Thursday, November 03, 2016

Are the GOP Planning to Make America (And the World) Even Worse Off If Trump Loses?

Think Vlad Putin is a threat to America? The Russian thug can't hold a candle to what Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan have in store for their Star Spangled Bungle if they fail to take the White House on November 8.

Few would argue that the legislative branch of America's federal government - Congress - has been utterly dysfunctional over the 8-years of the Obama administration, particularly the House of Representatives. Far more energy has been invested in seeing that nothing gets accomplished by the Republican dominated House and Senate than in actually doing anything. The GOP leadership has acted as though they were elected to subvert the government, not serve it - and America.

An article in The New Republic warns that the GOP could become even more extreme under a Clinton presidency.

“I think if Clinton should get elected, I guarantee you in one year she’ll be impeached and indicted,” Trump’s top surrogate, Rudy Giuliani, told conservatives in Iowa on Wednesday. “It’s just going to happen. We’re going to sort of vote for a Watergate.”

We know from recent history what Republicans mean when they say, in effect, “elect us or there will be gridlock”: They mean they will paralyze government unless they control it all. In 2009 and 2010, this manifested in the weaponization of the filibuster. When Republicans cobbled together more power after the 2010 midterms, they threatened government shutdowns and took the country to within hours of an artificial solvency crisis that would’ve caused a national if not a worldwide economic crisis. Once Democrats began passing bills and issuing regulations, Republicans turned to federal courts, inventing novel, opportunistic legal theories and interpretations in the hope that conservative judges and the conservative Supreme Court would use them as pretext for vacating Obama’s agenda. In this, they have frequently succeeded.

If Republicans retain the Senate, it’s likely that they will prevent Clinton from filling Supreme Court vacancies. Notably, almost nobody in the party is intervening to promise swift confirmation for qualified nominees, to counter those who are promising indiscriminate obstruction. This would amount to a legitimation crisis, unprecedented in our modern history, but astonishingly it wouldn’t constitute the most troubling possible outcome.

If Democrats reclaim the Senate, but can only confirm Clinton’s nominees by further eroding the filibuster, Republican voters will extend the presumption of illegitimacy from Clinton to her nominees and then to their legally binding decisions. Filling the existing vacancy with a liberal justice would effectively turn the Roberts Court into the Kagan Court, which would begin issuing decisions that conservatives abhor almost immediately. But if conservatives perceive the president who appointed the decisive justice as illegitimate, they will reject the new Court’s rulings and pressure their state governments to annul them. (If you think Republican states wouldn’t ignore court orders out of sheer determination or panic, you haven’t been paying attention this election cycle.)

A Republican-controlled Senate could make mischief well beyond judicial vacancies, too, by denying Clinton a cabinet or refusing to fill key administrative vacancies in agencies across government. Imagine, for instance, that Republicans investigate Clinton’s administration—as they’ve prematurely promised to do—and she claims executive privilege over White House communications. Republicans can simply refuse to confirm any more nominees of any kind until she hands the information over. They could concoct nearly any excuse for doing this, in fact, or they could do it just for sport.

You know who this really terrifies? A lot of America's top military commanders, that's who. Military affairs correspondent, Mark Urban, touches on this in his 2014 book, "The Edge," in which he chronicles the hollowing out of Western military superiority.

Urban offers this warning from General Stan McChrystal: "...the most fundamental threat to the US comes not from abroad, but from the failure of our educational system.Absent the ability to produce skilled workers and an educated electorate, it will be impossible to compete in the world."

US Navy admiral, Bill Fallon, finds the issue of political gridlock in Washington deeply disturbing. "Our biggest problem is really domestic, our seeming inability to clean up our act here at home politically and economically."

America's prowess in the years ahead is dependent on foreign creditors, including one or more of its major rivals, continuing to be willing to buy American government debt denominated in American dollars. A refusal to buy American debt at current favourable interest rates or a switch to one or more alternate currencies for debt purchases could be devastating for the world economy, but especially America's, and for America's military posture abroad.

If the GOP turns on their nation's government, effectively bringing Washington to its knees, it could trigger "a run on the banks" by foreign creditors and tempt America's military rivals to exploit the situation to expand their presence and influence whether in northeastern Europe, the South China Sea, the Middle East or even Africa.

In the post-Soviet era, America saw the world as its backyard. That sort of dominance becomes intrusive, resented and invites push back when weakness or opportunities are discerned.

If the GOP does carry through with its threats to bring America low the world could become a markedly more dangerous place, almost overnight.


Anonymous said...

Anyong....And Alberta would love to be right there with them.

Anonymous said...

Wait, how can this be? I thought Republicans were patriots fighting the good fight against liberal Democrat treachery! Benghazi! Benghazi! BENGHAZI!


Anonymous said...

"Think Vlad Putin is a threat to America?"

No. Not a mindless cow.

The Mound of Sound said...

"No. Not a mindless cow." Read the follow on piece taken from Foreign Policy. Perhaps you'll think better of this remark.

UU4077 said...

Let's hope the Dems gain the Senate and/or Congress.

Or, let's watch Amerika show the world how true democracy works!

Dr Purva Pius said...
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