Thursday, July 31, 2014

Washington is poised to repeat the tragic events of the late 1990s… fiddling as the Republic burns.

Republican Elephant & Democratic Donkey - 3D Icons
Republican Elephant & Democratic Donkey - 3D Icons (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)
Driving in this morning and listening to talk on the radio of impeaching the President took me back to Clinton's second administration.  Bubba was arrogant enough to get himself impeached over a blow job.  How a man of Clinton's intelligence and talents could have failed to see the potential disaster that oral sex in the Oval Office offered is beyond me.  Why a man of potential greatness, who gave the country a balanced budget, would trash his presidency for the sake of sex with a pudgy intern will remain a mystery to me.

The GOP, of course, deserves half the blame for the farcical impeachment proceedings that followed.  Seeking payback for Watergate and power at any price --- so long as it's paid by the Republic, not the Republicans --- they pursued Clinton as far as the legal machinery allowed.  And who were the real losers?  All Americans.

Today Washington is positioning itself for a reprise.  The Tealiban minority in Congress is sufficient to paralyze the Republican majority of the House, which in turn can block any meaningful Congressional action on almost everything.  Across the mall, an increasingly frustrated President has resorted to rule by executive orders, opening himself up to charges of usurpation of power.

The GOP has taken "sore loser" to new lengths.  Unable to block Obamacare in Congress or the Supreme, the "Grand Old Party" has worked to undermine its implementation at every turn.  Unable to repeal every statute that protects average Americans from exploitation by the one percent, Republican Senators have resorted to blocking the appointments of Democratic judges, labor board members, and other officials who might enforce such statutes.

Obama has reacted by issuing executive orders and making recess appointments.  The five conservative Supreme Court Justices, covering the GOP's back, have reversed some of those Presidential proclamations, most recently declaring his NLRB recess appointments null and void.

Meanwhile, we see the bizarre phenomenon of Central America's youth marching in a sort of Children's Crusade to our southern borders.  Why now?  Did the 2008 human trafficking law under which they ostensibly hope to achieve asylum suddenly become common knowledge in the Banana Republics?  I have yet to hear a credible explanation of what precisely is the immediate catalyst to this unprecedented migration.  What does strike me is that it plays into the hands of the President, who is also frustrated that he cannot achieve any sort of immigration "reform" on Capital Hill.

Here I must side with the Republicans who are insisting that Obama enforce US law.  The 1986 omnibus immigration "reform" act was a failure because it gave amnesty to illegals already in the US while utterly failing to prevent future illegal immigration.  Opponents of amnesty now are fully justified in their skepticism about any new program that would legitimize the estimated 11 million who have crept in tot he country since 1986, while yet again making potentially empty promises of border security.

And so Obama's Dream Act became his dream order.  And we see tens of thousands of adolescent invaders being dispersed around the country while their hearings may remain pending until they are possibly irrelevant.  This non-solution to what may well be a fabricated crisis can only deepen our skepticism about any amnesty act that might be put forward in the future.

The Republicans in Congress want to appropriate money to deal with this (bogus?) crisis.  The Dems in the Senate won't go along unless money for Israel and forest fires is thrown into the pot.  Is this a legitimate Demo concern? Or is this another example of the sickening gridlock that has brought good government to a halt in DC?  Or is it even something worse… a cynical attempt by the Democrats to set the Republicans up for blame on the eve of elections?

The bottom line is that election, reelection and the sinecures of power, privilege and prestige are what drive our politicians --- I would never call them "statesmen" --- while the West burns, the Border broils, and the flames creep ever closer to the heart of the nation's government.

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