Thursday, March 12, 2015
Charles Pierce: The Republican Party Is A Party Of Subversives
Republicans are actively working to undermine the American union.
"The modern Republican party has become an authentic mechanism for political subversion, and it's not just unknown crazy people from Texas who are driving the train. A rookie meathead submarines the president's foreign policy. Rick Perry is currently running for president on a platform more suited to a campaign conducted under the Articles of Confederation. Mitch McConnell, the majority leader of the United States Senate, has suggested that governors out in the several states ignore the Environmental Protection Agency. At every conservative gathering, from CPAC on down, there at least is one panel touting the benefits of nullification and old-school states rights politics. Yes, a lot of it is about how states rights got whipped over civil rights in the 1960's, but it's not all about race. It's about a deliberate, calculated attempt by one of the only two political parties we allow ourselves to dismantle the federal union. They want the country to come apart so they can sell off the pieces to the people who run their campaigns. They are free to prove to me that I'm wrong.
That is not only subversion, but history tells us that it always has been the most fundamental heresy against the constitutional order, from the Articles to the tariff crises under Andrew Jackson, all the way through the Civil War and Reconstruction, right up to the day that John Lewis got his head busted by the side of an Alabama road. (And, yes, even the morally laudable efforts of abolitionists to "nullify" the Fugitive Slave Act subverted the constitutional order of the time. It's hard to look at the Civil War and think otherwise.) This heresy, which should have died at Gettysburg, is part and parcel of the modern conservative movement, which was born out of the flotsam left behind by the (partial) fall of American apartheid. For years, Republican politicians have accepted the money, and the support, and the cheers of nullification subversives from the League of the South and the Council of Conservative Citizens to the Wise Use people and the militia people out west, to the claque of subversives who set up camp at the Bundy Ranch. Without the support of people engaged in polite -- and, occasionally, not very polite -- sedition, the Republican party would be a bunch of rich old white guys pissing themselves in the grill room of a restricted country club.
The Republican party is a mechanism for the subversion of the federal republic. It doesn't matter if the party's stars are doing it to please The Base, or because they don't know any better, or because they think it's the right thing to do. They are actively working to undermine the American union. This should be the first question asked of any Republican leader, of any Republican candidate, and certainly of obvious anagram Reince Preibus, the emptiest suit in American politics. They should be asked, every day, in every forum, if they believe in the Supremacy Clause, the Reconstruction amendments, and the federal union. These are yes-or-no questions. I hope we can get the answers before Molly White gets elected to the House of Representatives. But one thing I'm not doing any more is laughing."
Neither are we, Mr. Pierce.
From (O)CT(O)PUS @The Swash Zone:
Kikarasu Kashiwa: "In drafting such a letter, this neophyte politician and his partisan accomplices have both accomplished an act of sedition, and focused the world's attention on the evanescence of agreements negotiated with our government through our President. These senators' grandstanding and politically based attempt to undermine the authority of the Executive branch in foreign relations will have a far reaching effect on past and future agreements of significantly greater scope. This act, seditious at its base, has further harmed the reputation of the United States of America...a reputation, I might add, that had been extensively sullied by 8 years of republican ineptitude, and which was just beginning to recover in the hands of a competent and brilliant President. The republicans have, as it were, snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory once again."
And to the 47 US Senators who made common cause with the Iranian hard-liners against the interests of your own country, here is Slate's William Saletan's take on what you did:
An Open Letter to 47 Republican Senators of the United States of America from Iran’s Hard-Liners
You have opened our eyes. We are brothers.
For 35 years, we have treated you as an adversary. Our intelligence agencies told us that your culture and your political system were radically different from ours. We now understand that we were misled. Your country is much like ours. Indeed, your Republican Congress is much like our revolutionary Islamic councils. We are brothers. Your letter explains that our discussions with your president have been in vain because “anything not approved by Congress is a mere executive agreement,” which can easily be cast aside by a future president or Congress. Under your Constitution, as you point out, “the president may serve only two 4-year terms, whereas senators may serve an unlimited number of 6-year terms.” Therefore, the ultimate authority to make and interpret your country’s policies resides with you, not with your president. As you note, “President Obama will leave office in January 2017, while most of us will remain in office well beyond then—perhaps decades.”
We were delighted to read this sentence. What you have described—a circle of overseers who work in perpetuity to restrain the president—is very familiar to us. Our president, like yours, is limited to two consecutive four-year terms. His powers are also severely circumscribed. He has a national security council, but he and his council do not establish our nation’s policies. In our system, true power lies with the chamber that oversees the president. For you, this chamber is the Senate, controlled by your Republican caucus. For us, it is the Council of Guardians. Members of our council, like members of your Senate, serve six-year terms. The council may veto any legislation, which, in its judgment, violates our republic’s guiding body of law. For us, that body of law is Sharia. Our intelligence agencies told us that in your country, the guiding document is your Constitution. Recently, however, we watched videos from your “Conservative Political Action Conference.” Several of your senators spoke there about the abomination of homosexual marriage and the importance of protecting religion. Our assessment is that your senators interpret your Constitution in accordance with the Christian Bible, just as our council applies our Constitution in the light of the Holy Quran. We particularly enjoyed the speech of your senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, who called on your government to fight for Christians abroad. This is in agreement with our own policy of coming to the aid of faithful Muslims everywhere.