The Republican-controlled House of Representatives is using extortion to further its legislative agenda. That extortion consists of refusing to fund government operations unless the President agrees to make changes to the Affordable Care Act. The Founders, in creating a governmental system that relies on checks and balances to guard against tyranny, did not anticipate that this system would be used to create tyranny – the tyranny that the Tea Party now inflicts upon the entire country.
The unwillingness of the Tea Party/Republican caucus to pass legislation critical to the continued well-being of this country amounts to treason. The House must therefore be by-passed. I urge the President to declare a State of Emergency and issue an Executive Order to the Treasury to re-start the government. This State of Emergency will remain in force until the House passes legislation to re-start the government. The same should be the case with respect to raising the debt ceiling. If the House fails to pass legislation to do so, the President will declare a State of Emergency and issue an Executive Order to the Treasury to pay our bills. The State of Emergency will remain in force until the House passes relevant legislation.
Are there other means to get this accomplished? Perhaps. For instance, the President could issue an Executive Order that transferred responsibility for funding the government and raising the debt ceiling from the Legislative to the Executive. Or, the President could order the House Sergeant-at-arms to detain all representatives in the chamber until legislation was passed. Or, just those representatives who continued to cast nay votes, until the Republican majority dwindled to a minority, at which time the Dems alone could pass legislation. Or, the President could declare Martial Law and order the arrest of those Tea Party representatives he deemed most responsible for the shutdown, and so forth.
What would the rest of the world think of such developments? Would they say that the United States of America has become a third world country, ruled by a strong man? Or, would they applaud the fact that America had reinvented itself, and was back on the road to being, again, a true world leader?
Wouldn’t such Presidential actions as I suggest above trigger a Constitutional Crisis? What would the Supreme Court say? My answer to that is: Who knows, who cares? The Supreme Court has become an arm of the Republican Party. The President could arrest the lot of them and be done with it.
Am I serious? Do I really want to see our President take any of the above unprecedented actions? Do I want to see our President become, in effect, a dictator? My answer is yes, if that is what it takes to end this increasingly intolerable impasse. I view the current shutdown as unprecedented, and a form of governmental take-over by a small group of legislators that can no longer be tolerated (and never again tolerated). I am so sick of the Republican Party.
Here’s the Big Picture. The power behind the Republican Party (e.g. the Koch brothers) is transforming this country into a plutocracy. They are taking hold of all the wealth of this country, turning the USA into a banana republic. The middle-class will soon disappear. When their hold on power is complete, they will roll back all environmental protections and accelerate climate change like never before. They will roll back Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and all safety net protections. They will roll back all our civil rights and privacy protections, and we’ll have a Big Brother far worse than anything Orwell could have imagined. And it’s already happening.
The Republican Party must, in short, be stopped. Urge the President to take that first step.