The Republicans in Congress have allegiance to only two things -- protecting the 1% and waging ideological warfare at the expense of everything else. As a result, we're now witnessing what appears to be the remarkably precipitous decline of our country's ability to govern itself -- something unimaginable only a few years ago.
Now that the Republicans have all but officially decided they're opposed to making new laws to respond to the country's problems, what will they do about the laws we already have? The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be an important political test case for how far the GOP will go.
Political opponents of the law have been successful in getting their ACA challenge before the Supreme Court. But will the Republicans comply if the Court declares the law constitutional--even if the 1% doesn't like the decision?
The reason to ask today whether the Republicans will support the Constitution and the Court in the future is because of their unwillingness to do anything in Congress that doesn't serve their political goals.
Take this week -- the Republicans won't put money in the pockets of working families by extending the payroll tax reduction. They are for raising taxes on everyone who works for a living even though the Republicans pledged (to one guy, Grover Norquist) to not raise any taxes, in any way, ever. But now they're happy to take away money from people struggling to make ends meet. The Republicans also say they won't extend unemployment benefits for people who don't have a job through no fault of their own.
The GOP's new brand of extremism keeps getting worse. In the months leading up to the deficit reduction deal last summer, the Republicans abandoned the bipartisan tradition of routinely extending the debt ceiling -- something essential to responsible governing. While the House Republicans campaigned on jobs as the top issue in the 2010 elections, they've spent more time trying to take away women's health care than actually creating jobs. Meanwhile, while it used to be customary not to attack a president while our nation is at war with another country, the Republicans have relentlessly attacked President Obama from day one, beginning with absurd questions about whether he was born in this country.
This is why it's worth asking today whether the Republicans in Congress will respect a Supreme Court decision if they don't like it. If they don't, there's a lot more at stake than one hugely important court case.