“Government” by Extortion


    The absurdities of the dangerous temper tantrum Republicans in the House of Representatives are inflicting on the rest of us is not simply beyond stupid. It is grossly unfair to all of us, except Congress itself. For example, the partial government shutdown means that every member of Congress must decide who on his or her staff is “essential” and who is “non-essential.” Non-essentials are furloughed without pay. The staff members who are deemed essential will remain at work but won’t collect their pay until this madness ends. However, one group on the Hill will still get paid in full and on time – members of Congress. It seems that the 27th Amendment to the Constitution, the one that forbids Congress members from changing their own pay, also protects them from losing their paychecks.

    How absurd is it that the Constitution can insulate the Teahadists from the results of their blackmail of the rest of us, yet so few people in the media point out that the same Constitution prohibits Congress from breaching the debt limit and throwing the United States into default, and most likely another recession? That’s the next crisis the GOP plans to exploit to extort what they demand. The 14th Amendment declares, “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law,… shall not be questioned.”

    At the opening of each session of Congress, members in both houses take an oath to support and defend the Constitution “against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” They also swear to “well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office.” One of those duties is to pass a budget to operate the government. Another is to uphold the 14th Amendment’s directive to pay the public debt. In 2014 all Virginia voters should keep in mind that every Republican representing the state in the House of Representatives voted to shut down the government, to shakedown the nation. They have not fulfilled their oath to conduct their office in a responsible manner. They also are part of the cabal that next threatens default and endangers our economic way of life. They should be kicked out of office.  


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