Civil War 2 appears to be the topic of the day.
This is an excerpt from the new Major Garrett book on a possible scenario in which the Union is slowly dissolved after the 2022 midterms because House Democrats who style themselves as “democracy defenders” refuse to seat the Texas delegation due to “voter suppression” concerns.
“Under the Constitution, Congress is the judge of its own membership. There are limits, but Congress can, in theory and practice, refuse to seat or expel a member. As law professor Nicholas Stephanopoulos of Harvard University points out, the “choice to seat or oust is a nonjusticiable political question. No court can second-guess a chamber’s judgment as to whether an election was free and fair or which candidate won a race.” Congress has delayed or refused to seat a member whose victory has been certified. A dispute in 1984 over a House seat in Indiana initially won by a Republican but awarded to a Democrat convulsed the chamber for months. Slowing certification would gum up the process of creating a new House, even with an incoming GOP majority. An idea took hold: Refuse to seat the full Texas delegation and hold off recognition of disputed races in other states. …
Democratic concern about GOP tactics in Texas and obstructionism of favored voting reforms put unrelenting pressure on Pelosi. Even if institutionalists initially resisted refusing to seat the Texas delegation, vociferous lobbying from the party’s progressive Democratic base proved too much to resist, particularly if it meant holding on to the House, preserving the House January 6th Committee, and shielding Biden from impeachment. Pelosi, though reluctant, could consider refusing to seat the Texas delegation, knowing her party would support her. Such an action, whether successful or not, would be another descent into norm-breaking oblivion. Pelosi could justify her actions by claiming she was preserving democracy. Republicans, some of whom backed the Big Lie, would then accuse Pelosi of destroying democracy. Whether the Texas delegation was seated or not could ultimately be irrelevant.
That process of vanishing could begin, and look something like this.
Provoked by the denial, successful or not, of congressional representation, Texas, which had just reelected Republican governor Greg Abbott by a fairly wide margin, announced it was prepared to take unprecedented action to halt this usurpation of power. Republican-led states, where some certifications were being held up, vowed to join Texas in whatever protest it deemed necessary. Republicans resurrected the words of Texas GOP chair Allen West after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Texas’s lawsuit to invalidate election results in six states, thereby overturning the 2020 election: “Perhaps law-abiding states should band together and form a Union of states that will abide by the Constitution.”
After a brief debate, Republicans worked with Abbott to enact a resolution of refusal. The terms were simple. The Republic of Texas (as it still calls itself) would no longer compel individuals or businesses within Texas to pay federal tax revenue and, further, would block any efforts by federal officials to collect said revenue. Texas said the grant of immunity from paying federal taxes would last until Pelosi seated the full Texas delegation, halted all election litigation, and delivered unto Republicans majority control in the House of Representatives. …
Armed borders kept things in and kept things out, as armed borders almost always do. States for a time appeared satisfied, especially because Washington seemed stupefied. Federal courts, as it turned out, could not force states to do much of anything. There was no national military force large enough or motivated enough to storm Texas or any other state for revenue earmarked for Washington. National Guard forces became true militarized arms of the state—each state.
With legal disputes now separating one state from the other, America began to slowly disappear. Stock prices fell. More worrisome, America’s bond rating suffered, and interest rates rose—destabilizing the Federal Reserve. Texas said it might create its own currency. Simple transactions became complicated and confusing. Naturally, there were, for a time, regional winners, but the overall trajectory, reflected in bond markets and declines in foreign investment, was of an increasingly sluggish national economy. America was no longer a sure bet, the dollar less reliable as the safest global currency. States acted as small nations and transacted business for their nation and against other nations—places that used to exist as white stars on the same field of blue but now flew their own reimagined economic and cultural flags. …”
The premise of the book is that the current bullshit – things like the 1/6 Committee, dire warnings about the impending death of “Our Democracy,” Ron DeSantis sending illegal aliens to Martha’s Vineyard and California banning travel to half the country – escalates to the point of disunion.
“The idea was to outline the worst-case scenarios in each of those contexts by referencing what had already happened, particularly as Texas had enacted laws directly in response to the Big Lie. Garrett said his first attempts at writing the chapters were even more climactic, requiring Becker to rein him in. “We didn’t want to terrify people,” Garrett said.
However, both conceded that the written accounts were not too far off from reality.
“We wanted to show people that what we’re talking about is just incremental steps from where we already are,” Garrett said. “I don’t think anyone reading that first chapter can honestly say, ‘Oh, that could never happen.’ They have to say, ‘Holy crap, we’re 85 percent there.’”
The book does cover some well-worn territory, featuring interviews with outspoken Jan. 6 committee members Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and Liz Cheney (R-WY), along with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. …”
The federal government just vanishing like this without a fight with the South ending up in a Texas-centered Confederacy would be a dream come true. It is the best case scenario.
Note: Mehdi Hasan had Major Garrett on his show tonight.