Igniting the Right Wing Blitz

The Curse of '‘Too Many Laws"

Remember that hilarious Amadeus moment when Mozart’s jaw drops, all excitement dashed, when the Emperor belittles his latest tour de force as “a touch elaborate.”  Meaning “too long,” since (absurdly) one can only hear “so many notes in  . . . the course of an evening:”

Emperor: Your work is ingenious. It’s quality work. And there are simply too many notes, that’s all. Cut a few and it will be perfect.

Mozart: Which few did you have in mind, Majesty?

Emperor: Well. There it is.

Today’s pompously hidebound right wing displays no such royal restraint, full of self-ordained zealots knowing exactly how to banish the curse of “too many laws.” Just say null, except the trillions for defense, anti-terrorism, spying, and corporate subsidies. Or state-wise, impugn the evils of government except when imposing fundamentalist dogma that curbs abortion, marriage, and voting rights, plus rational drug laws.

What, lawmakers who write laws?

After all, inquisition commandos know full well just how many laws god-fearing folks can stand in the course of a season. Thus, sounding more like Justice (Slash and Burn) Scalia than the nation’s pre-eminent lawmaker, Speaker Boehner fabricated this jaw-dropping spin for his do-nothing Congress: judge us not “by how many new laws we create” but “many laws we repeal.”  Uh huh. So much for the 18 Congressional powers designated by the Constitution, crowned with this mandate:

To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing [17] powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

Oh, that inconvenient Constitution, again! How could Founders skip the infamous right to nullify, especially when no other voting options work. Certainly, control of purse strings reins in secondary issues, but that’s hardly befitting earthshaking Obamacare – duly debated, passed, signed and approved by a right wing Supreme Court.  Don’t monumental repeals, like Prohibition or voting rights for minorities, warrant “Constitutional amendment” treatment? And to add absurdity to bluster, Braggadocio Boehner, what awful laws has “your” Congress repealed? None. What great advances began in your caucus? None. House duplicity, meet infamy.

What, Constitutional Shutdowns?

Likewise, nowhere does the Constitution authorize Sen. Lee (R-Utah) “to shut down the federal government in order” to kill the curse he opposes, so he threatened this week. Nullification is his “last stop” against the Obama health care apocalypse. When does enough Senate indecency violate the unmistakable pledge favoring “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”? Senator, isn’t chronic gridlock and the endless filibuster circus enough?  Must roiling temper tantrums reign, too?

Why have such established approval procedures to pass a new bill if some minority of one can assassinate democratic governance?  What justification gives a virtual Republican lynch mob the right to hang out the majority to dry? Is this blitzkrieg less destabilizing to law and order than infrequent terrorist strikes? Will miscreants who fall on their face then propose strikes and boycotts, even secession or armed rebellion? Does the Union rule, or are we rerunning 1861?

Impeaching the Anarchists

High time to consider impeaching elected insurgents for violating the spirit and letter of the American way, plus their own oaths of office. Winners enter Congress to govern, writing laws that solve real-world problems, not maliciously seed land mines that trump implementation. That way lies more than obstructionism, as Jonathan Chait subheads his “Anarchists of the House”, “the Republican Congress is testing a new frontier of radicalism—governmental sabotage.”

Since the 2010 midterm elections, though, the Republican strategy has transmogrified from a particularly ruthless version of legislative opposition into one in which incidents of reckless behavior—tactics like hostage-taking, say, or economic or political sabotage—become more frequent each passing month.

Sabotage is as self-evident as it is getting routine: the GOP torpedo squad only starts with Obamacare.  Let’s shred voting rights, scorn all efforts at affirmative action, cheer on limitless corporate campaign payola, oppose gay rights, and disfigure abortion as infanticide.  Victimized mothers be damned, punished coming or going, whether the unwanted is born or not.

Democrats, Asleep at the Wheel

What more do wimpy Democrats need to leverage the GOP sabotage nearing seditious, namely, calculated betrayals that sap the strength of one’s own country? Item looming: the blackmail of refusing higher debt ceilings without a noxious laundry list of demands unrelated to payables coming due.

Clearly, the right fosters a perverse, though surprisingly effective domination gambit: make politics a religious crusade that divides everything and everybody into good and evil, then treat government policy as a moralistic battleground. When will Democrats call out House buffoons who won’t negotiate because that would “telegraph weakness”? And more “guerrilla war” against the people’s government augurs ill.

Yet messianic Republican suicide threats in the face of an imagined debt crisis have not subsided at all. The swelling grievance within the party base may actually be giving the threats more fervor. The reign of the Republican House has not yet inflicted any deep or permanent disaster on the country, but it looks like it is just a matter of time.

How different is this from the suicide standing on the edge of the roof, gun to head, daring the world, “Go ahead, try to stop me, I will shoot myself.” Except that right wingers threaten to shoot the rescuer, then leap off the roof as the government building below explodes. If this not be sedition, then how about intellectual and moral secession? Does not war against government contradict the Congressional oath of office?  That vow is to  “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic . . . bear true faith and allegiance to the same . . . faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

When do “all enemies, foreign and domestic” encompass agents of disruption who won’t “faithfully discharge the duties of office,” nor simply respect the legitimacy of the legislative and executive branches?  How long can the Union survive with dissensions from internal guerrilla war? Either we need to replace oath-breakers, or we need a different oath of office, for now glaring contradiction rules.

Robert S. Becker was educated at Rutgers College (BA) and UC Berkeley (Ph.D, English). He left university teaching (Northwestern, U. Chicago) for business, founding and heading SOTA Industries, high end audio company from '80 to '92. "Writing for the public taught me how to communicate." From '92-02 he did marketing consulting, grant, and business writing. Since '02, he scribbles on politics, science and culture, looking for the wit in the shadows. Read other articles by Robert.