Well, it is upon us, the dreaded government shutdown. And yet the Earth still spins, the water still runs, the electric is on and Harry Reid is still tossing verbal grenades at anyone who dares represent an opposing view to the lock-step Progressive agenda. Imagine that! Our daily lives didn’t come to a grinding, catastrophic halt because the big government nanny state was sidelined by the fruits of their own discontent. In fact, to paraphrase an often heard chant at any Leftist-leaning protest march, “This is what not spending looks like!”
Truth be told, if our nation would have stayed true to our Founding Documents, the crisis that delivered unto us this dastardly government shutdown would never had existed. Indeed, if we would have executed government with fidelity to the Constitution, to governmental process and to the legislated laws instead of capitulating to the Progressive’s fundamental transformation of the United States of America (a transformation launched at the turn of the 20th Century), World War II veterans wouldn’t have had to push aside hastily erected barriers meant to shut down the World War II Memorial on the Mall in Washington, DC, Tuesday simply to experience the memorial erected in their honor.
I mention a lack of fidelity to the US Constitution and the rule of law because had two specific established protocols – Article I, Section 3 of the US Constitution and The Budget Control Act of 1974 – been honored, not only would the environment in Washington, DC, been devoid of gridlock, but regular order would have mandated the annual delivery of appropriations to the various departments and agencies.
When our Framers crafted the US Constitution they included Article I, Section 3, which reads:
“The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.” (Emphasis added)
Where the members of the House of Representatives were to serve as the “voice of the people,” the Senate was supposed to act as the protector of States’ Rights. The check-and-balance between the co-equal branches of government was to have a check-and-balance within the Legislative Branch to assure that both the voice of the people and the rights of the States were balanced in any legislation that would emanate from that branch of government. By constructing this internal check-and-balance, the Framers enshrined the power to both force compromise with the Executive Branch and protect the rights of the minority (Read: States’ Rights) in the Legislative Branch.
But with the Progressive Era’s 1912-1913 achievement of the 17th Amendment, that check-and-balance, along with the protection of States’ Rights was obliterated, and a gigantic move toward a centralization of government power at the Federal level was achieved.
The 17th Amendment reads, in part,
“The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.” (Emphasis added.)
So, by effectively transforming the US Senate from a protector of States’ Rights to a redundant chamber catering to the voice of the people, Progressives created two chambers vulnerable to political faction; two competing political entities that could gridlock because their tasks were the same – their authorities derived from the same source.
Today, had the 17th Amendment not existed, the US House of Representatives would have advanced their bill to defund the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Senate – given that 38 States have indicated they do not support the ACA – would have concurred, sending a Continuing Resolution to fund the whole of government but defunding the ACA to President Obama. The President would have almost certainly vetoed the legislation which, by virtue of the Senates’ loyalty to their respective State Legislatures, would have been overturned by the whole of the Legislative Branch. Of course, this is predicated on the ACA ever having had become law in the first place, which, under the original intent of the US Constitution, would be questionable.
Additionally, had the United States Senate, under the disingenuous and corrupt political hand of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), not insisted on existing in defiance of a federal law – The Budget Control Act of 1974, the entire Continuing Resolution process wouldn’t have taken place.
The Budget Control Act of 1974 mandates that,
“…Congress pass two annual budget resolutions (it later was decreased to one) and set timetables for finishing budget work. The budget resolution specifies spending levels in broad areas and may direct congressional committees to find ways to save money. Initially the date for completing the budget resolution was May 15, but later the deadline was changed to April 15.
“It’s a deadline Congress seldom has met. Since 1974, Congress has only succeeded in meeting its statutory deadline for passing a budget resolution six times. Sometimes it’s months late. Sometimes, as in Fiscal 2011, Congress doesn’t pass a budget resolution at all.
“Another section of the Budget Act of 1974 states that Congress cannot consider any annual appropriations bills until it adopts an overall budget blueprint…In Fiscal 2011 there should have been 12 appropriations bills.”
So, had Senate Majority Leader Reid actually adhered to the law by advancing a budget resolution to be reconciled, this “showdown” might never have come to pass. But, because there are automatic increases built into each annual budget to account for inflation, etc., it was to the benefit of the spendthrifts in Congress to refuse to advance – or even negotiate – a budget resolution. By using a Continuing Resolution they didn’t have to cut any spending in the face of repeated requests from President Obama to raise the debt ceiling even as the citizenry – and the elected GOP – screamed for fiscal responsibility and debt reduction.
Of course, we shouldn’t be surprised that Mr. Reid had an underhanded and completely partisan reason for not following the law. We should have come to understand that the Progressives of the 21st Century are vicious, win-at-all-cost, slash-and-burners when then-House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (P-CA), dismissed the idea of legitimately legislating the ACA by saying,
“We will go through the gate. If the gate is closed, we will go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we will pole-vault in. If that doesn’t work, we will parachute in. But we are going to get health care reform passed for the American people for their own personal health and economic security and for the important role that it will play in reducing the deficit.”
And we should have known that 21st Century Progressives would scald their own Mothers to submission to advance their cause when we were subjected to the over-the-top and venomous assaults they made on duly elected officials who dared to disagree with their political agenda:
“It is embarrassing that these people who are elected to represent the country are representing the TEA Party, the anarchists of the country…” – Sen. Harry Reid, (D-NV)
“Obama will not – he cannot – negotiate with a roving band of anarchists who say, ‘Build our oil pipeline or the troops don’t get paid.’” – Former Obama Speechwriter Jon Favreau
“I have never seen such an extreme group of people adopt such an insane policy.” – Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
“These people have come unhinged.” – Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (P-FL)
“I believe it’s terrorism…This is an attempt to destroy all we know of the republican form of government in this country.” – Chris Matthews, MSNBC
“What we’re not for is negotiating with people with a bomb strapped to their chest.” – Dan Pfeiffer, White House Senior Adviser
“I call them ‘legislative arsonists.’ They’re there to burn down what we should be building up…” – Nancy Pelosi (P-CA)
I could go on but you get the picture.
The bottom line here is this. Progressives will do anything and say anything; they will lie, cheat and steal, to achieve their goals; their agendas. They will alter the Constitution, create new behemoth entitlement programs, spend, raise taxes and amass debt from which there is no return, in any and all efforts to advance their nanny-state, centralized government vision for our country. And if those who believe in Constitutional law, States’ Rights, individualism, personal responsibility the free market and liberty don’t take a stand – now…well, it will all be over very, very soon…at the hands of the Progressives’ ideological death panel.
Of course, these are just the ravings of an “unhinged, roving legislative arsonist touting an insane terrorist policy, a bomb strapped to my chest,” don’t you know…Frank Salvato is the Executive Director for BasicsProject.org a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) research and education initiative focusing on Constitutional Literacy and the threats of Islamofascist jihadism and Progressive neo-Marxism. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His organization, BasicsProject.org, partnered in producing the original national symposium series addressing the root causes of radical Islamist terrorism. He is a member of the International Analyst Network and has been a featured guest on al Jazeera\'s Listening Post, Radio Belgrade One, ITN Production’s Truthloader Program in the UK and on Russia Today. He also serves as the managing editor for The New Media Journal. Mr. Salvato has appeared on The O\'Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel, and was featured in the documentary, “Ezekiel and the MidEast ‘Piece’ Process: Israel’s Neighbor States.” He is the author of the series \"Understanding the Threat of Radical Islam\", an educational pamphlet series. Mr. Salvato is a regular guest on talk radio including on The Captain\'s America Radio Show, nationally syndicated by the Phoenix Broadcasting and ABC Starguide Satellite Networks, catering to the US Armed Forces around the world. He is also heard weekly on The Roth Show with Dr. Laurie Roth syndicated nationally on the IRN-USA Radio Network. Mr. Salvato’s opinion and analysis have been published by The American Enterprise Institute, The Washington Times, Accuracy in Media, Human Events, and are syndicated nationally. He is a featured political writer for EducationNews.org, BigGovernment.com and Examiner.com and is occasionally quoted in The Federalist.