Written by Frank Salvato
As the so-called "government shutdown" drags on, one thing is hard not to admit: the Obama Administration is acting in a manner that is attempting to extract the maximum amount of pain on the American people. While many are wondering how it came to this point, those of us who actually paid attention in Social Studies, Civics and American History classes - school subjects that are, today, given little, if any, attention - understand it's because the US Constitution and the purity of the original governmental process has been raped by the opportunistic political class.
Our nation has always had a robust political discourse, commencing from before we were even a documented nation. We have always been represented by a passionate, spirited political class; strong in their beliefs, but educated and knowledgeable enough to legislate and govern for the good of all the people. Today, this is not the case.
Today, we have a political class that insists on the importance of ideologically motivated political "achievements" over the honest representation of the American people; loyalty to political faction - of which each and every Framer and Founder warned - over loyalty to those who delivered them to power via the ballot box.
Today, we literally have people in the political class that have an inferior command of the English language, an inferior and under-performing understanding of the principles of the Constitution and the Charters of Freedom, and a devotion to Progressivism; a non-indigenous, Marxist-based ideology that believes the State is the Alpha and the Omega; the giver of rights and the final arbiter of freedom and liberty.
Today, we have a government that does not - does not - serve the American people, evidenced - in a singular point - by the overwhelming and sustained majority of Americans who do not want the Affordable Care Act implemented on any level.
FOX News reports:
Is the Obama administration employing a make-it-hurt strategy to gain political leverage in the budget battle on Capitol Hill?
Republicans are making that charge as the stalemate drags on, and point to the Pentagon furlough of 400,000 civilian staffers -- even though Congress passed and the president signed a bill to supposedly keep them on the job...
Republicans argue that the intent of the law was to keep them on the job, and that the Obama administration "narrowly interpreted" it against congressional intent in order to furlough more employees.
It's one example of how, Republicans say, the administration is making the partial shutdown of government services worse than it needs to be. Many have complained about the National Park Service cordoning off even open-air monuments in Washington, DC, such as the World War II Memorial.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), responded to criticisms by saying, "It is time for Speaker Boehner to stop the games."
Shamefully, FOX also reported that correspondence on this situation has stalled because, as Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA), stated, "Unfortunately, most of the staff who draft congressional correspondence are furloughed."
A few notes on this shameful situation.
First, and to be equally critical to both sides, if "staffers that draft congressional correspondence" have been furloughed, perhaps those elected to Congress should learn to (and actually) write their own correspondence.
Second, to the Progressives, Democrats and our embarrassing President, it is never "game-playing" when the taxpayer's money is being spent. It is "game-playing" when members of our military who have been maimed and permanently injured can't get medical care because the politically opportune refuse to entertain appropriations passed through a traditional method (not every spending bill has to be an omnibus package, in fact traditionally, the 12 appropriation bills have been passed separately).
House Republicans "screwed the pooch" when they didn't advance ACA funding as a separate, stand-alone appropriations bill from the start. When House Speaker Boehner stated that this Congress would operate under "regular order" he should have stated that the House would be de-bundling all legislation into stand-alone pieces, shining the light of truth and accountability on everything that passed across the House floor. Sadly, traditional, inside-the-beltway pork politics prevailed and the practice of bundling legislation to appease the politically greedy has delivered us to this point.
Truth be told, had the political class not blindly followed the Progressive Movement into ratifying the 17th Amendment, none of this would have ever come to pass. But, then, the Commerce Clause wouldn't have even come close to allowing much of what the Federal government has done that encroaches into our daily lives.
Additionally, if Harry Reid would have operated lawfully, the omnibus appropriations package would have already been legislated, as he is - is - bound by law to have produced a budget by April 15 of each year. He has not done so since before Republicans took control of the House.
The sad, but glaringly true, fact is this. Our government has become too big and too bureaucratic. Our government has manipulated and strayed from the boundaries of the US Constitution, which is a mandated blueprint for limiting government.
Until We the People insist on repealing the 17th Amendment so as to re-employ constitutional protections for the States, and until Congress re-visits the Federal government's grotesquely over-reaching interpretation of the Commerce Clause, it will be up to the States to save the nation, either by Constitutional Convention (which in and of itself is very dangerous were the original words of the Constitution to be manipulated by the opportunistic) or by, God forbid, secession.
And it is with tears in my eyes for our country; for freedom; for liberty itself, that I acquiesce to the notion. Buy, my God, are we to allow the greatest achievement of freedom in the history of the world be extinguished at the hand of ideological bullies?
The words of Patriot Patrick Henry said so very seriously then, are just as cogent today:
"Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! -- I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"
Frank Salvato is the Executive Director for BasicsProject.org a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) research and education initiative focusing on Constitutional Literacy and the threats of Islamofascism and Progressivism. His writing has been recognized by the US House International Relations Committee and the Japan Center for Conflict Prevention. His organization, BasicsProject.org, partnered in producing the original national symposium series addressing the root causes of Islamist terrorism. He has been a featured guest on al Jazeera's Listening Post, Radio Belgrade One, ITN Production’s Truthloader Program in the UK and on Russia Today.
Mr. Salvato sits on the board of directors for Founders Alliance USA, a solutions-oriented non-profit organization. He also serves as the managing editor for The New Media Journal. Mr. Salvato has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel, and was featured in the documentary, “Ezekiel and the MidEast ‘Piece’ Process: Israel’s Neighbor States.” He is the author of the book Understanding the Threat of Radical Islam. Mr. Salvato is a regular guest on talk radio including on The Captain's America Radio Show, nationally syndicated by the Phoenix Broadcasting and ABC Starguide Satellite Networks, catering to the US Armed Forces around the world. He is also heard weekly on The Roth Show with Dr. Laurie Roth syndicated nationally on the IRN-USA Radio Network.