ARLENE VIOLET - Will 'id' trump 'ego' in D.C. mess?

ARLENE VIOLET - Will 'id' trump 'ego' in D.C. mess?

One hundred senators, 435 representatives and one President mean that 536 people are responsible for running into the ground a country which has about 330 million people. All of these D.C. acolytes need to be taken to the proverbial woodshed and thrashed. The "id" of their political self-interest constantly trumps the "ego" of doing the right thing.

The political wag who said that politicians are the only people who create problems and then campaign against them should get the first place in line to cane these miscreants. How can both the Democrats and Republicans be so adamantly against deficits and spending when they create these problems? What is going on (or more precisely, not going on) in D.C. is pure theater where these actors strut their stuff for the benefit of the tea party supporters or ethnic and labor patronage backers. Most of us have seen this play before and we don't want an encore.

The House of Representatives is turning this country into a banana republic. More than 40 times the Republicans have voted to change or end Obamacare and have lost the vote each and every time. Now, this isn't to say they they may be right on some aspects of it but they have lost the argument. It is indeed hostage taking to demand changes or else to shoot the hostage, namely, all of us. They are acting like terrorists. The solution in a democracy is to use issues that you care about in the next campaign to oust those who seem intransigent.

The Republicans have danced around on Obamacare so many times that they have lost credibility. They have gone from total repeal to "delay" for a year. They have attached the repeal of the medical device tax desired by their campaign contributors as a condition precedent and then have threatened the economic standing of the United States by insisting that no debt ceiling will be raised unless concessions on Obamacare are realized. A few days later when polls were telling them that the public is furious they switched their script to say that there must be spending cuts before the debt ceiling is raised. Of course, they have had many months to vet this issue but have only brought this up now upon their return from a lengthy vacation. They even threw in the Keystone XL pipeline as a condition for approval.

The Democrats and the President are no princes either. They have had ample time to review well-known obstacles and yet failed to propose any modifications. Most importantly, the President has the 14th Amendment on his side, which states that the validity of the public debt of the United States is sacrosanct and shall not be questioned. If he had political courage he would uphold this constitutional privilege for debts already incurred. If an emergency ensues whereby the House of Representatives does not vote to increase the debt ceiling, he should invoke emergency powers.

This fiasco gives the country a black eye. Economic fears about default are legion around the world. The Capitol looks like it's the ruling parliament in Italy as a New York Times writer has written. It's too bad that the leaders in Washington are intent on making the country look foolish while the citizens and other world markets suffer because of their stupidity.

Violet is an attorney and former state attorney general.