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Checks and Balances

To all the media talking heads that are complaining about the 87 TeaBags hijacking our government, please stop lying. Our democracy is working just as the Framers designed it. Both Houses of Congress must pass the same bill, and then and only then does the President sign a bill into law. The President may sign or veto a bill, and Congress can choose to override his veto. The Supreme Court in Marbury v. Madison established the right of Judicial Review, the authority to determine the constitutionality of laws passed by the Congress and signed by the President.

Just because some of us disagree with certain laws or the inability of Congress to act doesn’t mean American democracy is in jeopardy. The debt ceiling debate is American democracy at its best. If the Congress can’t agree to increase the debt ceiling, then it shouldn’t be increased. In this case, Congress needs to raise the debt ceiling because Congress passed a law requiring periodic increases but that law may violate the Constitution. Perhaps the President should challenge that law before America defaults if its not too politically tough.

The 87 Freshmen TeaBags aren’t preventing anything, it’s the other 173 Republicans and the 193 Democrats that are preventing the debt ceiling’s increase. Unlike the Senate, the House of Representatives is governed by simple majority just as the Framers designed it. The 87 TeaBags are voting their conscience, and they are putting policy before politics. The other 173 Republicans are putting politics before policy because they are terrified of a TeaBag primary challenger. Also, the man third in line to the Presidency, Speaker Boehner, is terrified of losing his gavel and nice Office.

The President has some responsibility in the three ring circus also. President Obama can order the Treasury Secretary to ignore the Debt Ceiling limit based on the 14th Amendment. But President Obama is also putting politics before policy and the country. Obama is more worried about his re-election schedule than the nation’s first default.

As President Obama begs Congress to let him gut Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security to save Wall Street Banks and foreign markets while he ignores 14 million unemployed Americans, I’m not mad at the Freshmen TeaBags. The 87 Freshmen didn’t create $14 Trillion of debt. The 87 Freshmen didn’t start 3 wars, pass un-financed social programs, or pass and/or extend GWB tax cuts for the rich. The 87 Freshmen didn’t rob the social security trust fund and leave a worthless IOU. The 87 Freshmen didn’t pass unfair trade deals that have exported millions of American jobs. So as the media talking heads blame all our problems on the 87 TeaBags, just remember they just got to Washington.

Maybe Progressives should take notes. It’s incredible what a small group of determined principled Congressmen can accomplish if their primary concern isn’t re-election and personal wealth accumulation. An occasional Primary challenger can be an amazing Party disciplinary tool. I wonder if Obama would be so willing to cut Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security if he had a serious Democratic primary opponent.

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