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If an enemy declared war on the American economy, the United States would spare no effort to remove that threat to its prosperity and national security. So it was with Osama Bin Laden, who in 2004 described his goal as "bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy." And as it turns out, by 2020 Uncle Sam will have spent roughly $3 trillion on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, with the impact on the economy trillions more.

But when the Republican Party threatens--for the second time in a year-- to sabotage the U.S. economy if its debt ceiling demands are not met, the media instead calls that treason a "debate."

Continue reading below the fold.

Last year, Republicans weren't shy about admitting that their hostage-taking of the debt ceiling risked national economic suicide. "You can't not raise the debt ceiling," House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan acknowledged. Failure to do so, Senator Lindsey Graham explained, would mean "financial collapse and calamity throughout the world." And as House Speaker John Boehner also fretted, a default on the full-faith and credit of the United States would trigger "financial disaster."

Nevertheless, the GOPs leaders pushed the United States and the global economy to the brink before voting for the August 2011 sequestration deal they now pretend to have opposed. As Boehner boasted that September:

"I got 98 percent of what I wanted. I'm pretty happy."
Boehner may have been happy, but the American people not so much. That's because the same Republican Party that perpetually claims that "uncertainty" hurts the American economy produced exactly that during their manufactured debt ceiling crisis of 2011.

As the chart above shows, U.S. job growth plummeted beginning in May 2011. While worries over Europe were a contributing factor that spring, Speaker Boehner's stark May 9 threat to block the needed $2 trillion increase in the debt limit sent shock waves through the economy:

"Without significant spending cuts and reforms to reduce our debt, there will be no debt limit increase. And the cuts should be greater than the accompanying increase in debt authority the president is given. We should be talking about cuts of trillions, not just billions...

With the exception of tax hikes -- which will destroy jobs -- everything is on the table. That includes honest conversations about how best to preserve Medicare."

As it turns out, the 2011 debt ceiling showdown didn't just cost Americans jobs. Leaving aside the extra $1.3 billion in higher borrowing costs for the U.S. Treasury, American consumer confidence nose-dived during standoff in the summer of 2011:

As Reuters explained, the Republicans' debt ceiling debacle was the likely culprit:

A worsening debt crisis in Europe and an acrimonious political fight over U.S. debt, which culminated in the downgrade of the country's AAA credit rating by Standard & Poor's, ignited a massive stock market sell-off last month and sent business and consumer confidence tumbling.

"The extreme uncertainty over the outcome of the debt-ceiling debate probably did extra damage to the August (job) figures," said Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts.

The Christian Science Monitor echoed that conclusion:
Why has the job market cooled so much? An important factor, many economists say, is that signals from government lately have been hurting rather than helping confidence. The protracted talks over the nation's debt ceiling this summer appeared to dampen the spirits of consumers and businesses alike.
The New York Times similarly revealed that "nonfarm payrolls numbers were unchanged after a prolonged increase in economic anxiety in August that began with the brinksmanship in Washington's debt-ceiling debate, followed by the country's loss of its triple-A credit rating, stock market whiplash and renewed concerns about Europe's sovereign debt." Economists, the Times noted, blamed "the heightened uncertainty over the economy's direction for the slow pace of job creation, saying political deadlock was in effect creating economic paralysis." And while the AP reported that "consumer and business confidence has been sapped by the political standoff over the federal debt limit, a downgrade in the U.S. government's credit rating and a debt crisis in Europe," MarketWatch explained:
David Resler, chief economist at Nomura Securities International Inc., who had expected a weak report, blamed it on a "financial wall of worry" in early August.

Stocks fell sharply during the fractious debate in Congress over raising the debt ceiling and after the U.S. lost its triple-A rating from Standard & Poor's.

"Things went into a dead stall," Resler said. Businesses decided to "sit back and see how things shake out."

For its part, S&P left little doubt where blame lay for their downgrade of U.S. credit. Noting that "new revenues have dropped down on the menu of policy options" and that "reaching an agreement on raising revenues is less likely than we previously assumed and will remain a contentious and fitful process," Standard & Poor's concluded:
"We have changed our assumption on this because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues, a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the act."
As for the uncertainty the debt ceiling debacle produced, S&P pointed the finger at the GOP, the only party willing to countenance a default by the United States:
A Standard & Poor's director said for the first time Thursday that one reason the United States lost its triple-A credit rating was that several lawmakers expressed skepticism about the serious consequences of a credit default -- a position put forth by some Republicans. Without specifically mentioning Republicans, S&P senior director Joydeep Mukherji said the stability and effectiveness of American political institutions were undermined by the fact that "people in the political arena were even talking about a potential default," Mukherji said. "That a country even has such voices, albeit a minority, is something notable," he added. "This kind of rhetoric is not common amongst AAA sovereigns."
That kind of rhetoric may not be common amongst AAA sovereigns, but it's all in a day's work for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). As he put it after last summer's debt limit deal:
"I think some of our members may have thought the default issue was a hostage you might take a chance at shooting," he said. "Most of us didn't think that. What we did learn is this -- it's a hostage that's worth ransoming. And it focuses the Congress on something that must be done."
And as he later explained to CNBC's Larry Kudlow, McConnell's future hostage-taking isn't a threat, but a promise:
"What we have done, Larry, also is set a new template. In the future, any president, this one or another one, when they request us to raise the debt ceiling, it will not be clean anymore. This is just the first step. This, we anticipate, will take us into 2013. Whoever the new president is, is probably going to be asking us to raise the debt ceiling again. Then we will go through the process again and see what we can continue to achieve in connection with these debt ceiling requests of presidents to get our financial house in order."
A new template, indeed. Because while the minority party in Congress has often voted against debt ceiling increases, it never had the either the numbers or the intent to blackmail the President. Until, that is, Democrat Barack Obama entered the Oval Office.

Like its stonewalling of President Obama's judicial nominations and record-setting use of the filibuster, the GOP's debt ceiling brinksmanship was unprecedented. After all, that small government icon Ronald Reagan tripled the national debt and signed 17 debt ceiling increases into law. That might explain why the Gipper repeatedly demanded Congress boost his borrowing authority and called the oceans of red ink he bequeathed to America his greatest regret. As it turns out, Republican majorities voted seven times to raise the debt ceiling under President Bush and the current GOP leadership team voted a combined 19 times to bump the debt limit $4 trillion during his tenure. (That vote tally included a "clean" debt ceiling increase in 2004, backed by 98 current House Republicans and 31 sitting GOP Senators.)

Of course, they had to. After all, the two unfunded wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the budget-busting Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 (the first war-time tax cut in modern U.S. history) and the Medicare prescription drug program drained the U.S. Treasury and doubled the national debt by 2009. And Mitch McConnell, John Boehner and Eric Cantor voted for all of it. As these helpful charts from the New York Times and the Washington Post show, they built that debt:

And as it turns out, these images from the Washington Post and CBPP show the Republicans are still building that:

Yet a year after the Republican Party nearly brought the U.S. economy to its knees over the debt ceiling, the GOP leadership is promising to do it again. While Mitch McConnell reportedly "burst out laughing" at Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's request that Congress eliminate the debt ceiling mechanism altogether, Utah Senator Jason Chaffetz  said the "President has the gall to actually go out and suggest that we should get rid of the debt ceiling votes and take away Congress' ability to help put a lid on that." For his part, Speaker Boehner this week described his debt ceiling extortion as "leverage."

In 2011, former Bush Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill had a different term for it:

"The people who are threatening not to pass the debt ceiling are our version of al Qaeda terrorists. Really. They're really putting our whole society at risk by threatening to round up 50 percent of the members of the Congress, who are loony, who would put our credit at risk."
And that's not politics as usual. That's treason.
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Comment Preferences

    •  T&R for solid analysis and facts (18+ / 0-)

      but the word treason is one not to be used lightly. And even if appropriate the fact is that it is such a strong word that it overshadows the rest of the important information in this post. So it is in fact the only part of this post I don't like even while agreeng with the essential point being made.



      "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

      by Andrew C White on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 07:42:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Treason with a Small "t" (8+ / 0-)

        Your point is well taken.  Treason is indeed a powerful word.

        That said, I should clarify that in this diary I'm using "treason" with a small "t."  That is, I'm not suggesting that that Republican leaders have committed treason in a legal sense or in the narrow Constitutional definition:

        "Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. "
        Instead, I'm suggesting that the GOP's actions are a betrayal of the public trust and would do very real harm to the nation.
        •  you do yourself no favors (9+ / 0-)

          when you use treason. You're legitimizing the republican usage of the word when describing Democratic actions.

          47 is the new 51!

          by nickrud on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 08:09:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Treason in the Constitution is small t (9+ / 0-)

          Except for the first mention in Article III, sec. 2 where it begins a sentence, it is referred to in print copies as 'treason':

          ..... No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.
          The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture except during the life of the person attainted.
          Adam B. has specifically asked that the word be used as the Constitution intended.  

          Betrayal is an excellent word for what you mean....

          "Are you bluish? You don't look bluish," attributed to poet Roger Joseph McGough, for the Beatles' Yellow Submarine (1968).

          by BlueStateRedhead on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 08:53:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  How about "sedition"? (6+ / 0-)


            1.     speech or behavior directed against the peace of a state

            2.     an offense that tends to undermine the authority of a state

            3.    an incitement to public disorder

            4.    revolt (archaic)

            (Collins English Dictionary)

            Anyway, thank you for your thoughts, Jon.  It's a weird and disturbing time, for sure.

            •  It has an unhappy history, Alien+sed. Act (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              I am not sure if it remains in use since.  IANAL. I wish Adam B would make this a matter of settled site procedure. OK or No go to use Treason loosely?

              "Are you bluish? You don't look bluish," attributed to poet Roger Joseph McGough, for the Beatles' Yellow Submarine (1968).

              by BlueStateRedhead on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 03:53:52 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Sedition is what I am inclined to say (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BlueStateRedhead, US Blues, jomsc

              These are clearly acts that are intended to destroy the lawful functioning of our government.  Clearly, what the Republican Party has been doing for the last four years is unAmerican and definitely against the best interests of this nation.  The Republicans in Congress have placed their party above the good of our country.  As per the Wikipedia definition of sedition:

              In law, sedition is overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that is deemed by the legal authority to tend toward insurrection against the established order. Sedition often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontent (or resistance) to lawful authority.

              "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

              by gulfgal98 on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 06:38:17 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Very thoughtful, just the kind of reasoning.... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                ....treason is not getting. I am just not in a position to say go/no go on sedition. I can on treason because I asked Adam B.

                "Are you bluish? You don't look bluish," attributed to poet Roger Joseph McGough, for the Beatles' Yellow Submarine (1968).

                by BlueStateRedhead on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 06:45:03 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Whatever we call their crime (2+ / 0-)

                  They should be treated as terrorists and punished accordingly.

                  "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

                  by US Blues on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 06:50:06 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Its not sedition either..for the same reasons (0+ / 0-)

                  Because we dislike someone's position on something does not make it ILLEGAL, even in a minor way much less in a grandiose form all dolled up with terms like Treason and Sedition being thrown around.

                  This is the same logic they use to say that taxing job creators goes against the founding laws about private property and is therefore a breach of the oath of office.

                  Its the same as saying that separation of church and state is equivalent of tyrannical oppression.

                  Its the same as saying that proposing cuts to the dept of defense is an overt attempt to demonstrably weaken the US and is therefore treasonous.

                  And the last major movement in this country that labeled as Sedition was the civil rights movement.  So if that counts as sedition that sign me up as a Seditionist.

                  The point is that all of these things (this diary included) are overblown hyperbole that do naught but cheapen real terms with real meanings; much as has been done with Terrorism, War, Hero and Patriot.

                  Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

                  by Wisper on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 07:18:25 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

        •  I appreciate your clarification (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kurt, Wisper

          but I can not agree with your word choice even if you mean it in a non legal sense

          We need to move past the 'well you're unAmerican' and the 'oh yeah well you're committing treason!' stuff. It's unproductive and needlessly moves this into the realm of the personal

          The GOP may be beyond hope of saving at this point but no need to drag us down to that level

        •  I dunno, when we have somebody like McConnell (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          saying that they intend to make a sitting president a one term president by blocking everything he tries to do - I find it very hard not to use the T word.

          if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

          by mrsgoo on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 11:28:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  How has the GOP been ignored on this behavior? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Sedition according to Merriam Webster
          se·di·tion noun si-ˈdi-shən\
          Definition of SEDITION
          : incitement of resistance to or insurrection against lawful authority

          Treason according to Merriam Webster
          trea·son noun ˈtrē-zən\
          Definition of TREASON
          1: the betrayal of a trust : treachery
          2: the offense of attempting by overt acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance or to kill or personally injure the sovereign or the sovereign's family

          Traitor according to Merriam Webster
          trai·tor noun ˈtrā-tər\
          Definition of TRAITOR
          1: one who betrays another's trust or is false to an obligation or duty
          2: one who commits treason

          "They love the founding fathers so much they will destroy everything they created and remake it in Rush Limbaughs image." MinistryofTruth, 9/29/11

          by AnnieR on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 06:27:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  treason...tea-reason... (0+ / 0-)

          with us or against us
          drill baby drill
          death panels
          psalm 109
          legitimate rape

        •  And in that I agree completely n/t (0+ / 0-)

          "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

          by Andrew C White on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 08:09:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Not. Daisy likes the Constitution as it is (5+ / 0-)

      At least, I think she does.  
      ASo unless the GOP is giving aid or comfort to an enemy country such as a terrorist organization, it ain't treasonous.
      I have Adam B.'s word in my comment stream somewhere that for Kos and Kogs, it's the constitutional definition that is binding.

      So here are a few for Daisy to use:


      "Are you bluish? You don't look bluish," attributed to poet Roger Joseph McGough, for the Beatles' Yellow Submarine (1968).

      by BlueStateRedhead on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 08:39:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Repubs had rather take the easy route (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ColoTim, elwior, ericlewis0

      of going over the cliff and causing great HARM to MOST Americans than face the wrath of Grover Norquist!

      "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

      by MartyM on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 09:35:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  As one said, it's much easier voting "no" in (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior, CA wildwoman, ericlewis0, MartyM

        Washington than actually voting "yes".  The Republicans are all about obstruction and undermining the ability of government to function because having the government function goes against their interests (privatization, controlling contracts only to friends, minimal regulation/interference in the drive to make as much money as possible).

    •  No, it shouldn't... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, kurt, Lovo

      Treason is what Dick Cheney, Scooter Libby, and Karl Rove engaged in when they revealed that Valerie Plame was a spy. They knew something secret and revealed in such a way that it damaged our national security. They are traitors.

      What the GOP is engaging in as a whole is not treason, it is subversion. They are subverting our Constitutional form of government to further enrich the ruling elite by throwing delusional hissy fits on the floor of congress. What's sad is how many people take these delusional subversives "seriously."

      Regulated capital serves the people, unregulated capital serves itself.

      by Alumbrados on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 10:44:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I am sure this won't go over well (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt, CroneWit, Wisper

      but I'm actually not going to reccomend this because of the use of the word 'treason'

      I don't like what the GOP stands for or does but I am not sure it's treason and even if it is calling it treason is not going to help matters

    •  OK, then what foreign country (0+ / 0-)

      is behind this and benefits?

      Overall, this is probably going to be a substantial hit to the world economy in general and I don't see anyone benefiting . . .

  •  While the Legal Types Will Refute This Idea, If (21+ / 0-)

    we recognized that the global financial sector is waging a war against us, then this might be literal legal treason.

    What's the purpose of a war? To capture territory and assets, take over the government. What of this is global finance not doing?

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 06:51:53 PM PST

    •  Because it is not a country nor are we.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      demdoc, kurt

      Last I heard, we had not captured the territory or assets of any country....We are a class, so one can speak of class warfare, as does Krugman....without speaking of treason....
      As for legal types, Adam B. is this site's official legal type, and he has asked that treason be used as the Constitution defines it.  

      "Are you bluish? You don't look bluish," attributed to poet Roger Joseph McGough, for the Beatles' Yellow Submarine (1968).

      by BlueStateRedhead on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 08:45:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  That graph comparing spending under Bush & Obama (18+ / 0-)

    is particularly important. Why has that statistic not gotten more attention?

  •  Thanks for this outstanding post John Perr. (9+ / 0-)

    I'm working on a post now of John Boehner's comments this morning on Fox News where he says Congress will never give up the power to control the debt ceiling and that any expansion has to be matched by entitlement cuts.

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 07:11:51 PM PST

    •  That kind of attitude gets going the litigation (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      demdoc, CA wildwoman

      to have the debt ceiling law declared unconstitutional, at an early date. That does not require Boehner's consent, and is apparently already under discussion. Note, of course, that Boehner does not say today that tax increase must be matched by 'spending' cuts, but rather 'entitlement' cuts. A much narrower and more questionable matter in which he KNOWS now after the election that he will be pushing over the objections of a huge percentage of the entire country, and does not care and never has.

  •  In several ways, GOP is sabotaging & treasonous... (7+ / 0-)

    Their mission at this point seems to be preventing the POTUS from accomplishing anything, even if it means destabilizing the US economy, or if it means Tipping Off the World to Covert CIA Role in Libya.

    Nothing seems to low for today's republican politicians:  Causing an unnecessary fiscal crisis?  Check.  Outing the CIA HQ, covet mission, and covert operatives in Libya? Check.  

    If Democrats in Congress were doing what Boehner, McConnell, Graham, McCain, etc were doing--they would be undergoing ethics investigations--or worse.

  •  Shorting US Treasuries as Cantor (6+ / 0-)

    and possibly McConnell (and other republicans) did, while voting to cause a default as they did last year is certainly sabotage and possibly treason.  They have no allegiance other than to money (who ever is providing it for them).  

  •  This a masterpiece of journalism - HATRIOTS (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KenBee, Matt Z, Pluto, CA wildwoman

    The GOP are HATRIOTS, not patriots.

    I look forward to them being banned in 2014.  

    Are you working locally to oust the traitors in your district? State? Congress?

    We must roll up our sleeves and talk to people to get this asshats voted out forever.

    It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

    by War on Error on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 07:29:34 PM PST

    •  dafuq? (0+ / 0-)
      Are you working locally to oust the traitors in your district? State? Congress?
      Thats the meme you want to run with? I don't think that's been the esprit de corps of the progressive movement, if you know what I mean.

      I mean, if it is, then I've been mistaken and need to go put on a shirt that is a different shade of brown.

      Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

      by Wisper on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 06:19:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think Obama should say, "Proceed then, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    but you should consider this; if you don't pass it, good luck trying to get re-elected after the economy takes a nose-dive."  

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 07:44:38 PM PST

  •  two faced bastards gutting calif school districts (0+ / 0-)

    start here:

    Paying $56 Million to Borrow $4 Million: School District Capital Appreciation Bonds in Humboldt County

    and/or here:

    LCO Bombshell: will McK schools really pay $56M to borrow $4M?

     for a look the local contractors/bankers business oriented RW school board voting in a bankrupting-in-the-far future CAB type school bonds with deferred payments costing 11-13, even up into the 20's and 30 times..wait ..TIMES what the original borrowed amount is/was!
       Then  look at the original LA Times article:
    California school districts face huge debt on risky bonds
    and look at the LA Times Capital Appreciation Bonds spreadsheet.

    Now I was looking first at the local blogs and saw this...and then the LA times indicating they have and are doing this all over California, and my conclusion is that if they can get away with this out here in Smarter than the rest of you saps California, what havoc have they been wreaking around the country?

    Touched I am by the 'business' orientation of those nicely dressed responsible school board members...their business is getting in on these deals somehow, somewhere, and if they aren't jailed for it they should be disqualified for stupidity.

    Morals, ethics, how quaint, and certainly not a 'business' orientation....but I'm not bitter and 'you didn't hear that from me.'

    (Sry John I just saw all this and here this was...please continue sir..:>)

    I don't know if this was diaried here on big Orange or not but next time some nicely dressed corrupt rw'er says 'run it like a business' I'll stab him in the .. kick him in th.....I haven't the werds...and it seemed to fit this diary, so....

    This machine kills Fascists.

    by KenBee on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 07:55:19 PM PST

  •  it's more like sedition if (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    treason under economic patriotism can be a vice

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 07:55:49 PM PST

  •  A superb essay! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peregrine kate, CA wildwoman

    About this:

    GOP obstructionism becomes treason on debt ceiling
    Yes, it does become treason.

    But in the US, we no long punish war crimes or treason. If we did, Colin Powell would be in prison along with the entire depraved presidential cartel that hired him as a carny barker.

    Yet, this still begs a larger question. Is a nation where partisanship power has thoroughly replaced national well being with no repercussions -- a failed state?

    A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. -- Groucho Marx

    by Pluto on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 07:57:19 PM PST

  •  Treason is defined (5+ / 0-)

    in the Constitution.  The Republicans have not committed treason.  I truly hate having this word watered down like "hero."

    They have sabotaged the economy, have utter contempt for the majority of the country, despise all who are not affluent -- but they have not committed treason.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 08:08:58 PM PST

  •  "This kind of rhetoric is not common amongst AAA (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CA wildwoman

    sovereigns."  That hits hard but it's clear where the boundaries are.  Another S&P statement I saw said that the threat of default isn't a bargaining chip for elected officials to use for partisan advantage.  Americans have very little awareness of how they're scrutinized from abroad.  Maybe since they have little interest in other countries they don't realize they're the focus of intense, but one-sided interest.  I go to France and I see it there.  They just started withdrawing their troops from Afghanistan ahead of schedule and I have to say the string of events from Marines taking pictures of urinating on dead Afghans, Qurans that were burned, the 16 civilians who were killed by the soldier who skipped off base in the night, started making them wonder if the US is a good ally.
    Not that things are perfect there either but they have the sense to stop people who are a danger to themselves and to others.  

    "Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves." - Abraham Lincoln

    by leftreborn on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 08:12:28 PM PST

  •  This claim (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlueStateRedhead, Wisper

    is about as sound as the teatard claim that you can stop the electoral college with a boycott.  You could as well claim that running a budget deficit in time of peace is treason.  That would be wrong, too.

    Treason is well defined in the constitution.  Arguing about finances is not treason.    

    I very strongly considered giving you a hide rating on the grounds that this sort of rhetoric is going to terminate the political process.

    We can have change for the better.

    by phillies on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 08:30:57 PM PST

  •  Want Treason? try Kos's hate mail. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wisper, nickrud

    Before deciding that treason can be used for one's one rhetorical purposes, take a look at how the haters of Kos use it:

    niggerloving traitor
    moulitspic please FUCK OFF AND DIE!!! You think Obongo will stay in thw white house for fours years? Fuck that!! the cheating lying negroid will be in PRISONfor TREASON!!!

    Now will you stop, please. For the site's sake.

    How Kos's enemies use the T word

    "Are you bluish? You don't look bluish," attributed to poet Roger Joseph McGough, for the Beatles' Yellow Submarine (1968).

    by BlueStateRedhead on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 09:06:25 PM PST

  •  Just ignore it as per the law it's his right (0+ / 0-)

    When two laws conflict the President chooses which to enforce and can negate the other. When Congress passes laws spending money which exceeds the limit they force the president to make a choice.

    President Obama can legally pay the debt in excess of the limit completely within the law. He can then let the SCOTUS sort it out sometime in the future if he cares to do so.

    America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

    by cacamp on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 09:14:12 PM PST

    •  Never been tested (0+ / 0-)

      and would guarantee a SCOTUS challenge, which is never helpful.  Constitutional Crises are to be avoided, not amped up and looked forward to like your favorite sports team's next home game.

      The Constitution, and every contemporaneous document from the Founding Fathers, always puts spending money in the hands of the House of Representatives.  If the Unitary Executive can do whatever he wants, why even pass a budget?  Just pass laws and let the President do and spend whatever she wants to get the job done.  

      That way madness lies.  ..and if not madness, then at least the pales shades of dictatorship.

      Would you have liked to see Bush do this in order to fund another war after Congress passed a law restricting funding?

      Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

      by Wisper on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 06:24:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  treason? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The title of the diary seems like something we'd read at Redstate or Free Republic.

    I run like heck from the hand wringing dramatics.

    Enagaged activism wins elections. 100 million words on liberal/progressive websites gets beat by one new GOP voter casting their vote.

    by Nebraska68847Dem on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 10:31:44 PM PST

  •  Leaders who would call themselves (0+ / 0-)

    representatives of the people while they attempt to destroy the United States from the inside because a black president implies to them that they're losing power and privilege, are sociopaths.

    As a country, we have given these racist, sexist, homophobic, religiously overzealous creeps chairs of power that they don't deserve.

    Anyone who can't learn from history doesn't deserve to be in charge. They would love for us to resemble a Dickensian society where the prostitutes outnumber the educators and starving orphans roamed the streets begging or were imprisoned in an insanely abusive orphanage. Perhaps they'd like for us all to start dumping our waste into the sewers and save money on public water treatment, that way, poor kids will die and the privileged, rich and male will have less competition when they impose feudalism on us all.

    I do see your point about treason. If any American believes in what a Democratic Republic stands for, they wouldn't be trying to recreate the conditions of wealth disparity and unhappiness that our forefathers denounced.

    "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

    by GenXangster on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 01:46:18 AM PST

  •  The Federal Government does not need debt. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Bonds do NOT finance government spending. That is the BIG LIE. When the government deficit spends, it first creates new money by spending it into the economy. Then it offers securities in exchange so it can pay interest on the money it just created. This keeps up the pretense of "necessary borrowing," and makes the bond merchants huge profits participating in this shell game.  Oh, and the bond vigilantes? They don't set US interest rates. Those are fixed by the Fed in the overnight market.

  •  S&P? Oh, THAT criminal organization. Funny (0+ / 0-)

    how sell of Try Bonds increased after said downgrade.

    Oh right, the bond vigilantes don't set interest rates on Try Bonds, the Fed does, being that the US is a monetary sovereign of a fiat currency with a floating exchange rate.

    And as such, it's really not necessary to provide free lunches to bond merchants through borrowing back the money that the US FIRST SPENDS into existence through fiat.

    S&P -- what a load of crap.

  •  Time for Obama to mint a $20T coin (0+ / 0-)

    and deposit it at the Federal Reserve. Eliminate the national debt and let the GOP fume.

    Economics is a social *science*. Can we base future economic decisions on math?

    by blue aardvark on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 06:35:56 AM PST

  •  obstruction/treason starts at the local RW radio (0+ / 0-)

    stations that broadcast limbaugh and the others who echoed his guarantees last year that not extending the debt ceiling was no big deal and would even force obama to make the cuts they wanted. without that blowhard and his wannabes and the talk radio constituency they create at their backs the GOP teabaggers in congress could not have done it. whether he/they held that position for weeks before the deadline because they actually believed it or were following think tank talking points thinking obama would fold, who knows, but the effect was the same- the perception that there was popular support for obstruction as well as intimidation of those GOP reps that might fold. and sequestration and a credit downgrade etc resulted. the fox idiots could not have done what talk radio was able to do- they have too many 'business experts' scared of the possibilities.

    unfortunately there is no searchable database of those talk radio transcripts to research the main enabler of the obstruction and expose it. and because there is no learning curve re RW radio the last 20 years it continues to be the main tool used to intimidate those considering rationality and patriotism over party and pushing the GOP and the country to the edge.

    consider what would have happened if those talk radio stations had been informing how many GOP presidents had regularly and routinely raised the debt ceiling and warning of the consequences of not raising it this time, as might be expected from radio stations licensed to operate in the public interest.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 07:20:59 AM PST

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