Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the Senate floor today to call for a balanced budget amendment, and in doing so claimed our democracy just isn’t working.
Think Progress’s Ian Millhiser provides a link to McConnell’s comments, and also shows just how outrageous the minority leader’s rhetoric is, calling it perhaps “the most concise summary of conservative constitutionalism ever spoken – America must rewrite the Constitution to force conservative outcomes because we the people consistently elect lawmakers who disagree with McConnell….”
In plumping for a so-called balanced budget amendment, McConnell claimed, “The Constitution must be amended to keep the government in check. We’ve tried persuasion. We’ve tried negotiations. We’ve tried elections. Nothing has worked.”
Millhiser writes, “Sadly, McConnell’s deeply authoritarian plan to take away our ability to choose how we will be governed is part of a much larger conservative agenda to strip American democracy of any meaning and force conservative governance upon the American people ….” He goes on to list a string of policies that the Right has tried to trample, such as the landmark health care reform law and Medicare and Medicaid.
The National Senior Citizens Law Center’s Simon Lazarus, in an ACS Issue Brief released earlier this year, explored the Right’s more recent campaign to tear apart policy of our popularly elected government. In “The Health Care Lawsuits: Unraveling a Century of Constitutional Law and the Fabric of Modern Government,” Lazarus blasted the legal theories being pushed by opponents of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as an ongoing effort by the Right to rewrite the Constitution. If the Supreme Court were to support the legal arguments against the health care law’s minimum coverage provision, it would have to dispatch with decades of court precedent and would essentially limit the government’s “federal stewardship of the economy.”
Lazarus also argued in his Issue Brief that if the Right’s arguments against the ACA were accepted by the judiciary other landmark federal laws and programs, such as Medicaid, Medicare and civil rights laws, would be endangered.