The dictionary defines treason as, “disloyalty or treachery to one’s country or its government.” And so with that in mind one has to ask, are the Republicans guilty of treason?
At the end of last year, Republicans took a hard-line stance to secure tax breaks and tax loopholes for millionaires, during the debate over the budget and unemployment benefits. Their intransigence could have caused two million unemployed Americans to go without a check, and taxes to rise for all Americans if President Obama refused to agree to their terms, which included extending tax breaks for the richest 1% of American people.
Last week we got to see their terror tactics taken to the next level entirely. Despite dozens of adjustments to the debt ceiling over the past few decades, Republicans decided to hold the United States to ransom engaging in some of the most shameful, and some would say treasonous actions that we have witnessed in American politics. Republican Speaker of the House, John Boehner, held to a no-compromise position, which included storming out of meetings and refusing to take phone calls from the President of the United States. When a final agreement was reached, he bragged to his base that he got 98% of what he and his party wanted.
Unfortunately, the rest of the world tends to pay attention to these kind of events, and thanks to the political self-serving shenanigans of the Republican party, China (one of our biggest investors) issued a stinging rebuke calling the behavior of the Republicans, “dangerously irresponsible.”
Soon after the fight was over, and Obama signed a largely ineffective Republican compromise into law, Standards and Poor’s; one of the three largest credit rating firms downgraded America’s credit rating from AAA to AA+, noting that partisanship and the ineptitude of Congress was partly to blame.
As if this wasn’t enough Republicans made moves that could have shut down the FAA, grounding flights all across America, once again turning a minor budget debate for an essential government agency into a debacle that saw 4,000 construction workers forced to down tools until the situation was finally resolved.
Essentially, what we have seen ever since Barack Obama took office, is the deliberate road blocks, filibuster threats, stonewalling, and refusal to work in a bipartisan way with the government. Since the 2010 midterm election, Republicans have taken their game to the next level, by manufacturing crisis after crisis, taking every single negotiation down to the wire in a manner that is both unprecedented and wholly unnecessary. It seems that they are more interested in playing politics and making Obama look bad, than they are working in the best interest of our country. In short, if they can sink the economy, and ruin the reputation of the United States, all they need to do then is finger point at the president and hope they can steal another election in 2012.
The actions of these Republicans who signed the Grover Norquist no taxes and no closing of tax loopholes pledge, and Republicans who align themselves with the Tea Party, are clearly no longer in the best interest of the country. They are a self-serving pandering to radical fringe movements that are in no way in line with mainstream America. And when a group of powerful people are willing to put their own political ideals and ambitions ahead of the country and the will of the people, is this not the very definition of treason? When a group of radicals hold the government to ransom with serious global consequences isn’t that a form of terrorism?
Many on the right will no doubt pour scorn on the idea that Republicans are guilty of treason, after all Republicans like to tell us repeatedly how much they love their country. But it becomes increasingly hard to believe when we see how their actions fail to measure up to their words. There is a lot of idealism in politics, and sure, everyone is entitled to an opinion. I accept that there are many different solutions to a specific problem. However, I cannot see the justification for manufacturing crisis after crisis, deliberately destabilizing America’s trust and reputation around the world.
Make no mistake, the recent Republican led fight over the debt ceiling will have far-reaching and significant ramifications for this country. Even though we managed to avoid default, other countries, financial institutions, and corporations have all taken notice of what happened. The fact that the Republican party were willing to create this situation and exploit it for what they perceive to be their gain is, as far as I am concerned, an act of treason. I don’t by any means blame all Republicans for what happened, but there are enough of them with blood on their hands. It will be interesting to see how many more crisis points they will try and manufacture on the run up to the 2012 election, just so they can convince the stupid among the American people, that Obama is not doing a good job, and should be replaced. The only question that remains, is how much damage they can do to our country if we are stupid enough to hand them the keys to the Oval Office.