily Wire notes:

On Thursday, House Republicans prepared to take final ownership over Obamacare, slapping a giant “T” atop the edifice of legislative manure and declaring victory. This follows Republicans embracing Barack Obama’s budget priorities in their newest budget bill, which did not fund Trump’s wall but did fund refugee resettlement, Planned Parenthood, and Obamacare. Republicans have apparently become the David Copperfield of garbage: they can take Obama’s garbage and turn it into Trump’s garbage right before your eyes!

Mark Levin has been very critical of the GOP on his show lately:

“Too many conservatives have simply accepted as effective power the minor concession of the progressives” as they “drive the political and cultural agenda,” Levin explains.

Andrea Ruth at RedState supports the bill, but only because not passing it would make the GOP look worse than it already does:

Voters first gave them the House immediately following the passage of Obamacare. Republicans subsequently show-voted on repealing Obamacare more than 50 times in the following six years when they knew such a bill would never be enacted while a Democrat was in the White House.

Noah Millman at The American Conservative isn’t supportive at all:

By their own repeated admission, the GOP leadership has no actual policy goal of any kind. They promised something. They have to deliver something — even if that something is wildly unpopular, satisfies nobody, and bears almost no relation to what they originally promised.

I believe in my heart that many Republican voters still believe in the type of small-government Federalism that Ronald Reagan espoused. It’s not their fault that a majority of Republican representatives view “smaller government” as a catchphrase in their campaign sales pitch instead of a goal. However, don’t try to convince me that they’ll come around eventually. Accept that they’re the big-government Democratlite Party so we can work together to really rein in DC.

Full disclosure: I struggle with sin to the point where both today and yesterday when this post was written I had to skip communion at daily Mass because I need confession.

There are a lot of reasons to think that Stephen’s Colbert’s vulgar rant against Trump was a bad idea.

First of all it’s cheap comedy, it takes no effort to make a vulgar joke. 2nd of all it’s demeaning to a major network to be this crude on their primary late-night show. Third of all it’s is disrespectful to the office of the presidency and an example the decay of our culture.

For me it’s something quite different

One thing about Stephen Colbert is he is a very public Catholic, here is him going Catholic with Patrica Heaton:

And here is one with America Magazine

Full disclosure I’m not big on America Magazine

He also has been known to publicly invite people, famous people back to the faith.

Or put simply he is a very public Catholic who wears his faith on his sleeve.

And that’s why that vulgar Trump joke is so bad.

He didn’t just do something wrong and beneath him but did it as a known very public member of the faith, even worse he didn’t have the courage to say to his writers: “You know I think this crosses the line and as a public Catholic I shouldn’t do it.” That cowardice is the worst of vices as it drives people, even devout people to sin more than anything else. Cowardice, the unwillingness call out sin, invariably leads to something worse.

Now it’s true that a private sin, like my own are no better than public one and can be even more dangerous in the sense that the lack of public embarrassment makes it easier to repeat and harder to fight and the plank in your own eye argument is not an unfair one.

But to do something like this in public brings disrepute on the faith itself.

Some people think Colbert should be fired.

I don’t.

I think it’s an excellent opportunity to display repentance and the importance of sacramental confession and show that whatever ones sins if you are willing to go to confession repent and work to do better, you can start over. As the Pope said

I think Colbert has a great chance to show this, will he, the champion of liberals, have the courage to risk offending those liberals who love this kind of thing.