Try Boehner and Cantor for Treason? What about Obama?Posted: July 25, 2011 | Author: bostonboomer | Filed under: Barack Obama, Democratic Politics, Medicaid, Medicare, Republican politics, Social Security, U.S. Economy, U.S. Politics, voodoo economics | Tags: 14th amendment, Barack Obama Abe Lincoln, Eric Cantor, Federal debt limit, full faith and credit, John Boehner, Sky Dancers, Tea Party, U.S. Treasury | 40 Comments
Are Sky Dancers cutting edge or what? Nearly two weeks ago, Dakinikat asked whether our government leaders could be charged with treason over the debt ceiling debacle.
Now David Seaman, a blogger at Business Insider argues that Boehner and Cantor are committing treason by catering to a small number of Tea Partiers’ demands while making the U.S. look weak and unreliable to the rest of the world.
I don’t know of a single American business owner or executive who thinks default — economic armageddon — should be on the table, and yet Republicans are acting as if Americans consider this a viable option.
Sadly, it’s already too late: although we still have time to get a deal before the August 2nd hard deadline, this is the equivalent of shoving a check under your landlord’s door at 11:59 p.m. You’ve lost his trust, even if you are technically not in default.
Enough disgusting dramatics to please your small Tea Party base — we are a nation of more than 300 million; the Tea Party is a handful of folks with racist signs, radical agenda, and the favor of a few influential bookers at Fox News.
On Boehner and Cantor:
John Boehner — a full-grown man who cries in public for rhetorical affect (or maybe he’s that imbalanced, I don’t know)… Eric Cantor — a disgusting attention-seeker who doesn’t realize he is one of the country’s actual leaders, and not merely a commentator on a political morning show.
At this point, Americans should be calling for both of their heads. We need to keep an eye on such “leaders” and ensure that they and their kind are not re-elected to Congress. They don’t represent any of us. And their childish Tea Party views — which have no basis in sound economic theory — are making us look like fools to our international partners.
Seaman also points to this column by John Avlon at CNN, “Our stupid self-inflicted debt crisis.”
…if America defaults on its debt, not only will we find ourselves in a far deeper fiscal hole, but the full faith and credit of the United States will be compromised. In our globalized era, that means America will be considered an unpredictable partner and a second-class power.
Worst of all, this will be a self-inflicted wound. It is a direct result of the hyper-partisanship that has been hijacking America’s political debates. Now it is compromising our ability to govern ourselves effectively.
The markets are viewing Washington’s debt dysfunction as badly as Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, which have raised the possibility of downgrading their ratings of U.S. bonds.
The British government’s business secretary, Vince Cable, summed up the situation as he saw it on the BBC this weekend: “The irony of the situation at the moment, with markets opening tomorrow morning, is that the biggest threat to the world financial system comes from a few right-wing nutters in the American Congress.”
Avlon blames the mess on “hyper-partisanship,” but the problem as I see it is that the Democratic side–especially our Reagan-adoring President–is showing no partisanship at all, just rushing to cave in to every Republican demand. After all, Obama could quickly resolve this situation, as Daknikat pointed out yesterday, by “invoking the 14th Amendment.”
At FDL, David Dayen points out, rather sarcastically, that Obama “has options to raise the debt limit.” He could tell Congress to vote on the debt limit and hold the arguments about cuts and taxes till later, as Elizabeth Drew suggested at Politico. Alternatively, Dayen says he could turn to the 14th amendment. Obama has so far dismissed this possibility.
Finally, Dayen points to an article in Friday’s NYT by two conservatives.
PRESIDENT OBAMA should announce that he will raise the debt ceiling unilaterally if he cannot reach a deal with Congress. Constitutionally, he would be on solid ground. Politically, he can’t lose. The public wants a deal. The threat to act unilaterally will only strengthen his bargaining power if Republicans don’t want to be frozen out; if they defy him, the public will throw their support to the president. Either way, Republicans look like the obstructionists and will pay a price….
Our argument is not based on some obscure provision of the 14th amendment, but on the necessities of state, and on the president’s role as the ultimate guardian of the constitutional order, charged with taking care that the laws be faithfully executed.
When Abraham Lincoln suspended habeas corpus during the Civil War, he said that it was necessary to violate one law, lest all the laws but one fall into ruin. So too here: the president may need to violate the debt ceiling to prevent a catastrophe — whether a default on the debt or an enormous reduction in federal spending, which would throw the country back into recession.
A deadlocked Congress has become incapable of acting consistently; it commits to entitlements it will not reduce, appropriates funds it does not have, borrows money it cannot repay and then imposes a debt ceiling it will not raise. One of those things must give; in reality, that means that the conflicting laws will have to be reconciled by the only actor who combines the power to act with a willingness to shoulder responsibility — the president.
Abe Lincoln did it, but Obama claims he can’t? Seaman, Avlon, and Vince Cable so far are holding their fire on Obama’s role in this embarrassing mess. But he is the one who is ultimately responsible for maintaining the full faith and credit of the U.S. Treasury. That credit has already been harmed by Obama’s failure to act decisively.
I’d say it’s high time to begin impeachment proceedings against this President, or failing that, Democrats should find someone to run against him in the 2012 primaries. This nonsense has gone on long enough. Yes, I understand that Obama wants to gut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, but the Republicans aren’t going to accept a deal when it’s blatantly obvious that they still can get more from this President–he’ll cave on anything. Either Obama needs to get a grip and do the right thing for once, or he needs to find a job he can handle and let someone else lead the United States of America.