Letter: A much larger principle | PostIndependent.com

Letter: A much larger principle

All too often in the midst of political emotion and ideology, we miss the forest for the trees. When it comes to the current impasse in Washington, there is a principle at stake which is far more important than the health care law, a government shutdown or defaulting on the debt.

It is a principle at the heart of our constitutional democracy. If a party wants to defund, repeal or amend an existing law, the Constitution of the United States provides the way to do so. They have to have the votes. They have to win elections. That is a basic tenant of majority rule.

What the House minority is trying to do is to defund, repeal or delay an existing law by threatening a government shutdown or a default on our national debt exclusively because they do not have the votes to implement their will. If opponents of the health care law win a veto-proof majority in the mid-term elections, the health care law could be repealed with no questions asked on the first day of the 2015 session. And that should be their focus.

Be careful what you wish for. This latest tactic represents a threat to a foundational principle of democratic governance that could be used against either political party in the future. The president and the Senate have a responsibility not to “compromise” because once this precedent is set the damage would be incalculable. The fate of existing law would forever be uncertain. Government would lurch from one chaotic manufactured political crisis to the next. That is what is at stake.

Bob Semro

Glenwood Springs

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