Assessing the Problem

|
September 6, 2011 3:25 a.m.

I’d missed this article by my friend John Judis from late July. I thought I’d reprint one of the key passages …

THIS IS IMPORTANT because Obama may now be facing his own crisis of the Union. Over the last four decades, the Republican Party has transformed from a loyal opposition into an insurrectionary party that flouts the law when it is in the majority and threatens disorder when it is the minority. It is the party of Watergate and Iran-Contra, but also of the government shutdown in 1995 and the impeachment trial of 1999. If there is an earlier American precedent for today’s Republican Party, it is the antebellum Southern Democrats of John Calhoun who threatened to nullify, or disregard, federal legislation they objected to, and who later led the fight to secede from the union over slavery.

Today, Republicans are threatening a government shutdown and an international monetary crisis over raising the debt ceiling. They have demanded a set of ruinous concessions as a condition for raising the ceiling. These conditions would include draconian budget cuts at a time when economic growth has virtually stalled–it grew a mere 0.9 percent the first half of this year–because of the exhaustion of the 2009-10 government stimulus. To gain Tea Party votes, House Speaker John Boehner set another condition for raising the debt ceiling again in six months: the passage by the House and Senate of a constitutional amendment to balance the budget. An amendment of this kind would make it impossible for the federal government to reverse economic downturns. The Republicans are, in effect, demanding a major constitutional change in return for not shutting down the government and undermining the American economy. That’s insurrectionary behavior.

Latest Edblog
  • |
    March 6, 2021 1:50 p.m.

    The passage of Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill is a massive political triumph. In the nature of online conversations…

  • |
    March 6, 2021 1:15 p.m.

    It’s done. Senate passes Biden COVID relief bill. Now goes back to the House to reconcile differences between the two…

  • |
    March 6, 2021 9:28 a.m.

    From TPM Reader JA … I appreciate the series on Covid moments. This has been a hard time for many,…

Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer: