Nothing less than the foundation of this country’s system of checks and balances is at risk if Republicans proceed with their threats to obstruct President Obama from doing his Constitutional duty to replace Justice Scalia on the Supreme Court, Harry Reid warned.
The entire system of checks and balances is at stake if Republicans continue on their reckless course, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) cautioned in an op-ed, writing that Republicans are taking us to “uncharted waters in the history of the U.S. system of checks and balances, with potentially momentous consequences.”
A synonym for “momentous” is “earth-shattering”. There are potentially earth-shattering consequences to what Republicans are doing right now. Sadly, this is not hyperbole on the Senator’s part.
In the Washington Post piece, titled “Reid to GOP: For the good of the country, stop your nakedly partisan obstruction,” Reid continued, “This constitutional duty has transcended partisan battles because it is essential to the basic functioning of our co-equal branches of government. By ignoring its constitutional mandate, the Senate would sabotage the highest court in the United States and aim a procedural missile at the foundation of our system of checks and balances.”
“That is how our system works and has worked for more than 200 years,” Reid admonished. “This Republican Senate would be the first in history to abdicate that vital duty.”
Reid is having none of the lame Republican attempts to pretend this is normal when facts and history prove this claim to be incorrect, “Republicans should not insult the American people’s intelligence by pretending there is historical precedent for what they are about to do. There is not.”
Charging that this is a “radical effort to obstruct and delegitimize the president at all costs”, Reid cautioned Republicans to think of their own political careers and integrity if thinking of the best for the country wasn’t incentive enough, “If Republicans proceed, they will ensure that this Republican majority is remembered as the most nakedly partisan, obstructionist and irresponsible majority in history. All other impressions will be instantly and irretrievably swept away.”
Reid laid out clearly how Republicans are going from obstructing the Senate to obstructing the Supreme Court, an area that has always been respected as a sacred part of our checks and balances.
“Pursuing their radical strategy in a quixotic quest to deny the basic fact that the American people elected President Obama — twice — would rank among the most rash and reckless actions in the history of the Senate,” Reid alerted.
“And the consequences will reverberate for decades,” Reid warned.
Coming from a man who as Senate Majority Leader was so reverent of process and procedural precedent and purpose that he wouldn’t make changes to the rules that would have allowed Democrats to get around the relentless obstruction of the minority party that had vowed to derail the President by any means possible, this warning should be heeded.
The dangerous precedent this sets down is hard to even fully appreciate or comprehend. There is a reason this has never been done before- because it will, in effect, ruin the careful mechanisms of democracy that are the foundation of this country.
It is one thing for Republicans to mess with President Obama. It is another for them to have spent the last seven years ignoring what the people needed in order to service their political agenda. But to disrupt and thereby destroy the system of our checks and balances is unthinkable.
If they keep on this course, reckless Republicans aren’t only harming this generation of Americans, but all to come.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.