Washington Post (Thank you Ladyhawke)
Thom Anderson (SCNow.com): “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”
That is the oath that members of the United States Congress, both houses, take as they begin their duties. Sounds good, but a majority in this Congress put an asterisk on it. Maybe they had their fingers crossed as they recited the oath.
The asterisk concerns a pledge, developed in the ‘80s by a 20-something fellow named Grover Norquist, who grew up rich and privileged, received two degrees from the dreaded Harvard, and then went directly into partisan, highly ideological company in the Reagan White House where he got the “inspiration” for the oath. An Internet search indicates he has never worked in the “real America” that right-wingers so revere, only in strong ideological company.
… When they sign this pledge, politicians promise that under no circumstance, not war, not danger of the government defaulting on legally and properly owed debt, not danger that the infrastructure will crumble us into Third World status, will they tolerate an increase in government revenue….
In other words, when these politicians swore before God and their country that they take their obligations “freely” and “without any mental reservation,” they were not truthful. How can they claim to face their obligations in Congress freely when they have made a prior pledge they consider unbreakable not to do certain things? They can’t.
…. This pledge of which most voters are unaware has been taken by some Congressmen since the 1980s. It was a major reason that a “conservative” president and Congress not only failed to pay for a war that has gone sour but cut taxes as they entered it, turning an inherited surplus into a huge deficit.
They also added an expensive Medicare drug benefit without funding, further increasing the deficit. This higher cost they created, they now use as an excuse to scrap Medicare.
Also, you wouldn’t pick a music-hater to conduct an orchestra. Why pick a government-hater to run your country? When electing people who are against government, think of Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen. They don’t have real governments.
Full article here – thanks again Ladyhawke
Let’s never forget, Norquist is the traitor Firedogfake’s Hamsher teamed up with when they campaigned together for the resignation of Rahm Emanuel:
Kevin Drum (Mother Jones, December 2009): Apparently Jane Hamsher has decided that a healthcare bill that provides a trillion dollars worth of benefit to low and middle income workers is so odious that mere opposition isn’t enough. Nor is opposition that increasingly employs the worst kind of right-wing talking points. No, it’s so odious that it deserves a scorched earth campaign against the Obama White House in partnership with Grover Norquist. Hard to know what to say about this. What’s next? A joint Twitter campaign with Sarah Palin? A letter writing campaign cosponsored by Richard Viguerie? A joint lawsuit with Orly Taitz? Jeebus.
Nicholas D. Kristof (NYT): If China or Iran threatened our national credit rating and tried to drive up our interest rates, or if they sought to damage our education system, we would erupt in outrage.
Well, wake up to the national security threat. Only it’s not coming from abroad, but from our own domestic extremists.
We tend to think of national security narrowly as the risk of a military or terrorist attack. But national security is about protecting our people and our national strength — and the blunt truth is that the biggest threat to America’s national security this summer doesn’t come from China, Iran or any other foreign power. It comes from budget machinations, and budget maniacs, at home.
…. on this issue, many House Republicans aren’t serious, they’re just obsessive in a destructive way. The upshot is that in their effort to protect the American economy from debt, some of them are willing to drag it over the cliff of default.
…. Republican zeal to lower debts could result in increased interest expenses and higher debts. Their mania to save taxpayers could cost taxpayers. That suggests not governance so much as fanaticism.
More broadly, a default would leave America a global laughingstock. Our “soft power,” our promotion of democracy around the world, and our influence would all take a hit. The spectacle of paralysis in the world’s largest economy is already bewildering to many countries. If there is awe for our military prowess and delight in our movies and music, there is scorn for our political/economic management.
While one danger to national security comes from the risk of default, another comes from overzealous budget cuts — especially in education, at the local, state and national levels. When we cut to the education bone, we’re not preserving our future but undermining it.
… “The attack on literacy programs reflects a broader assault on education programs,” said Rosa DeLauro, a Democratic member of Congress from Connecticut. She notes that Republicans want to cut everything from early childhood programs to Pell grants for college students. Republican proposals have singled out some 43 education programs for elimination, but it’s not seen as equally essential to end tax loopholes on hedge fund managers.
So let’s remember not only the national security risks posed by Iran and Al Qaeda. Let’s also focus on the risks, however unintentional, from domestic zealots.
Full article here