Friday, October 4, 2013

Is America Ready for Self-rule ? (III)

Apparently not. 

The antics of the Republicans in the House, are simply embarrassing.   They’re not even worth polemicizing against -- it’s like clowns piling out of a Volkswagen.
It would be bad enough, playing Chicken with the nation’s financial credibility, were they protesting something over which they had no control -- some egregious Supreme Court decision (Citizens United comes to mind), or Executive overreach, or even The Human Condition in General -- immolating themselves like Buddhist monks (though taking us with them).  But in this case, they are protesting a law that they themselves passed, not long ago.

Future historians will pore over the nation’s remains, perhaps dubbing this The Decade When White People Went Crazy.   What could have caused it?  In the case of the decline and fall of the Roman empire, the presence of lead in the plumbing has been cited as a possible contributing factor.   As for the Teabaggers, here is my theory:  some neurotoxin somehow entered the food chain at strategic points, infecting Twinkies, mayonnaise, and Cheese Whip.

[Update 3 Oct 2013]  Note:  Italy isn't ready for self-rule either:

I mean -- I'm not playing favorites here.

[Slapstick update 4 October 2013]  There are, of course (though it is impolite to mention this), many many Third World countries  unready for self-rule, with evidence too abundant to mention.  We simply cite this latest one  because the details are so incredible:

If that were a movie -- say, with Bill Murray -- it would be pretty funny.

[Constitutional update, 4 October 2013]  The Constitution foresees circumstances in which the President, and indeed perhaps his deputy the Vice-President, might be unable to govern:  the line of succession goes down from there.

Thus, it would at least be in keeping with the spirit of the Constitution -- though no clause spells this out -- were the nation (in particular the President) to employ emergency measures in case, say (speaking hypothetically) , one of the Houses of Congress were to become clinically insane.

This possibility is discussed in this morning’s New York Times:

Section 4 of the 14th Amendment says: “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.”

Fortunately, the hapless Boehner has already indicated that he will cave on the question of the Debt Ceiling, so all that  may not be necessary.   Still, it would be helpful to world economic serenity, were the President to go on television tonight, and announce, in that clipped, compressive style that is his signature,

“The full faith and credit of the United States is beyond reach of the vicissitudes of politics.  Whatever happens or does not happen in the House, America will not welsh on its obligations.

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