Friday, June 24, 2011
Demagoguery 301 - The Graduate Program
By R.A. Monaco
June 22, 2011
Appealing to the emotions and prejudices of Americans these days has shown little thought or imagination, particularly, when the subject centers around the debt ceiling, taxes and the tactics of non-negotiation by Eric Cantor and John Boehner.
It was most disingenuous to suggest that President Obama's spirit of comity, mutual respect and invitation to civil discourse is demagoguery, as did Charles Krautherammer in his May 12, Washington Post article, Demagoguery 101. Now, while Congressional Republican leaders continue to falsely claim Democrats are pushing for tax increases, they've "vowed" not to compromise or give in. Surely, it could be said that such a vow is an act of insurrection against the sovereignty. After all, valid public debts of the United States constitutionally shall not be questioned under Section 4, of our Constitution's 14th Amendment.
Why wouldn't the President consider a "vow" not to compromise an act of insurrection? Compromise is not capitulation. Why isn't refusing to attend sessions led by Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., an instance or act of revolt against civil authority? Maybe the stated purpose of Senators Jon Kyl of Arizona and Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, to turn up the pressure on President Obama, should be considered exactly for what it is--resistance to the authority of one's government.
The president's power under Art II, Section 3 of our Constitution confers power in the President, to convene both Houses, or either of them, in the case of disagreement. There's no expression of reciprocal authority for members of either House. The unilateral "vow" of non-cooperation is just not a mandate for the president's direct involvement in the ordinary business of Congress. And since when is refusing to negotiate and not cooperating with the Vice President a mandate for a larger role from the President himself? Does the expression "go pound sand" have a ring to it?
Americans want the President to lead, not react to the demagoguery of no compromise politics. Enough is enough, going forward this needs to be remembered--capitulation is not compromise. There is a difference, a point which the President too needs to be mindful of.
Under our constitution, it is the president who shall communicate to Congress, convene and adjourn--not Congressional Republicans. Suppose we all vowed to not compromise with our co-workers unless the boss was directly involved in our work--no doubt there would be a huge increase in available job opportunities. Better, suppose we vowed not to pay taxes unless the president was directly involved in our negotiation with the IRS , do we have any less authority? The answer is an unequivocal, no!
The facts of the current proposal are that the bipartisan $2 trillion savings target would come, in part, from a phasing out of tax breaks. Tax breaks which very few individual Americans enjoy. Where do you suppose the lips of Congressional Republicans are exactly? Probably not on your or my--you know what.
What Americans have endured, once again, is little more than transparent demagoguery learned and typically practiced by those with a bat and ball on the baseball field after school. Abandonment of budget talks by Representative Erica Cantor, of Virginia, the House majority leader and Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, the No. 2 Senate Republican their party's other representative, is a manufactured breakdown and veil partisan election strategy designed to loop the President directly into the debt ceiling debate. Only election and campaign finance reforms are likely to change this complete absence of good faith in conducting the business of Congress.
Going into this election cycle, Congressional Republicans continue to set bait for the President while people like Mr. Krautherammer defend their overt bad faith, impugn President Obama and claim it is not "They" who play politics with deficit reduction, with government shutdowns and health care and immigration. The fact is, a continued recession benefits Republicans in this election year cycle at the expense of the entire Nation and serves only to provide them opportunity to cast the shadows of responsibility for our economic situation solely on the President himself.
Clearly, G.O.P. leaders have misled the public on taxes issues, admittedly "vowed" to not compromise and have quit discussions on the debt ceiling. Those are acts of insurrection. By doing so, Congressional Republicans have conferred power in the president to take such measures as "he" shall judge necessary and expedient. Now is the time for the President to stop reacting to partisan bait and lead the Nation--that is the mandate of the people.