Cal  Thomas

President Obama pledged to end partisanship, but instead has exacerbated it. He recently accused House Republicans of being extortionists for opposing a raise in the debt ceiling and wanting to defund Obamacare.

Dictionary.com defines extortion as "the crime of obtaining money or some other thing of value by the abuse of one's office or authority."

Republicans should fling the extortion label back at the president, who wants to raise the debt ceiling, threatening to curtail many government operations if the GOP doesn't surrender.

2006, when George W. Bush was president, Sen. Obama said: "The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure." Really? What, then, does it say about his leadership now?

Sen. Obama went on (as he always does): "It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our government's reckless fiscal policies..."

As president, Mr. Obama has increased our debt and reliance on foreign governments to finance his fiscal policies. Are they any less reckless than when he was complaining about the fiscal policies of the Bush administration? If $16 trillion in debt isn't enough, what is? The sky is no longer the limit. We're now in financial deep space.

"Americans deserve better," concluded Sen. Obama seven years ago. We certainly do, but we're not getting it from him, just more debt, more intrusive and regulating government and less liberty.

A government "shutdown," which is technically not going to happen as some departments and agencies will continue functioning, should not be seen as bad, but something potentially good. Like the sequester, which forced government to spend a little less of our money, a government shutdown, if properly framed by Republicans and conservatives, might be a taking stock moment.

Republicans might use a government "shutdown" to urge citizens to reflect on government's proper role and why Washington has become so dysfunctional. They could propose the government "re-open," built on a new (really old) foundation: the Constitution.

powers beyond which it would not be allowed to stray. Courts would be a passive, not an active body. The elected Congress would pass legislation and the terms of its members would be limited by tradition and if necessary, by law.


Cal Thomas

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Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
 
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