Mainers indeed breathed a sigh of relief as the “skinny repeal” of the Affordable Care Act failed – once again. I thank Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, John McCain of Arizona and all 48 Democrats for their votes of courage.

The aborted midnight ride of Skinny Repeal through the chambers of the U.S. Senate will go down in history along with that other famous ride Americans so revere.

The scene at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. during this historic midnight ride in the Senate is dramatized well by these interwoven reflections from the Bard of Stratford and columnist Peggy Noonan in the July 28 Wall Street Journal:

“This Oval Office, the tomb of his rage, where the president is but a walking shadow; a poor player who struts and frets his hour upon the stage; and then this weak and sniveling man throws himself, sobbing, on the body politic as his tweets become but tales told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

The bipartisan approach espoused by Sens. Collins and McCain may make America great once again if Republican leaders in Congress can move beyond their yesterdays of rage toward many tomorrows of principled and transparent negotiation by all elected officials. But that requires courage from all the players on the stage.

Robert F. Lyons


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