A piece from Capstone’s John Rogers on what the showdown in Washington means for how our governing bodies work. Follow him on LinkedIn.
I heard a Tea Party member of Congress talk the other day about why he was fighting to include the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) as critical to the negotiations over funding the government. What he said was that Obamacare was passed before he got to Congress and his constituents sent him to Congress to vote on it.
Really? Seriously? Did that come out of his mouth? I’m afraid it did.
Let’s take a look at what that kind of approach would mean for our great Nation. If you are an incoming member of Congress then you could ostensibly work with other new Congressmen to close down the government if there’s a Bill passed into Law by Congress, signed into law by the President, and upheld as law by the Supreme Court because you don’t like it and your constituents think that’s what you should do.
Sooo, for example, if you don’t like Civil Rights legislation, you can revisit it by shutting down government so it can be repealed. Don’t like facets of the Americans with Disabilities Act – no problem, shut down the government until any given Administration capitulates.
Obviously this is crazy. Our founding fathers were brilliant in their design of the Constitution and our government. Members of Congress have the right to introduce legislation to amend or repeal any law. But our government is based upon the principle of majority rule. If the Majority decides something is worthy to be law of the land then that’s it. The minority party (any party) does not have the right to impose it’s rule when the majority has acted.
As Thomas Friedman points out in his 10-2 column, “What is at stake in this government shutdown forced by a radical Tea Party minority is nothing less than the principle upon which our democracy is based: majority rule.”
Perhaps good will come from this. Perhaps politicians and the American people will be forced to stop responding to bumper stickers and think about what they are saying and doing. Perhaps saner, wiser, minds will prevail and reach across the aisles to find solutions to the many complex problems that are in front of us. But in the mean time, I agree with Friedman that Obama has no choice but not to give in. The fundamental tenets of our country are at stake.
The views in this blog post represent the viewpoints of individual team members, not Capstone National Partners as a whole.