"Seven Days In May" was an excellent film and book about an attempted military coup. With the GOP on a re-imagining kick they are rebooting with a largely unknown cast. No Kirk Douglas. No Burt Lancaster.
We have Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) whipping Radical Republicans in the House and the rabid extremest base into a righteous frenzy. The Heritage Foundation and other right wing outside groups are raising piles of money as they run ads to put pressure on those who may actually do their job.
These Tea Party aligned House Members are using the Shutdown as a purity test to cudgel those who disagree into submission. They are inflicting blunt force trauma on the centers of the brain that control reason and cognitive thought. They are relying on the old lizard remnants hiding in our skull to seize control of the American Government.
Imagine if you will the Democrats holding the Nation Hostage to force the return to the Clinton era tax rates? Or maybe the repeal of the Sequester? I think the GOP would be howling just like the Dems. They would say you DON'T negotiate over passed, existing law.
The way this system of Government works is you repeal a law you don't like. You craft legislation to clear the Constitutional hurdles put in place by the Framers of that document you on the right claim to revere. You don't hold the function of the Government as a hostage to accomplish what you can't through legislative means. That is usually called extortion.
So, a minority of a majority of one House of Congress feels they are justified to impose their agenda that has been rejected on all of us because they think they can. They were aided and abetted by a weak, ineffectual Speaker of The House.
The Affordable Care act was passed in both Houses of Congress, albeit along party lines and upheld by the Supreme Court. The Republicans have spent the intervening years demonizing the law and waging a massive misinformation campaign. This campaign has been funded and orchestrated by conservative and reactionary PAC's. It has been condemned as tyranny and a threat to the American right to die from curable maladies. This torch has been carried by the intellectual lights of the radical right. Sarah Palin. Jim DeMint. Michelle Bachman among others. And Fox News of course to provide an air of legitimacy.
Since 2009 the Affordable care act has survived Constitutional challenges. It has survived being savaged during the endless GOP Presidential Primary Debates. Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate for POTUS, made it a centerpiece of his campaign. He was joined by nearly every GOP candidate for Federal office. Romney had his ass handed to him by President Obama. The Democrats held the Senate. The Republican shifted farther right thanks to massive gerrymandering. The debate should have ended, right? So a reasonable person would think.
Since the new Congress convened in January the House has passed a pointless repeal bill over forty times. They have done so knowing full well it had zero chance of clearing the Senate. If, by some universe changing miracle it did, the President would veto it faster than a Kardashian can get a divorce. Enter the self important Texas Quixote, Ted Cruz.
In the Spring the GOP leadership vowed to open Debt Ceiling Cage Fight II: The Sequel wide anticipating rave reviews and massive box office. Senator Ted Cruz (R-BORG) decided this was the perfect issue to jump start his quest for the Republican Presidential nomination. It would propel him into the White House. He was joined by two other Presidential hopefuls. Senator Rand Paul (R-Kronos Klingon Empire) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-Romulus Romulan Empire) climbed on board for the similar reasons.
All three spent their summer vacation demanding the ACA be defunded or no Continuing Resolution to keep the Federal Government running. Paul and Rubio lowered their profile as polling showed a massive backlash brewing. However they did not recant their views. This enables them to claim victory and show their conservative street cred if the Shutdown isn't an unmitigated disaster for the GOP.
Senator Cruz and his allies, The Heritage Foundation, Senate Conservative Fund and the reactionary blogisphere opted for a scorched policy. They broke St. Ronnie's Eleventh Commandment, Thou shall not speak ill of any Republican. They ran ads attacking any Republican House Member that might break ranks and threatened reprisals. This was seen as a threat of a Primary Challenge from the right.
Cruz spoke to any crowd that would listen. If he was invited he'd have railed at a ribbon cutting at a Chick-Fil-A. He endeared himself to Republican Senators who recognized his plan as suicidal, by calling them the Surrender Caucus. When last I looked the GOP minority in the Senate is not exactly liberal. These guys have obstructed the President and Democratic Majority at every turn. They have set a record for the use of the filibusterer. And they aren't conservative enough? Riiiight.
Cruz, with his big money allies, energized the kamikaze Caucus of the House. Ted pushed them in front of a train and walked away. The Tea Party forced a Shutdown and Cruz said thanks but it won't pass the Senate. It is up to the House to fight the good fight. His acolytes in the House turned on him, vilifying him as a coward.
Faced with a growing insurrection, Senator Cruz took to the floor of the Senate for a 21 hour infomercial for reactionary fundraising to aid his quest for the '16 nomination. He was ridiculed and blasted by his Caucus for delaying the very bill he urged the House to pass. The government shutdown.
Everyone involved knew due to the way funding of the ACA was set up this would not stop it from happening. The right knows this is total political theater to rally the base for the mid terms and nominate a Tea Party true believer for President. It is the replay of the Republican meme that if only their nominees were as nuts as they are the GOP would've won in '08 and '12.
The Conservative pundits are amazed their construct has slipped the leash. The Wall Street Journal, not exactly a liberal rag, has called this charging into bayonets. Trent Lott has called for cutting Ted Cruz off at the knees. Karl Rove has called this the wrong fight at the wrong time. The usually hidden fractures in the party are now played out in public. Like the Dems did in '72.
Since these House members can't enact their will via legislation, they have decide to impose it through a coup. You can not hold a gun to the head of American Institutions and demand they act to please you. The American electorate rejected your hysterical arguments in the elections of 2012. This is an attemted coup plain and simple. You are trying to usurp the powers of the elected government. For once put the good of the nation ahead of your ideological obsessions and stand down. This is a precident that must not be set or it will destroy the functionality of this amazing nation.
Stand down now.