Before the 2012 election for President and Vice President, I wrote a piece in which I warned that depending on the results of the Presidential and Congressional elections, we could have a United States "Government Takeover" by a private citizen, Grover Norquist. The facts were 234 Republican members of the House of Representatives, (16) more than a simple majority of 218 could defeat any legislation and 41 Republican members of United States Senate, could keep any legislation from passing the Senate by using the filibuster. Thus, Senate Democrats, who had more than a majority of Senators, actually need 60 votes not 51, to pass legislation. The 234 GOP House members and the 41 GOP Senate members had taken the following Oath of Office:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend
the Constitution of the United States against all enemies,
foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance
to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any
mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well
and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am
about to enter: So help me God.
Why is the Oath of Office so important? First and foremost, citizens who decide to be candidates for public office pledge to their constituents that they are honest, free, independent and worthy of the support of the voters in their states, congressional districts and any other political areas that they wish to represent.
Secondly, when they gain the trust of those constituents and are elected to office, they must take the Oath of Office. The Oath states that they solemnly swear that they will defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, and they state that this is an obligation that they take without any reservation or evasion and that they will faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which they are about to enter, and they sum it up by stating: So help me God.
Either before or shortly after swearing to uphold all of these moral commitments and promises to their constituents, with the help of God, GOP Congressmen and GOP senators voluntarily take a second oath, thus abandoning and negating their official Oath of Office.
Most of us have been around long enough to have either learned of or observed military takeovers in foreign countries which are described as "coups". Make no mistake that what has happened in this country is a "coup", planned, not by foreign or domestic military forces, but rather orchestrated by Grover Norquist, the Koch brothers and their very wealthy cohorts as a domestic moral and financial "coup". At this point, where does that leave the office holders, their constituents, and the citizens of the United States of America? Office holders who have negated their Oath of Office have no credibility and are unable to govern because they are now under the control of other persons. The constituents have lost what they believed they had, which was, independence, liberty, freedom and trustworthiness.
Instead of proudly honoring their Oath of Office, they negated and abandoned it, and in its place, signed a different oath to Grover Norquist, thus becoming Norquist GOP Puppets. To make matters worse both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan signed the same Norquist oath and thus became Norquist Puppets. Had Romney/Ryan been elected, Mr. Norquist would have become the Chief Executive Officer of the United States of America. Following is the Norquist oath:
I Senator/Representative, pledge to the taxpayers of the
(_______ district of the) state of _____________ and to the
American people that I will: ONE, oppose any and all efforts to
increase the marginal tax rate for individuals and business; and
TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions
and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further
reducing tax rates.
Fortunately, in 2012, President Obama won his reelection by about 5 million votes. Unfortunately, those 5 million votes cast by citizens of this country had no effect, either on the Norquist GOP Puppets who dominated the House of Representatives or on the Norquist GOP Puppet Senators, including Senator Mitch Mc Connell, who garnered enough votes to continue to rule by filibuster.
In the 2012 campaign, the GOP ran on a platform of cleaning up the income tax code by eliminating unnecessary and costly loopholes, most of which benefit wealthy Americans. The GOP failed to pass one bill eliminating a loophole in the tax code. The President and the Democrats ran on a platform of increasing taxes on the wealthiest Americans who had benefitted from the steep Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 which contributed to the deficit. They were only able to get 75 percent of the Bush tax cuts restored.
Virtually no Democratic elected official of the House of Representatives or the United States Senate has signed Mr. Norquist's oath or pledge. Mr. Norquist has stated publicly that his goal is, "To flush the Federal Government down the drain." Some people say that they want to take back this country, but I suspect that they really want to take it down, and they are having their way. The Republican-controlled Congress is simply dysfunctional.
In January, 2014, Speaker Boehner directed Majority Leader Eric Cantor to announce to the House members their working schedule for 2014. Mr. Cantor duly informed the House that between January, 2014, and Election Day, the House would work a grand total of 97 days. Just imagine that Majority Leader Cantor had announced that we in the House are going to work full-time this year to help to get this country moving again. And imagine he then went on to say, we're going to work on the minimum wage, unemployment benefits, immigration, veterans benefits and other measures to help the middle class people who are working hard but really hurting; and one of the first tax loopholes we're going to address is the one that permits U.S. Corporations to move their headquarters to a foreign country so that they can avoid paying income taxes to the U.S. Federal Government. If these things had happened, these Norquist Puppets might be worthy of reelection. But none of this happened. They worked 97 days, I guess, and sat there and wouldn't pass minimum wage, immigration reform, unemployment benefits for hard working Americans who lost their jobs where they work more than 200 days a year, and got nothing; and they sat there and watched corporations move their headquarters to foreign soil with the smug knowledge that those corporations would be donating big cash to the Super Pacs, which would find its way back into their reelection campaigns.
So what did these Norquist Puppets actually do? They did nothing. They tried a few more times to take health insurance away from those Americans who have it for the first time in their lives. One of the annual responsibilities of the House of Representatives is to adopt a 12 month fiscal year budget which starts Oct. 1, 2014, and ends on Sept. 30, 2015. The hard-working GOP Puppets managed to pass only a three-month budget, probably betting that they will be reelected, and in December, they can come back and cut the remaining nine-month budget to suit Mr. Norquist and his wealthy cohorts.
In addition to their clear intention to flush the Federal Government down the drain, almost all GOP members of the House and Senate worked diligently to blame the President for every negative thing that happened either in this country or around the world. And to bolster those efforts, they made up scenarios portraying the President as being weak or on the wrong side of every issue. For example, Putin called the President -- which makes the President look weak; or the President called Putin -- which makes the President look weak. Recently, Speaker Boehner, a Norquist Puppet, declared that the President must have taken a nap. If that were true, then Speaker Boehner must have been in a complete coma.
Just days ago, Boehner stated that Mr. Bush would have punched Putin in the face. I assume that Boehner believes that Bush punched Osama bin Laden in the face. All of this is absolutely silly stuff, but it proves that Speaker Boehner isn't working for the country, but rather is working to denigrate the President, weaken the country, weaken the economy and weaken the spirit of the American people.
The question arises, what have the Norquist GOP Puppets actually accomplished? Practically nothing; except they repeatedly tried to repeal, but not replace the Affordable Care Act, took congressional junkets, showed up for work this year for 97 days between January and November, and made many citizens in 16 States, some of whom were devastated by Hurricane Sandy, wait for at least 90 days before the House of Representatives released the funds that they so desperately needed. Since the GOP constantly complains about the deficit, a large part of which they created themselves when they voted to conduct two unfunded wars, the least they could have done was to address some of the loopholes in the tax code, as they promised in their 2012 campaign, and direct the savings toward lowering the deficit. The GOP talks about freedom and liberty when they have neither, since they traded their Oath of Office to become Puppets of Norquist, the Koch brothers and other wealthy people who control them. Almost all of these wealthy people benefit from tax loopholes. One of the ironies here is that most of the committees through which these wealthy associates furnish millions of dollars to their GOP Norquist Puppets, include terms like Committee on Freedom and Committee on Liberty, which are the very qualities that GOP members of Congress have relinquished and handed to Grover Norquist and all of his partners in their moral and financial COUP of our country. It's the freedom and liberty of Grover Norquist, the Koch brothers, and their associates, not the Congress, not the country and certainly, not the citizens of the United States of America.
Has there been any GOP leadership here? No. President Obama, on the other hand, seeing that the Congress was getting almost nothing done, had to depend on issuing Executive Orders to accomplish anything. This brought howls from the Norquist GOP Puppets that the President was lawless. Again, this is silly stuff. In fact, President Obama has issued fewer Executive Orders during the six years of his two terms than any two-term President, in recent memory, Republican or Democrat.
Finally, what can be done to make sure that we're represented by office holders who take the one official Oath of Office and none other? This responsibility rightly rests with the voters of this country. I would suggest that before casting our votes, we find out which candidates for office and which current office holders are Norquist Puppets, so that we can make sure we don't cast our votes for any of the Puppets. People say that talk is cheap which it is, but a written document is different from talk, it has meaning. Candidates for office and current office holders, including Speaker Boehner and Senator McConnell, who sign the Norquist oath or pledge are not loyal and faithful to this country. People who love and loyally support this country are patriots. The same cannot be said of persons who sign an oath or pledge to Grover Norquist, who has publicly stated that he " wants to flush the Federal Government down the drain". Any voter, man or woman, who knowingly votes for any man or woman who is a Norquist GOP Puppet, in effect, becomes a Norquist Voter Puppet.