Do you remember when Congress had value? You know, the days when their primary accomplishments were more than naming post offices and shutting down the government?
Oh that's right... The Tea Party.
Leader after leader in the tea party faction of the Republican Party enjoys espousing the virtues of the Constitution. "If only we could go back to the days of the Founding Fathers," they say. "Then we'd get to a functioning government."
Let's have a 10-second history lesson.
The Founding Fathers didn't agree on some pretty serious stuff. Things that had some consequence... like slavery, and whether power should be concentrated at the federal or state level. We fought a war on this stuff. A war against ourselves.
But even during that war the government remained open. And even with these fundamental differences there was debate, compromise and the development of a nation.
Still not convinced? Read the Federalist Papers.
Or if you're pressed for time read anything credible on U.S. history.
But let's get back to the tea party and the inconvenient truths in that pesky document: the Constitution. These same Founding Fathers set up a way to ensure that the people have a way to change a law they don't like. They can get Congress to repeal it, and a president to sign it. After Marbury v. Madison we even brought in the Supreme Court to let us know when a law isn't kosher.
So let's look at what these "strict constitutionalists" did.
They have voted over 40 times in the House of Representatives to repeal the law they hate the most: Obamacare.
Perfect! Step one in understanding the Constitution.
Problem? No one else has been there with them. Not the Senate, not the president and not the Supreme Court.
That's right; Obamacare was passed by the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate, signed by the president of the United States, and found constitutional by the Supreme Court. We even had a presidential election in 2012 in which one of the primary issues was the value of Obamacare.
The result? A second term for the guy that it is named after.
Apparently they love the Constitution until it becomes inconvenient. Kind of like how they love to rail against "big government" until they can get photo-ops about governmental programs they like.
Real leaders don't shut down the government, threaten default on obligations, threaten financial markets and programs for the poor and the most vulnerable -- all over a constitutional law that does "inconvenient" things like make sure kids with a preexisting conditions can get the health care they need.
Get back to work. The Founding Fathers are embarrassed you aren't there right now.