Republican Insurrectionists and the Debt Ceiling Stand-Off

by | May 25, 2023 | Opinions & Commentary

Sign outside the Capitol after it was secured after January 6th, 2021. Photo by Brendan Beale

Republican Insurrectionists and the Debt Ceiling Stand-Off

by | May 25, 2023 | Opinions & Commentary

Sign outside the Capitol after it was secured after January 6th, 2021. Photo by Brendan Beale

It should come as no surprise that the most vocal proponents of allowing a debt ceiling default by the US are also backers of the Jan 6th insurrection.

Factkeepers has had a lot to say about the 14th Amendment over the past couple of years. Mostly from the viewpoint of the inexplicable lack of enforcement of it.

But a wider examination of this Amendment compared to Republican measures and proposals is quite an eye-opener.

This is the section we’ve been most concerned with since January 6, 2021, Section 3:

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

There are a number of Members of Congress that had involvement in the January 6th Insurrection. Aside from the blood on their hands, not one of these people actually belong in Congress according to this section of the 14th.

Names like Marjorie Taylor Greene, Paul Gosar, Andy Biggs, Josh Hawley, Lauren Boebert, Louie Gohmert kept coming up in reporting, especially in a major article in Rolling Stone.

Yet all these members are still in office. And there are more. The Bulwark published a piece about two others House members, Derrick Van Orden and Max Miller. Then there’s Chip Roy of Texas who was sending texts to White House staff demanding, “We need ammo. We need fraud examples. We need it this weekend…” (Strangely, only Chip Roy, of all the people listed here, voted to certify the election for Joe Biden.)

Clearly, these members—and others not listed here—could care less about their oath office and their pledge to uphold the Constitution. Why would they? They now have “power.” We’ll come back to this in a bit, because the concept of “power” to these folks is nothing short of fatally warped.

The next section of the 14th Amendment is something the country is about to slam into because of the complete misconception of power infecting the far-right factions of the Republican Party.

14th Amendment Section 4:

The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any state shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

The debt ceiling crisis is on the lips of just about anyone who reads or issues news from Washington right now. It a fact that defaulting on debt owed by the government will be a financial catastrophe, not just for us but the entire global economy. Yet a far-right faction of obstructionists are intending to do just that if they don’t get their way. If the idea of toddlers lying on the ground screaming, pounding their fists and drumming their heels comes to mind, it would not be a misplaced comparison.

The Difference Between Power and Obstruction

The first thing to note here is that the obstructionists threatening to bring down the US economy unless their demands are met are also insurrectionists—an interesting coincidence. These are the same election deniers who by their actions or inaction supported the attempted overthrow of our government—thus replacing it with a Trump dictatorship.

There are remedies being discussed that involve bypassing Congress to avoid default. Since the insurrectionist faction is still more concerned with destruction and obstruction rather than the harder work of governance, these discussions are necessary. The 14th Amendment is quite clear on the matter of the country’s debt.

But the very idea of the Executive Branch solving the impasse has some members literally freaking out, with the aforementioned Chip Roy threatening that Congress would “blow crap up.”

Like the disgraced county clerk in Kentucky who refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples and thus assumed she had some sort of “power of conviction,” these folks also confuse stopping things with power.

When one holds elected office, the power and authority of that office is derived from the basic agreement of the rules and laws of how our government operates and—more importantly—from the constituency that one is elected to represent, whether they voted for you or not.

So, by threatening to sabotage that same system because one is having a tantrum—for over 2 years now—does not pass muster.

Obstructionists and Insurrectionists

Reiterating the earlier point: It should be obvious to just about everyone that House members involved in the Jan 6 insurrection are the most vocal proponents of obstructing any solution to the debt ceiling issue. This faction of “America First” fans—either ignoring or embracing the fact that this is the slogan of the KKK—are the same people who have Kevin McCarthy fully under their thumb. To get his position, he granted these extremists the power to remove him from his cherished job as Speaker.

Again, none of these people actually qualify to be in Congress at all, per Section 3 above. Yet here they are. And so positioned, why would they give a rats hind end about obeying the edicts of Section 4?

The consequences of destroying the credit and financial repute of the United States are nothing to people who tried to overthrow this same government in a coup.

Oaths of Office

Clearly the insurrectionists in Congress care little or nothing for the Constitution, as demonstrated by their efforts to bypass it to keep their wannabe dictator in power. But there is another oath of office that should now come into play—the President’s. His is different. It reads:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

The key words here are “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

To do this, he must USE the Constitution in its full form and continue to operate the government in compliance with Section 4. To do anything less, gives credence to a faction of traitors and accomplishes their intent.

Mr. President, it is time to call Chip Roy’s bluff.


Marty Kassowitz

Marty Kassowitz

Marty Kassowitz is co-founder of Factkeepers. As founder of Interest Factory and View360, he brings more than 30 years experience in effective online communications, social media management, and platform development to the site. He is a writer, designer, editor and long time observer of the ill-logic demonstrated by too many members of the species known as Mankind. After a long history of somewhat private commentary on a subject he totally hates: politics, Marty was encouraged to build this site and put up his own analyses as well as curate relevant content from other sources.

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