“Gone are the days when the Constitution is ignored.” – Republican Speaker John Boehner
It might be more accurate to say, “Gone are the days when the Constitution is recognized.” Let’s face it, the Republicans have no intention of actually adhering to the Constitution, even to the extent they know what it is, or recognize it when they see it.
The Communist in the 50s weren’t as big a threat as the Republicans today. And I’m going to show you why.
The new GOP leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives are off to a great start in their grand project to dismantle the Constitution and American democracy. It is not simply a matter of gross malfeasance, as if that is not bad enough, but ignorance. With this crop of Republicans, it is not easy to separate the two. Is will full ignorance (and it must be willful) of the Constitution as bad as simply ignoring it? They’ll both get the job done, so take your pick.
You want un-American activities? Try these goons. It’s like watching the 1939 Reichstag:
- On Thursday, as promised, the Republicans had the Constitution read out aloud – in its entirely – except they left out some important bits. My question is, did any of them notice? Somehow, I doubt it. And as I’ve said before, words by themselves don’t mean much. It’s actions that tell the tale and the tale of Republican deeds in the wake of this reading make for, well…dismal reading.
- Republican David Dreier claimed that Congressman Pete Sessions and Mike Fitzpatrick were sworn Members of Congress because they watched the oath of office ON TV (Of course, that’s not true at all. Speaker Boehner swore in Sessions and Fitzpatrick on the House floor later because, well…he had to). Watching an oath on TV isn’t the same as taking an oath. Can you imagine if President Obama had been sworn in this way? The kicker? The reason they had to watch it on TV was that they were at a fundraiser in the Visitors Center of the Capitol – a violation of House ethics rules. Oh, and then there is the little matter that both men violated the Constitution by taking part in House business – without being sworn in because watching it on TV isn’t being sworn in – including Sessions casting a key vote to advance a bill repealing health care reform.
- Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Tea Pariter, pro-business and anti-government, introduced a bill to repeal Wall Street reform. It wasn’t enough to let the banks police themselves and run the world economy into the ground. Because they did such a bang up time last time, Bachmann wants to let them do it again. I hadn’t realized Divine Right extended to corporations as well as to rulers.
- The Republicans pretend to be all about the Constitution, like insisting that every bill introduced must now include a citation of the constitutional authority under which it can be enacted. This is supposed to eliminate all that anti-constitutional stuff the Democrats have been pulling for the past couple of years. But of course, none of their own bills so far have shown those citations. Maybe they were forgotten, like parts of the Constitution.
- Rep. Steve King had a great idea: let’s introduce a bill that violates the Constitution! Yes, he wasted no time in introducing a bill on his very first day of Congress that would violate the 14th Amendment by amending the Immigration and Nationality Act, to no longer grant automatic citizenship for people born in the country. Sorry, you can’t sidestep the Constitution like that, Steve. You do remember the Constitution, don’t you? It was just read to you. Well, okay, parts of it were.
- O Kentucky! What made you think Arizona was someone to be emulated? Yeah,lawmakers in Kentucky had a light-bulb go on (or was it off?) when they introduced a bill that reminds us all of Arizona’s infamous SB 1070 (you know, the “show me your papers” bill), But this one’s worse. If they keep going, Kentucky might be able to emulate East Germany rather than Arizona (assuming they’re distinguishable even now).
- Arizona, not to be outdone, has targeted ethnic studies, saying that “the Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican-American program have been declared illegal by the State of Arizona — even while similar programs for black, Asian and American Indian students have been left untouched.” The new Republican attorney general, Tom Horne, says “It’s propagandizing and brainwashing that’s going on there.” Yeah, learning about other cultures is pretty dangerous stuff, Tom. What pills are you taking?
- O Daniel Issa! You make Kentucky seem congenial by way of comparison. Daniel, he of “Obama is the most corrupt president in American history” infamy, plans on launching a one-man crusade against the Obama administration, bringing it to a screeching halt through investigations. Where Obama wanted to move forward and put Bush and his crimes behind us, Issa only wants to go backwards – two years to be exact. He doesn’t care about Bush wiping his backside with the Constitution. He wants to look at ACORN (which isn’t even around anymore to be looked at), at climate science and scientists and at anything else he can throw a subpoena at. In short, he wants to make 1994 look like a Boy Scout romp – well, before the Boy Scouts became fundamentalist storm troopers at any rate. Okay, bad comparison. According to People for the American Way, he told Politico that he wants to hold “seven hearings a week, times 40 weeks.” The journal also reports that Issa is planning to “roughly double his staff from 40 to between 70 and 80.”
- Americans United reports that Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) recommended Congress “do away with the federal tax law ban on partisan political activity by non-profit groups.” This is the result of Grassley’s investigation into six TV ministries that were accused of abusing their non-profit status. I guess the GOP rule of thumb here is if your team is guilty, change the law so they’re not guilty anymore? I guess having sold their souls (and the country) to corporations the GOP wants to see what kind of pay-off they can get from churches.
- Disbanded the Select Committee for Energy Independence and Global Warming, created under Nancy Pelosi in 2006. Environment? We don’t need no damn environment!
This is the merest introduction to their crimes. The communist menace of the 50’s was nothing. The commies had nothing on the Republicans of today. They weren’t even in power, after all. These people are in our government, elected to office, and they are setting about – with great relish – to dismantle our American system of government, our democracy, and our Constitution. And we put them there. How sane is that?
Maybe French diplomat Joesph de Maistre was right when he said in 1811 that “Every country has the government it deserves.”