The Extremism of the Center

The New Republic is reacting calmly to the shutdown, I see:

What is a president in a presidential constitutional republic to do when faced with an intransigent, bull-headed faction among his people's representatives?

Well, Boris Yeltsin, Russia's first democratically elected president, was once faced with a similar situation exactly 20 years ago, in October 1993....Yeltsin held a national referendum, a sort of national vote of confidence, which he won, and used it as a justification for what he did next.

Almost exactly 20 years ago, he dissolved parliament.

Here's how TNR promoted its piece on Twitter:

Oh, how coy.

I suppose this is the next step after Thomas Friedman's if-only-we-were-China fantasies.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I would be more than a little interested to see the results of this mythical (and non-binding) national referendum on Obama's leadership.

  • Drake||

    A "presidential constitutional republic"?

    What the Fuck?

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    Hey, when [i]our team[/i] wins a vote for a particular political position, by definition that position is all powerful.
    Shit, we might as well call him Consul Obama and get it over with.

    Actually, I kind of like the idea of the consular system. Imagine Consul Obama and Consul Paul, each with equal executive powers.

  • Tony||

    It's the form of government of the United States. We have a single person who serves as head of state and head of government. Hence it is a presidential system.

    Federal presidential constitutional republic is the full name.

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    Nothing like quibbling over the exact technical term to describe the U.S. form of government. It's only an article which stares longingly at dissolving legislatures. Hooray for one man declaring himself to represent the will of the people and knocking over the legislature.

  • Michael S. Langston||

    No - we do NOT have one single person who heads our state or our government. This is why the government is technically and correctly called a Constitutional Republic.

    We do have an elected official in charge of one branch of government whose title is president, but the US is not a "Presidential Constitutional Republic".

    But nice - ur use of this language really points out how much y

  • CE||

    The great historian Edward Gibbon pointed out that any nation where one man controls the army, the treasury and the enforcement of the laws, regardless of what it calls itself, is actually a monarchy.

    In the US the president controls the army (in time of war) and the enforcement of the laws, but the House of Representatives is supposed to control the power to tax and spend. We're perilously close to the monarchical standard though.

  • Tony||

    Actually the president is head of government and head of state. This is grade-school civics.

  • ||

    He's head of a branch of government that is supposed to be equal to the other two you fucking nitwit.

  • CE||

    It's fascism all the way down.

  • crazyfingers||

    It will be amusing to watch their massive about-face on the issue of executive authority when a Republican wins the White House in 2016, especially if it's Rand Paul. Of course they're probably so delusional they can't even conceive of that eventuality.

  • Tony||

    Someone's delusional all right.

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    Demographics! Angry white men! The revolution will never die!

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    Why does Tony use third person so often?

  • ||

    I've preached repeatedly to him that talking to himself only makes him look crazier, but he never listens.

  • Aresen||

    After the fourth or fifth time that Team Red and Team Blue have swapped sides on the "Right to Govern" issue, it becomes much less amusing.

  • Another David||

    I think the idea is that after the eighth time it'll be awesome again.

    Basically, we're being governed by Family Guy.

  • Cytotoxic||

    So that's why I'm not laughing.

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    You know what other party cheered the torching of the house of their national legislature?

  • TANSTaaFL||

    The People's Front of Judea?

  • Aresen||

    The "People's Front of Judea" are a bunch of Roman collaborators. Only the Judean People's Front truly represents the popular will.

  • Hillary's Clitdong||

    I only support the Popular Front of Judea.

  • ||

  • rts||

    Splitters!

  • Mike Riggs||

    What's great about the argument from the TNR writer (see also: Washington Post essentially praising Australia's dissolution of parliament AND its prime minister in the 1970s at the behest of Queen Elizabeth II), is how hilariously dissonant it sounds when coupled with claims that Republicans are committing treason by pausing government operations.

    As if SHELLING THE U.S. CAPITOL AND/OR DISSOLVING A DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED PARLIAMENT AT THE BEHEST OF A MONARCH is less treasonous?

  • Irish||

    Come on, Mike. Calling someone treasonous on domestic issues is basically the same as calling someone unpatriotic on foreign policy issues.

    The modern definition of treason is "anyone who, on occasion, disagrees with my domestic policies." Sort of like how unpatriotic means "an individual who, on occasion, opposes bombing people I would prefer we bomb."

  • Winston||

    Um technically all Commonwealth parliaments are always dissolved by the monarch. Well at least until fixed term legislation came about.

    Also SFed the link.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "The 1975 Australian constitutional crisis (often known simply as "the Dismissal") has been described as the greatest political crisis and constitutional crisis in Australia's history. It culminated on 11 November 1975 with the removal of the Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam of the Australian Labor Party (ALP), by Governor-General Sir John Kerr, who then appointed the Leader of the Opposition, Malcolm Fraser, as caretaker Prime Minister."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1.....nal_crisis

  • Winston||

    I know that, I just thought that Riggs' description of that event was quite poor.

  • Winston||

    Obviously the New Republic ignores the fact that Obama has no power to dissolve Congress (and to call for early elections for that matter). So um I guess they are calling for a coup?

  • A Frayed Knot||

    Actually, TNR is just pointing out how benevolent Dear Leader is for not dissolving congress and blowing up the Captiol.

  • Invisible Finger||

    I don't think Russians agreed to let Yeltsin install a Kleptocracy. But New Republic thinks they did.

  • Loki||

    Openly calling for a dissolution of Congress and teh establishment of a dictatorship. Bravo, TNR, bravo, you've finally allowed the mask to slip completely. Fucking totalitarian assholes.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Holy...fucking...shit. This is surreal. How is TNR not a pariah?

  • Root Boy||

    Stay classy TNR..you fucking fascist fucks. Glad to see FB money being put to good use by their new owner (Zucker-dicks roomate).

    Any comment from Tony or PB on this nuanced political discussion?

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    Tony says someone is delusional.

  • PapayaSF||

    "About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers." —Calvin Coolidge

  • CE||

    So now TNR has gone from hiding under their bed about terrorism to openly advocating it?

  • Andrew S.||

    You're saying they've turned into Peter King?

    Wait, he did it the other way around.

    Plus I'm not sure I'd even sully TNR by comparing them to Peter King.

  • ||

    We can only wish Obama would do something like that.

    He won't of course.

    But it's interesting to fantasize about what would happen.

    1. The mainstream media and the hordes of progressive zombie followers would rush to excuse his actions.

    2. There would be a mass uprising amoung conservative Republicans that would make the Patriot movement look like children playing fort.

    3. The would be a revolution, insurgency, or civil war.

    4. Barack Obama would go down in history as the guy who destroyed America.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Barack Obama would go down in history as the guy who destroyed America.

    No he wouldn't. He would go down in history as the man who tried to save America, but was thwarted by the racist TeathugliKKKans.

  • Agammamon||

    "Yeltsin held a national referendum, a sort of national vote of confidence, which he won, and used it as a justification for what he did next."

    Uh, even if I agreed with what Yeltsin did (and I don't), Obama is not likely to win a national referendum on any question other that 'Should the president be locked in a room with a hive full of rabid killer bees'.

    I mean *his* popularity is sitting at 43% and Obamacare itself is polling as bad or worse.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Let us go over the glorious history of the New Republic, and see how calling for a coup is not exactly out of character:

    In its early years, they were soft on the Soviets. Then as the Cold War started they hired a guy (Michael Straight) who had actually spied for the Soviets. Then they published Stephen Glass's phony articles, publicly-pooh-poohing complaints from readers who pointed out their inaccuracy. Then they sacrificed a goat to the devil. Well, no, not really, that would have been cruel. But they did the other stuff.

  • Pathogen||

    Did this ever make the H&R comments section rounds? The comments sections at the end of the article were cool and refreshing LOL inducing, after a long day of shutdown skullduggery...

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