A Palace revolt is going on in the House of Representatives. The goal of the revolt is to further insure that the traditions of the Institutions of government end and that a tyranny of the minority continues. The right wing masks their idea of reforms in the language of democracy but the intent is to make sure that the government does not work unless it is to the liking of the far right wing in this country. Their current goal is to emasculate the office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
In it’s current manifestation the role of Speaker of the House is being attacked. The Constitution established the position of Speaker of the House. The founders thought so highly of the position of Speaker that they made that person, second in line of succession if something should happen to the President.
The right wing is celebrating the resignation of Speaker John Boehner, claiming that their efforts have forced him out.
As a reminder of the job and responsibilities of the Speaker let us remember that since the days of Henry Clay. He was speaker 4 times and since his election by his fellow members to be Speaker, the job has had a definite partisan role. Traditionally as leader of the House, the Speaker has had great influence on shepherding the President’s legislation through Congress or guiding his own Party’s legislation through the House. History has shown many times how powerful the Speaker can be. His party caucus selects the Speaker, the party whip and other leadership roles including committee chairs, etc.
Normally tradition would have the next in line as the favorite to succeed a retiring Speaker. In this case, Congressman Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield would be the odds on favorite. But hold on, let’s look at what the Republican Party’s, Tea Party, far right wingers might have in mind.
The ultra conservative, Heritage Foundation and it’s mouthpiece the Red State blog, have different ideas in mind. The suggestion is the 40 or so radicals in the House who claim to be Republicans, should recognize that they do not have the power to initiate but that they do have within their power the ability to veto who becomes Speaker. The clear intent is to demand and extort concessions from the future speaker in order for that person to win the job. The goal is to have that person demand of his fellow House members that they are to toe the hard right line of thinking. These 40 or so members are encouraged to be the Kingmakers.
Right now they have been given their marching orders for who will be the next speaker. He or she must oppose the Export/Import Bank. Number 2., he or she must oppose any funding for Planned Parenthood and the New Speaker must agree to enact the 4 reforms recommended by the Heritage Foundation.
The Heritage Foundation in an article written back in 2010 suggest the following reforms:
- Instead of the Speaker handing out leadership roles, a steering committee is to choose committee chairs. The rank and file members are to do this. This would give enormous power to Freshmen members.
- The leaders of the House would no longer dominate.
- Term limits would be enacted for committee chairs and for leadership roles.
- A cap should be initiated on the size of committees.
These alleged reforms outside of the limit on the size of the committees is designed to increase the power of new members and end the traditional role of the Speaker of the House. In essence outside of his Constitutional role as the second in line of succession his or her role would become nothing more powerful than a figurehead, like the Queen of England.
The goal of the far right wing is to end government as we know it. They are war with their own government. It is hard to imagine a more dangerous plan to no longer have the government of our history but rather it guarantees a continuation of a toothless Congress. Their eventual goal is to have power reside in the states rather than in the Federal Government.
The ratification of the Constitution was designed to replace a Confederacy with a more powerful central government. The effect of the Civil War was to once and for all make our country a nation, united as a people. Many, many people died to make our nation become a reality.
Now in the 21st Century we have a committed minority determined to bring victory out of the prior defeat of states rights. We are in fact experiencing a tyranny of the minority over our founders intent of having the will of the majority prevail while preserving the rights of the minority. Government by threat and extortion is not governing, but rather a form of dictatorship. If we close our eyes and continue on our current path our Republic will die a death of a thousand cuts. The cause of death will be extremism, partisanship and the believers in a shop worn and historically defeated ideology that the supporters of bigotry and slavery had in attempting to preserve their notion of liberty. We have the power in our hands to defeat extremism, that power is to vote the extremists out of office and to truly return the power back to the people and the ideal of majority rule.