Have you ever noticed that at the first sign of trouble the Democratic response is always the same: come up with something – anything — that will thwart or change the U.S. Constitution? Reinterpreting America’s most significant founding document as “living” isn’t enough for the so-called progressives, so they quickly propose a way around it to reflect their current wants and needs.It’s a repeated leftist illness that festers just beneath the surface, only to rear its head again when the going gets tough.
A Classic Case in Point
With a government shutdown in progress, our military and innumerable other government employees will not be paid. But, of course, Congress still gets its paycheck as is required by the Constitution:
(The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States.) (The preceding words in parentheses were modified by the 27th Amendment.) They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.
The fact that Congress can continue to eat, drink and be merry while our soldiers, border patrol agents and countless other government employee’s paychecks are held back is one heck of a bad optic. And if the Democrats understand anything, it’s optics. Thus, the first order of business isn’t to put their nose to the grindstone by solving the budget nightmare that they essentially created. No, why do the tough job of negotiation and compromise when they can fall back into that old familiar tune – change, alter, add to, adjust, or amend.
Case in point: Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) said, “It’s wrong that members of Congress would still get paid in the event of a shutdown while paychecks for members of our military could be disrupted.”So, she proposed a bill that withholds Congressional pay and funds our military.
Except oops – that’s not how it works. Is this massively unfair? Hell yes. But since Democrats maneuvered this shutdown by mustering a breathtaking display of political hubris, they will have to take responsibility for it as well.
Dear Ms. Stabenow: actions have consequences. In 2013 when the government closed its doors, veterans, military families, security guards, and janitors all felt the financial heat. You knew this before your vote, Senator – so now you need to deal with the consequences. What are the chances her legislation will just sail through Congress before the shutdown is addressed? How about zero.
Therefore, we might conclude that Stabenow’s proposal to halt Congressional paychecks is nothing more than good old-fashioned grandstanding.
The Same Old Democratic Playbook
This is classic leftist choreography taken directly from their playbook. Exhibit “A” of this type of maneuver is the 2016 presidential election. Once the popular vote totals were tallied up a hue and cry arose from the Democrats. That dastardly Electoral College must go! It’s not democratic, they bellowed. Well, yes that is a very astute observation because, well — we are not a democracy but rather a republic.
As Walter E. Williams perceptively points out, “In fact, the word democracy does not appear in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, or any other of our founding documents.”
Williams provides a few choice quotes expressed by the Founders regarding this so-called American democracy:
“John Adams warned in a letter, “Remember democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet, that did not commit suicide.”
As well, Williams gets to the heart of the matter by quoting Madison:
“In Federalist Paper No. 10, James Madison wanted to prevent rule by majority faction, saying, “Measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority.”
Even those with only a fraction of American history knowledge know that the founders were wise and perceptive readers and thinkers. They read intellectuals and philosophers such as Edmund Burke and Immanuel Kant. They were able to understand the complexities and differences between a democracy and a republic.
For instance, Kant said, “… democracy is, properly speaking, necessarily a despotism, because it establishes an executive power in which “all” decide for or even against one who does not agree.” Then there’s Edmund Burke who said, “In vain do we fly to the Many.”
Though the phrase “tyranny of the majority” was devised much later and primarily attributed to French theorist Alexis de Tocqueville, the seeds of uneducated mob rule had long been sown in political thought. One must begin to wonder – is this what the Democratic party now seeks?
Where Do We Go from Here?
It really isn’t as long a winding trail from the government shutdown of 2018 to Alexis de Tocqueville as one might think. In many respects, the fears of America’s Founding Fathers are being realized right before our eyes. Our elected leaders want to place a line in the sand only to try and remove the consequences of it once they make their decision. They seem less and less likely to understand our form of government or advocate on its behalf. And sadly, they are less willing to have a perspective of the whole instead of merely pursuing their own course of action no matter the consequences.
Let’s put in simple terms what even the left can understand: You can’t run in a presidential election knowing the rules, and then complain when those rules lead to your defeat. Likewise, you can’t vote down a bill to keep the government running, and then renounce any responsibility for it by changing the law.
Much to the chagrin of the left, the U.S. Constitution is not a document designed to be contorted to fit their momentary agenda. And it is certainly not designed to protect lawmakers from the consequences of their own actions. Perhaps it’s time to hold a civics lesson with some Democratic lawmakers to demonstrate the brilliance of our Founding Fathers and the various and sundry ways a republic is superior to a democracy.