Thursday, October 10, 2013

Extortion? Blackmail? Or the normal political process?

So, I've seen someone suggest that Harry Reid and the Democrats in the US Senate1 are guilty of extortion or blackmail, because they won't agree to take up any government funding bills from the House that don't also completely fund the "Affordable Care Act."  I just want to say that, whether or not you agree with what they're doing, that characterization is obviously preposterous. 

Just as the House has the power of the purse, the Congress as a whole has to agree on all appropriations.  If Senate Democrats really think that immediate and full funding of that particular law, despite the fact that the infrastructure is clearly not ready for, and despite the fact that the President has already unilaterally (and almost certainly unconstitutionally) suspended parts of it for a year, is the way to go, they've got the right to use that as a negotiating position. 

And it is uncivil to call the Senate Democrats and their supporters, "economic terrorists" or "blackmailers" just because they are taking a position that they feel is in the best interest of the country, regardless of whether or not I agree with them.  Obviously, that goes for the President (against whom there has also been a lot of name-calling by people who simply have a different opinion on what the best course of action for the country is) as well.  (Of course, nothing he's said is really relevant yet anyway, because the Senate hasn't actually taken up any of the spending bills that the House has passed, so there's nothing for him to sign or veto yet.)

1 - OK,  I'm pretty sure that this person was actually talking about the Republicans in the House.  Which changes exactly nothing, about this commentary, other than whose Ox is being gored...

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