Susan's Blog

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Radical Right is Wrong

Because of House Republican behavior in forging ahead with this particular shutdown, our very democracy is now at stake. This is not how our country’s checks and balances work. We have three branches of government in this country and all three have already spoken on Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare.”

Steve Almond’s piece in today’s “Cognoscenti” column at WBUR/NPR online is an excellent explanation of what is at the heart of the Republican resistance to the Affordable Care Act. What is at stake here, because of this blackmail on the part of the House Republicans, is indeed the American democracy. I say this because the facts say it, too. Obamacare is already the law of the land. It passed as a law by Congress in 2010. The Executive Office branch of the government (the President) signed it into law. Multiple legal, Congressional efforts to repeal it, via the Legislative branch of the government (members of Congress) failed. The Supreme Court, the Judicial branch of the government, upheld it. It is now as much the law as Civil Rights, or Women’s Right to Vote.

The Conservatives lost this one. Not just once, but many times. But they are now radicalizing in their methods. And their behavior is a threat to our democracy as we know it. Now the House Republicans have shut down the government and are refusing to fund us (the people and our programs) and that is new and destructive to the way this government actually functions. This behavior could then pave the way for any branch of Congress to threaten shutdown for any law. What’s to stop Democrats in the future from threatening shutdown if the Republicans don’t allow better gun control, for example? Or how about another Republican shutdown to rescind Roe v. Wade? Or Americans with Disabilities Act? Or Civil Rights?

The real danger here is indeed “too much government,” in the sense that House Republicans, a part of one branch of our government is overstepping its rights. The House Republicans are seizing power away from the other two branches in shutting down government funding of programs, because the other two branches have already acted on this law (Obamacare). Affordable Health Care for All is already the law. It is not up for conjecture. Not according to the Supreme Court, the President (Executive Branch), or even Congress itself (see 2010, making Obamacare official law).

The Radical Right is no longer playing by the rules. This particular shutdown state of affairs is poor sportsmanship and worse, dangerous precedent.


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