During the past 24 hours we have witnessed two events that may significantly alter both our domestic and foreign policy.
Yesterday the House passed a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Normally this would not raise an eyebrow as this marked the 67th time in the past 6 years the House had taken up a vote to repeal the president’s signature piece of legislation. The bill will now go to the Senate where the 66 previous bills failed to reach the Senate floor. However this time the House bill won’t find Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reid blocking the Senate door. Republicans now control the Senate and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will most certainly allow the bill to come to the floor for a vote where there is the very real possibility that the bill could pass. The president will veto the bill undoubtedly saying that he will not take insurance coverage away from the 9.5 million Americans who have signed up under the ACA. Republicans will then attempt to muster the votes to overturn the veto. They may succeed. Regardless of whether they succeed or fail what is certain to follow are a series of bills designed to dismantle the president’s agenda…all of which the president will veto. This entire process may seem like a complete waste of taxpayer’s money. In reality it is designed by Republicans to accomplish one thing; which is to transfer the mantle of the “Party of No” onto the president and his Democratic party. To show with clarity that it is the president that is standing in the way of progress. It is the president that is defying the will of the people and their elected representatives. Republicans intend to ride this message all the way to the 2016 elections where they hope to win control of both congress and the White House. Should this all come to pass we may look back at yesterday’s vote on the ACA as a tipping point in American politics.
The other significant event that occurred is the horrific torching of the Jordanian pilot by ISIS. The event has sparked an explosion of outrage throughout the Islamic community. The burning of the pilot is particularly offensive to the Muslim world because cremation is specifically forbidden in the teachings of the Koran. Protests against ISIS have erupted throughout the Middle East. Jordanians had previously been critical of their government’s participation in the war against ISIS. Jordan has been overwhelmed with Syrian refugees fleeing the ISIS rampage. The Jordanian government has called on the US and its coalition partners for help but it has received little assistance. Locals took to the streets in protest. They saw no purpose in helping a coalition that they perceived offered nothing in return. But the mood shifted after the brutal murder of the Jordanian pilot. Crowds in the streets now call out in support of the government; urging it to take revenge against ISIS. The Jordanian government responded by quickly executing two Jihadists who had been convicted of terrorism. King Abdullah, who happened to be in Washington visiting the president when ISIS released the video of the murder, asked President Obama for arms and munitions “so we can take the fight to ISIS. He has promised publically to avenge the pilot’s murder. Since ISIS made its appearance on the world stage it has been desperate to draw attention to itself. The bombings in western cities…the beheading of western journalists and aid workers…all done to antagonize the west…to draw the west into a holy war…to generate a response from the west in order to gain credibility and attract others to their cause. But now ISIS has attacked the Muslim world; attacked it in a way that violates the very tenants of the Koran that ISIS purports to defend. Killing infidels is one thing. Killing Muslims, particularly in such an offensive manner, has galvanized the Muslim community. Will this one senseless act of murder prove to be a tipping point in the war on terror?