The Constitution and The Shutdown.

If you have spent any time on social media, you surely have seen the Republican Party attempts to blame Democrats for the shutdown. While President Donal Trump said he would gladly own it on national tv, the White House knows they are getting killed. Yet, the government is still shut down.

Let’s be clear, the problem right now is a single man. He is the Republican Majority Leader of the Senate, Kentucky’s own Mitch McConnell. He has stated that he will not bring any bill to the Senate, even the clean continuing resolution his same body passed in December, that the President will not sign.

The Senate Leader has abdicated all responsibilities. There is a way to get around a recalcitrant President. Congress has done this over the course of its history. It’s even in the constitution he took an oath to defend and protect. It’s called a veto override.

The reason the leader does not bring any of these bills to the floor is that the clean CR his body passed in December passed with veto-proof majorities. It was the then Republican House, under Paul Ryan, who gummed the works. So now it falls to McConnell to do the deed. And he has, beyond a doubt.

This brings a critical question. WHY? What is there to be gained by this? And WHO is this obsequious Republican leadership working for? It is certainly not the civil service, 800,000 of its members who are either furloughed or working without pay. It is not the American people. This stunt will cause an economic contraction and may trigger an early recession.

This goes beyond fiscal irresponsibility. This is destabilizing the United States and weakening the country.

So why is a very valid question? The other query is what should happen to the Majority Leader? The Senate should consider expulsion.

Article I, Section 5, of the United States Constitution provides that “Each House [of Congress] may determine the Rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member.” Since 1789, the Senate has expelled only fifteen of its entire membership.

We have to also consider that there are many rumors that Russian oligarchs financed political campaigns of Senators. This includes the Majority Leader. At the very least, the stench that these people are not working for the country is growing. And we must ask, why are these people not doing the work of the country?

Incidentally, we have seen this stubbornness in the past, as well as this hyper-partisanship. The Whigs are an ex-party, and we had a civil war. If Republicans want to commit political suicide, by all means. If the objective is to cause a civil war because the country is becoming far more diverse, that is also something to be considered. Civil wars are not fun, they are not civil, and are not nice.

But ultimately, McConnell needs to face expulsion. He is far from serving his constituents, or his country. I am sure, for the moment, his bank account will be fine. This is not like the public servants (and contractors) who are facing financial ruin.

Historian by training. Former day to day reporter. Sometimes a geek who enjoys a good miniatures game.

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