Friday, September 13, 2013

Government by extortion

Magruder’s “American Government,” the quintessential text updated every year to reflect current events and issues, may need a new title. Call it simply, “Who Needs Elections? We Have Extortion.”  
    This week, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor reportedly said that congressional Republicans will demand a one-year delay in the implementation to the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. Speaker John Boehner said he will try to force the fight over funding the ACA into the Senate.
    Since the law was passed by the Congress and signed into law in 2009, House Republicans have taken 40 votes to stop this act. So far, they have failed 40 times to get the rest of the government to go along with their votes. Now, they are going to try extortion.
    The Republican stance is this: Defund the ACA or we will not vote to extend the federal debt ceiling, according to Cantor and Boehner.
    Failing to extend the debt ceiling would not affect the ACA funding. Instead, sometime between Oct. 18 and Nov. 5, it would force the government into default over past spending, ruining the full faith and credit of the United States.
    Put simply, Cantor and Boehner are saying that if the House and Senate won’t vote for what they want within the governing processes established in the U.S. Constitution, they will get their way by threatening real damage to the entire country.
    Every high school student, every immigrant studying to become a citizen, is exposed to some version of “How a Bill Becomes a Law.” A proposal in the form of a bill must gain a majority of votes in the House of Representatives and the Senate and then be signed by the president, and on occasion be reviewed by the Supreme Court. Those were the very steps by which the Affordable Care Act became a law.
    If the extortion strategy works, in the current atmosphere of hyper-partisanship, it is certain to be the new way the minority defeats laws approved by the majority.
    Both sides can play the game. Do away with Medicare or we will shut down the government. Eliminate the oil depletion allowance or we will shut down the government.
    The problem is that the Republicans just don’t like the fact that the Affordable Care Act made it through the steps and became law. The fact that House Republicans don’t like it a whole, whole, whole lot cannot justify a willingness to replace the system of representative democracy with scorched earth.
    Extortion is no way to run a country.

About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads

 Local Weather 
Search archives:

Copyright © 2019 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.