Constitutional power yields to the power of thuggery and threats

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow Money on the credit of the United States …

— U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 8

Today, the GOP caved in on almost all of its demands.

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell claimed the deal preserves a round of spending cuts negotiated two years ago, but time will tell.

The “negotiations” proved the point of an Investor’s Business Daily editorial today that quotes Obama’s mentor Saul Alinsky, “Allow no middle ground. ‘Reconciliation’ means that when one side gets the power and the other side gets reconciled to it, then we have reconciliation.”

Rep. Tom McClintock, a California Republican, made an extraordinary statement on the floor of the House yesterday that reveals the massive shift in power we have just seen:

“House leadership met with the president last week and offered to extend the debt limit until November 22nd with no strings attached. The president refused. Senate Republicans offered a six-month extension, but the Senate Democratic leader refused. What the president threatens to do would be catastrophic and unprecedented. The full faith and credit of the United States is what gives markets the confidence to loan money to the federal government. Even a threat of default, exactly the kind the president is now making, could have dire consequences to a nation that now owes more than its entire economy produces in a year.

Rep. Tom McClintock

“So where do we go from here? Republicans miscalculated on two key assumptions. First, that the Democrats would negotiate the issues that divide our country. They have not. Second, that Democrats would seek to minimize the suffering caused by the impasse. They have not. Given the ruthless and vindictive way the shutdown has been handled, I now believe that this president would willfully act to destroy the full faith and credit of the United States, unless the Congress acquiesces to all of his demands, at least as long as he sees political advantage in doing so.

“If the Republicans acquiesce, the immediate crisis will quickly vanish. Credit markets will calm and public life will return to other matters, but a fundamental element up our Constitution will have been destroyed. The power of the purse will have shifted from the representatives of the people to the Executive. The executive bureaucracies will be freed to turn out ever more outlandish regulations with no affective congressional review or check through the purse.

“A perilous era will have begun in which the president sets spending levels and vetoes any bill falling short of his demands. Whenever a deadline approaches, one house can simply refuse to negotiate with the other until Congress is faced with a Hobson’s choice, of a shut down or a default. The nation’s spending will again dangerously accelerate. The deficit will rapidly widen and economic prosperity of the nation will continue to slowly bleed away.

“This impasse may have started as a dispute over a collapsing health program, but has now taken on the dimensions of a constitutional crisis.”