Imagine if the headlines this morning had read, "Senate Sends Ultimatum to GOP," and imagine if the story included this letter.
Dear Republican House Members:
Two can play this game. The U.S. Senate has come up with a list of demands. You are hereby put on notice that the Senate will not sign off on the budget until the House agrees to the following terms:
- Repeal the ACA, and replace it with 100% coverage for all Americans under Medicaid. In other words, true universal healthcare.
- Repeal Citizens United, and reinstate Glass-Steagal.
- Sign off on marriage equality in all 50 states.
- Decriminalize marijuana in all 50 states. Universal pardon and release for all U.S. prisoners incarcerated for marijuana charges.
- Increase national minimum wage to $15/hour
How does this fantasy sound to you? If you’re a progressive, the changes are probably pretty attractive. It would be really great if America looked like this.
Unfortunately, that’s not how our government works. Or rather, fortunately, that’s not how our country works. If it did, we would be in a continual stalemate anytime each party held one branch of government.
This is the reason the Republicans are operating outside the bounds of our Constitution. They are wrong. This is not, as it has been described in various media, a debate. It is not bickering between the president and Congress. It is as much a fantasy as the imaginary letter from the Senate to House Republicans. Imagine for a moment how FOX News would react if the Democrats were to make these demands and then shut down the government. Can you even imagine? It is almost inconceivable.
This is as simple as it gets. The house is committing extortion against the entire nation. It’s not “like” extortion. It is extortion. And every single member of the GOP who has supported this action is guilty of high crimes against the United States of America.