R.W. Sanders


The Super Congress We Did Not Elect

Posted: 8/2/11 04:01 PM ET

Perhaps I was asleep, or have amnesia, or maybe I was abducted by aliens, but I don't remember ever having elected a Super Congress. However, apparently there will be a committee of twelve that will effectively run our country. That is, if Congress votes for the debt crisis solution posed by Obama and his fellow republicans.

On Sunday the president informed us that he, Mitch McConnel and John Boehner have reached a "compromise" to solve the debt ceiling crisis. This deal will consist of spending cuts only and no new revenues in the form of new taxes or even closing loopholes. In fact, the only thing the president won on this deal is that he won't have to raise the debt ceiling until 2013, after the next presidential election. According to the new deal, after immediate cuts of a trillion dollars over the next decade are instituted, the rest of the cutting will be done by a "Super Congress" made up of six Republicans and six Democrats. However, I have yet to hear who will pick the members. And if this new unelected committee is comprised like the "gang of six" or the original Simpson/Bowles debt reduction commission appointed by the president, then there will be six attack dog republicans and six democrats in name only. This is not representation of the electorate in any form or fashion.

A Great Victory For The Tea Party

Yes, once again our president who was elected as a Democrat has caved to the Republican Tea Party. This is beyond understanding. The Tea Party, which is made up of but a small segment of the Republican party, seems to now be in charge of our government. Not only can Boehner and McConnell not control this faction, but the president cannot either. This faction has taught us that, in this government, if you lay out ultimatums and you refuse to bend at all, that is the recipe for success. And what is most incredible is that this band of radicals, who don't believe in government and made up of mostly brand new congressmen, has pulled off a coup d' etat of sorts. They dictated terms and got everything they wanted and gave up nothing to the democrats or even to the more moderate members of the Republican party. And if they are prominent on the new "Super Congress", then they will certainly own that as well.

Government Without Representation

This "Super Congress" of twelve will recommend cuts that will basically go unchallenged. They must make their recommendations by Thanksgiving, then the congress must have up or down votes with no changes. A simple yes or no vote to enact new law with vast implications on the lives of every American. That this group will be appointed and not elected is bad enough, but if their cuts hopefully done with a scalpel are not voted in, there will be a trigger that takes effect and makes even more draconian cuts, most likely with a butcher knife or ax.

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12:29 AM on 8/17/2011
Very nice work Mr. Sanders! Informativ­e and empowering to read.

This IS especially bad, when we DO NOT EVEN TRUST the people
who created and allowed this mess on their collective watch.
R.W. Sanders
victim of the 60's
02:01 AM on 8/17/2011
Lately I find myself at one of those crossroads where it is tempting to simply blow off the whole mess. It allows me to empathize with all those Americans who are basically unaware of current events. But, in the end, I'm just not cut out to quit, unlike a famous Alaskan governor. Perhaps the old adage that things look so far down, that the only way left is up, will apply. One can hope. In the meantime, I am encouraged by all the noise being made by the left. I am discourage­d, however, by the polls all pointing one way while the government goes the opposite.
09:48 AM on 8/17/2011
(again) Very well said, I honestly fall between painfully aware to bordering apathy (at times). I share the values of not a shortcut or cut and run kind of approach to things. As a truth seeker in all facets of life, my inner souls is stirring over this growing mess and am drawn to act on (share) the knowledge in reading and being informed by expression­s and works like this. TY
08:51 AM on 8/12/2011
After the largly treasonous GW Bush Administra­tion I thought ANY Non-Republ­ican Administra­tion would allow US, the people, an amount of time to get a grip on the goings on in the good ol' USA. Well "Duh" on me.
I've said it before & here it is. The two dominant Political Parties are working in collusion to render OUR US Constituti­on & all she contains into the Orwellian "Memory Hole" en route to the neartest shredder.
Now we have a "Super Congress"?
POTUS; GHW Bush, (REP), implemente­d NAFTA, which ultimately lead to the"outsou­rcing" Of Americas' Industry. But the fiasco doesn't end there. Poppy Bush implemente­d NAFTA but it was POTUS WJ Clinton, (DEM), that signed it into action.
Now, if I understand this correctly, our new "Super Congress" will be made up of 6 Democrats & 6 Republican­s!!(?)
On the subject of an Orwellian America, I ask; "Is it 'Justice' or 'Just Us'?
Historians­, proffessio­nal & amature alike, I urge you to read the Declaratio­n of Independen­ce & ask yourselves if you see any parallels between Englands King George & our own "Republi~C­rats"!!
God Help Us.
12:13 PM on 8/10/2011
Those Republican­s are like stubborn Pitbull dogs. This is because they are on the payroll of the Koch brothers.
R.W. Sanders
victim of the 60's
12:16 AM on 8/11/2011
Jerzeyjim2 - couldn't agree more. You should see the delicious piece Rachael Maddow did on her show on the tenth. She had all these letters from Michele Bachman, Jeff Sessions, etc., begging for stimulus funds for their districts and saying how they would create numerous jobs and asking the White House to approve them. Then on the campaign trail, they say that government cannot create jobs. For some reason, they think no one will realize their blatant hypocrisy. Sometimes I question is this is politics, or some kind of Blake Edwards movie.
09:52 AM on 8/08/2011
"there will be six attack dog republican­s and six democrats in name only"

...or there will be six attack dog Democrats and six republican­s in name only. It's unfortunat­e when politics are reduced to power struggles and not business. This is the flaw of centralize­d government­. Unfortunat­ely, you can't have a discussion about states' rights or secession without being branded a racist or fringe radical.
07:29 PM on 8/04/2011
now obama's a republican­? what the hell are you even talking about? Obama's never been a republican­...and they aren't fellows either unless you are talking about the agenda to colonize the world ..then the maybe friends but bit republican­s and democrats have the same agenda ..you think you could afford 38k for a plate at Obama's 50th ..? the fact of the matter is neither party is for the people ...we have now become expendable the common person has barely any rights and given 2 or three times a week if you even watch the corporate sponsored news you might still catch a glimpse of the citizens being murdered or the farms taken and the livelihood­s decreased we are living in a controlled society and that's the truth...en­slavement is just another law away......
06:36 PM on 8/04/2011
There has been so much written in the press about the first round of spending cuts of $1 trillion, but I not seen any details as to what cuts are being made. Perhaps I have been asleep. Can someone provide me with a hyper link to the list of spending cuts already agreed up, that is, the first round of $1 trillion in spending cuts ?
03:12 PM on 8/04/2011
Interestin­g that the "agreement­" on this debt deal was reached by McConnel, Boehner and Obama. McConnel and Boehner have made no secret that they want Obama gone in 2012. That's behind everything they do until the election. No wonder this "deal" is such a sham. Everything from now on is going to be a street fight.
12:28 PM on 8/04/2011
I am shocked that you came up with your assessment­... You can thank Obama for the Tea Party. He fundamenta­lly attempted to change America into a socialist nation and drove up big government spending. So the majority American people needed a group of people that match their values. Although the Tea Party is a minority within the Congress they represent how the majority of Americans think. Stop spending, balance the budget and get the dead wood out of Congress. BTW there is no way the Tea Party got everyting they wanted. No one gets everything they want, you should know that if you are 60+ years old. You reaction is the typical reaction of a child who didn't get everything they wanted. My kids say that all the time. I suggest you quit blaming on party or the other and stick to the basic tenants of your arguement, to which I agree. We did not elect the Super Congress and I for one think this will be a problem, especially given the gravity of what they are deciding on. also, if the Tea Party did get everything they wanted please tell me who on the Super Congress is a member of the Tea Party. Those are the things you should know before you pour out such an emotionall­y charged stream of thought. FACT, FACTS, FACTS!!!
R.W. Sanders
victim of the 60's
09:27 PM on 8/04/2011
Mr Wray, you are so full of right wing vitriol, I don't know where to start, or if I even should. First, Bush inherited a trillion dollar plus surplus from Clinton and went on a spending spree of war and tax cuts that left Obama to inherit a several trillion dollar deficit. Second, Bush started TWO unfunded wars. One soldier in Afghanista­n costs the government one million dollars per year. And we have had thousands of soldiers there for ten years. He did not pay for the prescripti­on drug program, medicare D. He vetoed nothing at all. So perhaps YOU should get your facts correct. Patrick Moynihan famously said " you can make up your own opinions, but you cannot make up your own facts." My writing is an OPINION piece. Though, I will argue any facts I stated. President Obama, though a bit of a disappoint­ment to me, is doing his best to keep us from another Great Depression­, with nothing but antagonist­s in your party. The tea party was ready to take this economy down. Today, the stock market fell 500 points largely due to the people you defend. Does that make you happy? People who lack understand­ing often stick their heads into the sand. I suggest you follow. You need to quit watching Fox and start studying the REAL facts. I am sorry to rag on you, but your comment represents everything that is wrong with out country today.
09:46 AM on 8/08/2011
Mr. Wray didn't mention Bush, unless it was inferred by his used of "Obama" since we elected GW for a third term in 2008 ;)
01:18 PM on 8/09/2011
Your emotional response is getting the best of you as your facts are ALL wrong. This nation has NEVER had a trillion dollar surplus. Even adding all of the suplus budgets under Clinton would not be greater than $1 trillion. Also, Obama did NOT inherit a trillion dollar deficit, he inherited an $800 billion deficit, most of which was TARP. He quickly increased this deficit to over $1.6 trillion.
12:16 PM on 8/10/2011
The Republican­s and the Tea Pary are on the payroll of the Koch brothers who want to destroy the midde class worker and senior citizens. The Koch brothers are billionair­e radical Libertaria­ns who want prosperity -- for themselves !!
11:21 AM on 8/04/2011
Wow, we are getting closer and closer to the Triumvirat­e of the Roman Empire. All we need to do now is reduce the 12 unelected "represent­atives" to 3 and we can boast that we are the modern-day Rome. And we all know how that story ended.

Here are some suggested names for the 12 new "extra-con­stitutiona­l" positions in our government­:
Sneezy, Dopey, Bashful, Larry, Curly, Moe, Shemp, Chico, Groucho, Harpo, Gummo and Zeppo.
R.W. Sanders
victim of the 60's
01:49 AM on 8/04/2011
I really appreciate all the comments here, but I'd like to remind you one more time. This was submitted by mistake, I hit the wrong key. This is a VERY rough draft. So when you are picking apart my phrasing, incomplete thoughts, etc., please keep that in mind. I usually go through several drafts before submitting a piece, and this is only the first. When I write, it is almost a stream of thought and I type very fast and don't worry about typos, phrasing, and all that until later drafts. I simply want to get my thoughts written down, then I refine everything­. I apologize for the problems in this piece, but it would not have changed radically when it was actually finished. But, it would have been more together and easier to read and understand­. I appreciate this dialogue happening in comments as this is the main reason I write, to experience feedback on my wandering mind. It keeps me interested­. Thanks to all the readers. R.W.
12:41 AM on 8/04/2011
Dictatorsh­ip of 12
10:56 PM on 8/03/2011
You really think the Tea Party is going to get anywhere near the "Super Congress"? That was one of the points of such a committee.
10:28 PM on 8/03/2011
Its simple, the SUPER CONGRESS is for the SUPER RICH
10:07 PM on 8/03/2011
The issue is that lawmaking is one more step removed from the voters. And much fewer in number to blackmail or buy off. When some Americans get politicall­y active and challenge the status quo, no matter how flawed, it is a good thing for the people. Yes I mean the Tea Party. Especially before it was co-opted by the Republican Party.

We now have our own Polit Bureau and rubber stamp Duma. The transforma­tion into the old Soviet Union is almost complete. Can our collapse be far behind?

We will now have our own Pulit Bureau and Rubber Stamp Duma. The transforma­tion to the old Soviet Union is almost complete.
11:14 PM on 8/03/2011
Just by coincidenc­e another Super Congress: List of members of the Politburo of the Russian Communist Party (bolshevik­s) in the 1910s
From Wikipedia, the free encycloped­ia
The following is a list of members of the Politburo of the Russian Communist Party (bolshevik­s) in the 1910s.
[edit]List of members

1. Bubnov, Andrei

2. Bukharin, Nikolai

3. Kalinin, Mikhail

4. Kamenev, Lev

5. Krestinsky­, Nikolay

6. Lenin, Vladimir

7. Sokolnikov­, Grigory

8. Sokolnikov­, Grigory

9. Stalin, Joseph

10.Stasova­, Elena

11.Trotsky­, Leon

12. Zinoviev, Grigory
07:45 PM on 8/03/2011
Sanders' phrase, "immediate cuts over the next decade" makes no sense, just as a "Super Congress" makes no sense. Whatever a Super Congress would propose would have to be approved by the whole body. Obama is happy because the debt ceiling will not have to be raised again until after the election.

The pols have essentiall­y put off any resoloutio­n of the debt problem until the United States collapses.