So the Gang That Couldn’t Think Straight has decided not to subvert the Constitution and destroy the world economy in a juvenile fit of partisan temper tantrum after all.
Color me unimpressed.
Wasn’t that their job in the first place? Weren’t they sent to Washington to help govern this great republic of ours? Isn’t that what they get paid to do? How much credit do they deserve for simply doing their jobs? Do we award them Participation Ribbons and send out for ice cream? Honestly – when my students perform to the bare minimum specifications of their assignments, they get Ds. Those are not really grades you want to celebrate.
Every competent economist in the world – every single economist not actively on the Teabagger payroll – spent the last month outlining in precise and horrifying detail the consequences of an American default, and the Teabaggers still seem to think this is an option for next year, even after all that.
And the whole list of demands that they put forth as the price of them doing their jobs – the one that started with defunding the Affordable Care Act and ramped up to essentially overturning the last election because in their minds nobody but Teabaggers could possibly legitimately run this country and SHUT UP YOU FOR THINKING OTHERWISE you Socialist Kenyan Nazi illegal immigrant scum – that list? Well, that was nothing less than an assault on the basic fabric of the Constitution.
Don’t believe me?
"Article II of the Constitution assigns responsibility for executing the law to the President. While the Congress is empowered to enact new or different laws, it may not indirectly interpret and implement existing laws, which is an essential function allocated by the Constitution to the executive branch. If the Congress disagrees with a statutory interpretation advanced by the executive branch—or with the efforts of the executive branch to defend or prosecute judicial action based on that interpretation – the Congress may, of course, amend the underlying statute. The use of an appropriations bill for this purpose, however, is inconsistent with the constitutional scheme of separation of powers." (emphasis added)
This isn’t a line from some left-wing crank. This comes from Ronald Reagan, who said it on July 11, 1987. For all the casual invocation of the man as some kind of conservative saint, the sad truth is that he couldn’t get elected as a Republican today. That party has lurched so far over into being a right-wing extremist cult that they have lost all contact with reality, American history, or responsible governance.
The fact that it came down to a last-minute vote, the fact that in the face of overwhelming evidence of impending catastrophe they continued to press forward as if the fate of the nation meant nothing to them, the fact that they seem to have learned absolutely nothing from this, all of these facts combine to tell me that the modern Republican Party poses an existential threat to the survival of the American republic and needs to be dealt with on that basis and that basis alone.
I miss the days when the Republican Party stood for conservative ideas that you could agree with or disagree with without fearing for the future of the republic should they get their hands on the levers of power.
Really, I do.