flaws in our Constitution and they are not ideological, they are structural.
Our forefathers had a healthy dose of paranoia, but their paranoia was used to
build protections into the Constitution to prevent a President from declaring
himself King or herself Queen (an eventually they never imagined, of course).
They did give a lot of thought to balance amongst the branches of our
government, the executive, the legislative and the judicial by creating that
system of checks and balances we all know so well. I don’t think they really
imagined that some Americans would want to wrest control from within one branch
of government, because they felt they had built in sufficient protections. They
did not foresee 2013.
nullify the checks and the balances. We’ve seen obstruction before, but not to
this degree. We’ve seen incivility before, but again it is a matter of degree.
There is apparently no part of the Constitution that protects the American
people from losing control of our government to a small band of radicals, in
this case radical but duly elected reactionaries. It is astonishing to me that
these people have been pursuing strategies that seemed relatively harmless
because they affected such small areas of the country and that they have been
patching together a system that allows these very radicals to be elected over
and over again without challenge. We have no safeguards against these tactics.
They are subverting the election process. Once they are in Congress they do not
need to do anything at all to keep their seats. If they don’t face the
possibility of losing their seat based on how they vote in Congress they have
found a way to bypass the Constitution and we, America, are in trouble.
thought through and wrote down a way to govern that was basically fair, (even
more astonishing as they were elitist slave owners), that was based on ideals that seemed
enlightened and laudable, and that was structured to last and to still be
usable hundreds of years later. What these radical Republicans are doing is
threatening to end the usefulness of this document we have made the center of
our governance. They are pointing out the flaws in our beloved Constitution. We
have no way to rid ourselves of these people who are ruining our government in
the name of Federalism. They have been very consistent in their beliefs. They
want small government. They want deregulation. They want America to become the
loose federation of states that they feel it was intended to be. They want all
of the social safety net gone. They do not feel that the federal government should
be in the business of lifting up the least fortunate Americans, even though all
modern societies do this and even though it keeps misery at bay, both for a
society and its people. They do not like any rules or regulations on energy use
and against pulling fossil fuels out of the earth so they want the EPA gone. They
want the Department of Commerce gone and they think the federal government
should close the Department of Education. They see this as their moment in time
to achieve their objectives to limit the size and scope of government. They
hate the Affordable Care Act because it goes in the opposite direction from
limited government. It makes government even bigger.
the need to make government somewhat smaller, but I don’t think most of us want
a federal government as small as these radical tea partiers do, or as small as
the libertarians do. We will not be living up in the rarified air at the top of
the affluence pyramid. We will be living down here with the sewage running in
the streets and the begging children and the rampant disease. We will be drinking the polluted water. There are 7
billion people on this little planet. If you are trying to kill off a big
percentage of the current population, hoping to do what nature does when an
animal population gets too big, then you are pursuing the perfect strategy for
it. Because to argue for smaller government when population numbers are ballooning
will turn our cities into even bigger killing fields than they already are and,
of course, you will not be affected up there at the top of the triangle.
of our nation, the assault that is coming from within that very government,
then we need to pass some laws which will allow us an escape route if some
minority group decides to stage a coup again. I don’t think the issues here are
as small as the media paints them. I think the issues are huge. I think these
folks, mostly from the southern hinterlands of America are deadly serious. They
own guns. They are hunters. I’m not saying that they are planning to turn their
guns on us, although if it comes down to it they might some day in the future.
I am saying that they think like hunters and they are planning to cull the
herd, to get rid of those Americans who can’t or won’t provide for themselves.
Every society has poor people. Every society has disabled people. Every
society, in 2013, does not want to force unfortunate souls into pits to fight
for their lives. We definitely need a way to ditch elected officials if they
try to stop government. If the majority can prevail over this small, but
determined, minority, we will need to amend our Constitution. Which America
will we be when this is all over?
This is the view from the cheap seats.
This blog post is also available at www.brissioni.com