The Constitutional Crisis We Deserve Is the One That We Need:
Here's another goddamn government extortion/hostage-taking/shutdown-debt ceiling breach analogy, but, hell, go with it:
Let us say, and why not, that you're a woman married to a dude in whom you lost interest in fucking a long, long time ago. Sure, you agree every now and then and let him fuck you because it's better than hearing him bitch about how frigid or whatever you are when, truth is, his breath stinks, he's let his body go, and he's kind of an asshole. Why don't you just leave him? Oh, you know, the usual. The kids, you own too much property together, inertia. Now let's say that his sexual demands start getting more frequent. And he's said that he wants to do anal on you. You draw a line. You will not let him fuck your ass. Well, that just won't work, he informs you. One night, he starts breaking shit. He breaks some dishes, saying that he'll keep breaking shit until you let him fuck your ass. You still say no. He breaks your collection of porcelain Disney figurines. You still say no. He threatens to burn down the house. At some point, there's a final straw, no?
So what can you do? You can let him fuck your ass, but you know that if you do, the next time it'll be ball gags and multiple partners and scat play and whatever else he can think up. There's a part of you that just wants to get the kids out of the house, lock him in a room, and set the fire yourself. But that's not rational. You can keep trying to reason with him, get him to see that he's gone over the edge, but, c'mon, you know him. No, at some point, finally, your husband is just another rapist, and it's time to call the cops.
Throughout the past four years and change, we have watched President Obama, time and again, compromise and compromise on issue after issue, giving far, far more than he got. He did it on health care, he did it on the bank bailout, he did it on the budget and on the debt ceiling. It was all done with the notion that negotiation was a good thing, that the government functions only if people of good faith are willing to see past their own goals to the greater good, which was a reasonably well-run nation. It was done while so many of us on the left were waving our hands and saying, in no uncertain terms, that there's a line between compromise and capitulation that the President was crossing too many times. Motherfuckers will fuck their mothers, the Rude Pundit has said on numerous occasions. It's just what motherfuckers do.
So no wonder Republicans have lost their minds now that Obama has said, at long last, that there is some shit he will not eat.
Anyone who has paid even the slightest bit of attention to recent history and who is not blinded by irrational Obama hatred knows that it's absurd to the point of playground derision for Republicans to claim that Obama has refused to negotiate with Republicans. In today's Washington Post, that bespectacled goblin of doom, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, writes, "President Obama refuses to even sit at the same table as Republicans and work to solve the 'debt problem'." Cretinous loser Paul Ryan blabs in the Wall Street Journal, "He's refusing to talk, even though the federal government is about to hit the debt ceiling." The problem isn't that Obama is refusing to talk and refusing to negotiate. It's that he is doing it no further.
Ryan adds, "That's a shame—because this doesn't have to be another crisis. It could be a breakthrough." No, dear congressman who wants to cut food stamps and Medicaid to give rich people a tax break, it needs to be a crisis because a crisis is the only way to make you dullards and dolts sit the fuck down. It's time for a full-blown constitutional throwdown between the executive and legislative branches.
President Obama would be doing the nation a favor if, on the eve of the nation going into default on its debts, he simply declared that the debt ceiling doesn't exist and the nation will pay its bills, as Section 4 of the 14th Amendment demands. It is the compelling case that historian Sean Wilentz laid out in the New York Times, and it is the path that Obama specifically ruled out at his press conference yesterday.
Sure, such an action would end up in an all-out political war. It would destabilize markets - not as badly as an actual default, though. It would lead to impeachment charges in the House (which would end without removal from office in the Senate). And it would head to the Supreme Court.
And still, Obama needs to nut up and do it, if no agreement is reached on raising the debt ceiling. There's going to be a crisis come October 17. It can be one that is solved merely by a short-term political action or it can be solved permanently.
There's one part of the picture that President Obama left out in his pessimistic view of taking the 14th Amendment step: there will be an election in 2014. As he pointed out, "It'd be tied up in litigation for a long time." He concludes that investors would be nervous buying government bonds because the Supreme Court might overturn his decision to continue issuing the bonds. However, the story doesn't end with the Supreme Court. Because then this becomes the issue of the 2014 election: do you want the government to function? Do you want a Congress that passes laws or one that merely seeks to undo the will of the people? The Rude Pundit has at least a little hope that the nation is sick of being led by the Tea Party.
Frankly, if we are in such a crisis situation and the people still vote in the anarchists and revolutionaries and insurgents who put us there, then we need to ask ourselves if the whole goddamn thing has finally failed. This is the crisis we've earned and it's the crisis we need to finish this mess.