It’s easy to view yesterday’s House Of Representatives vote, which aims to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and replace it with something infinitely shittier, as the craven, politically motivated actions of a desperate, unpopular president and a floundering speaker of the house. It is easy to view things that way because all indications—including the bill’s fly-by-night passage and reports that Paul Ryan has spent countless hours in recent weeks performing shady backroom negotiations at the behest of our petty, vituperative president—signal that it was just that.
But it also marks a larger moral failure for each and every representative who voted in favor of an unpopular bill that will worsen the lives of their constituents for base political gain, as an insult to a previous president, and to help fund a tax cut for the rich. Much has been made of the Democrats cheerfully chanting, “Hey hey hey, goodbye,” at the republicans, as if these numbers were a game and not a matter of quite literal life and death for the people they purportedly represent. But it’s also the only silver lining available to the rest of us, to imagine that this broken, shoddy bill will lead to the ouster of the miserable men who passed it.
That is hopefully the tale told in miniature by the story of poor, humble John Faso, Republican congressman from the 19th district of New York, who holds a scant Twitter presence but popped onto the platform to let his constituents know exactly how he felt about them:
Faso is one of the Republicans who had been on the fence on the bill but who was swayed through some backroom means to support it. He only has around 2,800 followers, but the tweet has garnered close to 4,000 responses. This is a very bad ratio. In Twitter parlance, The Ratio is a mathematical way of figuring out how your tweet was received. New York summarizes it well:
“The Ratio,” on Twitter, is the balance of reply tweets to follower count (or, more complicatedly, the balance between followers, replies, likes, and retweets). If your tweet has a lot of likes, but not many retweets, it means that people agree, but are afraid to say so. If it has a lot of replies, but not many retweets or likes, that means lots of people disagree, and are yelling at you about it. More replies than followers, retweets, and likes is a pretty good indicator that ya done messed up.
Faso has, indeed, messed up, in that he passed a bill he couldn’t possibly have read that will leave many of his constituents without coverage and will make it a financially crippling liability to have rare disorders like “cancer” or “any mental health issue” or “being a woman.” It was an immediate dog pile on Faso, with many of the early responses coming in this form:
— Miscegenation Doer (@jiveassspaghett) May 4, 2017
If the rest of Faso’s account is much to go by, this is not a guy who checks Twitter much, which means it may take until 2018 for him to hear the voices of his constituents.