COMMENTARY | So this is what it’s like to be in the middle of a bloodless coup. No, it’s not hyperbole, no, I’m not speaking metaphorically. The only way to describe the Republican-led shutdown of the government is honest-to-goodness, literal “coup.”
A coup is, in essence, the sudden, illegal seizing of power from a government. Generally, it’s a violent thing, but not here. No, it’s not violent, but it’s still a coup. Consider this.
The Republicans attempted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, 42 times before shutting down the government. That means that they used the legitimate, constitutional process to attempt to get what they wanted, and lost. Forty-two times.
The ACA was passed by both houses of Congress, signed by the president and found constitutional by the Supreme Court. It is the law of the land created by our constitutional process.
Republicans did not like the law, and sought to repeal it, and in case you missed it, I’ll say it again, 42 times. Not one attempt was successful. So did they give up? No they did not.
They’re holding the government hostage to get their way. After attempting to repeal and failing through the process set up by our Constitution, they are now trying to completely circumvent the Constitution, shutting down the government to do so.
If you are feeling a tingle of fear running down your spine, then you are paying attention. They have tossed aside our constitutional process to try to achieve something they could not do legitimately.
As I said, it’s a coup.
This goes beyond “party politics,” political temper-tantrums or differences in ideology. This is a terrifying attempt to undermine our entire political process, a blatant statement by one of the pillars of our government that they do not recognize the legitimacy of the very government they serve, the very Constitution they’ve sworn to uphold.
They could not repeal the ACA, though time after time after time they tried, at great expense to this country. There is nothing to negotiate; this is not a constitutionally permissible way of trying to repeal or alter legislation. It’s nothing more than a bunch of people trying to grab more power than they are given under the Constitution.
Each one of the members of Congress responsible for the shutdown should be removed from office immediately. They clearly have no loyalty to the Constitution, let alone the American people. And the citizens agree that shutting down the government is wrong, given that 72 percent of Americans disagree with it.
When was the last time 72 percent of Americans shared the same opinion on anything?
The answer to losing elections or losing votes in Congress is not overthrowing the government until you get your way. That’s not how our country works. This is a shameful day for our nation, because all we can do is watch our Constitution dying before us at the very hands of those people elected to serve it.