Republicans were so certain that if they allowed the Koch brothers to buy them control of Congress, no matter how extreme their new allies were, they would show Americans what it means to govern Republican style. Thus far they have failed miserably due to ceding control of the party to Koch-funded extremists who are more than willing to endanger the homeland and the American people to prove they hate President Obama.
There has been no dearth of commentary on the ineptitude of House Speaker John Boehner’s attempt to lead House Republicans, but it is important to note that Boehner himself continues to incite the extremist wing to jeopardize the safety of the homeland. One has to wonder if Republican leaders in both the House and Senate regret making a deal with the devil (Kochs) to gain control of Congress, and although there are some Republicans complaining they are squandering a golden opportunity to show Americans they can govern, there does not appear to be any sane conclusion to a dangerous situation.
This latest manufactured crisis is due to xenophobic conservative opposition to President Obama’s immigration action in November. It is apparent that they are more than willing to let funding for Homeland Security lapse to demonstrate their rejection of the President, or as Republican Representative Walter B. Jones of North Carolina said, to “show that the Constitution still matters.” If Jones was not an imbecile, he would understand that primary duty of Congress according to the Constitution is “to lay and collect taxes to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the American people.” Withholding funding for Homeland Security is in no universe “showing that the Constitution still matters.”
This crisis has nothing to do with the Constitution and everything to do with continuing Republican opposition to anything an African American President does that was constitutional and legal when white Republicans did it; and Boehner is just as guilty as the anti-immigration maniacs in his caucus. Maniacs, by the way, serving due to the Koch brothers heavy spending to buy the epitome of dysfunction; a Republican majority in Congress.
This most recent Republican dysfunction began long before this week. It started the day the President issued his executive order on immigration enforcement and was solidified in December when Boehner’s teabagger caucus set themselves up to fail by funding the government for a year except for Homeland Security. The plan, advertised by Ted Cruz shortly after Obama’s immigration order, entailed funding DHS for only two months and then holding funding hostage for the rest of the year unless the President’s immigration actions were abolished.
Boehner cannot possibly blame the extremists in his caucus for the House’s dangerous actions. From the moment the President announced his immigration enforcement order, Republicans did exactly what they naturally do with Boehner leading the pack of fools; claim it is overreach, unconstitutional, and illegal. In fact, despite the humiliation of only funding Homeland Security for seven days, Boehner went on television and blamed the President for “unconstitutional overreach” that prevented his caucus from protecting Americans homeland security for more than a week. Whether Boehner will admit it or not, he knows the President’s actions were not unconstitutional or overreaching according to the Roberts’ Supreme Court.
When the conservative Supreme Court struck down Arizona’s immigration law, two of the Court’s Republican justices disagreed with Boehner’s assertion that Obama is overreaching. Still, the extremists are willing to shut down the DHS over their claim the President acted illegally issuing his immigration enforcement order. It is possible the Koch-funded extremists are unaware that the President’s actions are identical to those both conservative demigod Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush took without Republican outrage. When the Roberts’ Court struck down most of the provisions of Arizona’s controversial immigration law, SB 1070, Justice Anthony was joined by fellow Republican Chief Justice John Roberts in writing for the majority opinion citing the President’s “broad prosecutorial discretion” in deciding enforcement of immigration laws. Kennedy wrote language into the Arizona decision laying out the breadth of the executive branch’s discretion that Boehner knows full well is within the President’s purview as head of the Executive Branch.
As Justice Kennedy wrote for the conservative majority; “A principal feature of the immigration removal system is the ‘broad discretion’ exercised by immigration officials. Federal officials, as an initial matter, must decide whether it makes sense to pursue removal at all.” It is precisely what Obama did, and in 1987, it was exactly what Reagan did in issuing an executive order granting relief from deportation to minor children of parents benefitting from the 1986 “sweeping amnesty” immigration legislation; even though the legislation did not apply to immigrants’ children. Within three years, another Republican president, George H.W. Bush, granted precisely the same relief to approximately 1.5 million “family members living with an immigrant who were in the U.S. before passage of the 1986 law.”
Obviously, many Republicans are aware that not funding Homeland Security over executive action Republican presidents enacted is an ill-advised action. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) lamented that “We should have never fought this battle. In my view, in the long run, if you are blessed with the majority, you are blessed with the power to govern. If you’re going to govern, you have to act responsibly.”
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said on Friday that “2015 is about us, but there’s nobody to blame but us now. If we can run the place more traditional, like a business, so to speak, I think we flourish. If we self-inflict on the budget, and the appropriations process, and we can’t get the government managed well, then I think we’re in trouble.” Well said, and if this latest debacle is any indication, they are in serious trouble because if the extremists can jeopardize something as crucial as defending the homeland over a presidential action Republicans countenanced since Dwight D. Eisenhower, there is little this Koch Congress will accomplish.
Even a House Republican, John Fleming of Louisiana said Friday that, “Our leadership set the stage for this. Finally at the last hour we hear, ‘O.K., well give us three weeks and we’ll try to fire the base up and get something done.’ Well what have we been doing for the last eight weeks? We’ve not been doing anything.” But you did Representative Fleming, you demonstrated to Americans that the best you had to offer was funding Homeland Security for seven days; not a shining example of devotion to protecting America or governance.
Fleming is not completely wrong, but he is certainly missing an important aspect of what Republicans have been doing for the past eight weeks; coddling the extremists and in great part inciting them to endanger Americans by claiming the President’s immigration action is overreaching, unconstitutional, and patently illegal. And Speaker John Boehner has been as vocal as any of the extremists in the House; including yesterday when he blamed the Republican dysfunction on President Obama’s immigration enforcement directives.
Republicans, including John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, so desperately wanted a majority in their respective Chambers that they embraced whichever fanatics the Koch brothers could fund to victory. The Republican establishment made a deal with the devil by agreeing to take every possible opposition stance against President Obama regardless how beneficial it is to the country. It is worth reiterating, that when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pledged to the Koch brothers that if they bought control of Congress, Republicans would “go after the federal government, all of it.” That is the deal they made with the Koch brothers and John Boehner has dutifully held up his end of the bargain by inciting Koch extremists to hold Homeland Security hostage.
Boehner has no-one to blame but himself. In fact he has taken the lead in antagonizing the extremists to threaten homeland security. Americans should be terrified at what Republicans will impose on the country over the next two years because if they are willing to endanger every man, woman, and child in America over one legal executive action, there is little chance they will fund the government or pay the nation’s debts which is actually exactly what the Koch brothers likely planned all along.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.