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What would happen if Bush just disolved congress?

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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 11:46 AM
Original message
What would happen if Bush just disolved congress?
Serious question. Many places and eras have seen a ruler disolve the elective (legislative) body. What would happen here in the US?

I ask because more and more it appears that through signing statements and other actions (just ignoring laws passed by Congress) that the administration acts as if there is no congress. Just made me wonder what others here at DU think the response (media/public) would be if the WH disbanded congress and announced "new elections at a future date."

Not suggesting that they would do this (heck, right now they don't have to - congress is all compliant). Just sorta wondering ...
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cornermouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 11:51 AM
Response to Original message
1. Nothing as long as he agreed to let them keep their salaries.
and benefits. I firmly believe that nothing would happen.

No questions.

No investigations.

Nothing
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 11:53 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. I actually think we would see people out in the streets
three years ago, maybe not - folks were frightened. Now - folks are skeptical and angry, I think such a move would result in some kind of massive action by a frightened public - but now the pubic would be frightened of the govt. The long tradition and hard held beliefs of most folks about "our system of democracy" (what folks get in basic govt class in highschool) I think would be shaken into some kind of action.
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #4
26. We would see Congress Critters in the street for sure!
Cuz it would throw them off the lobbyist gravy train!

Can't understand why they don't see it coming! Why would corporations need to keep handing out buckets of cash unless Congress started doing their friggin jobs?
If they are just gonna nod and bow to the malAdministration, who needs em? In these days of cutting labor costs, how can they think they are not at risk too?

Same goes for high priced, well coiffed talking heads, all repeating the same party lines from the same party scripts! They go along to get along, thinking it will make or protect their careers.

WAKE UP you TV twits! Why would they need to keep paying the lot of you to repeat the same tripe? Pretty soon, we will have only one talking head to go with the one talking point script. And chances are pretty good it will be prerecorded, after being throughly vetted, run by the political handlers' psy-ops people with every word carefully crafted for maximum propaganda power as per the latest studies on the human mind and conditioned response.

Everybody will be obsolete soon. Might as well go down fighting for human beings and not die while in a bent over position for the corporate machine.
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lectrobyte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 11:51 AM
Response to Original message
2. As you say, right now they don't have to - congress is all compliant
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. They don't have to, and it is kind of a moot point
but I do think that the action would result in some kind of big reaction.

I ponder this, because I wonder if there is not a point where the WH makes it clear to even those in the public that don't pay that much attention, that there is effectively no more congress - and if that became a conventional wisdom point (as in most of the public accepted the notion as "Fact") - then might there also be some kind of action - maybe not in the streets action but in an attempt to change congress so that it is not defacto.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 11:52 AM
Response to Original message
3. He can't. Period.
He has no concievable authority to do so. If he tried, he'd be met with immediate........scornful laughter. (I was gonna say impeachment and conviction, but first they'd have to pick themselves up from rolling on the floor laughing) Bush has an argument, albeit a bullshit one, re warrentless spying. He has no argument re dissolving congress.

Congress is often a bitter disappointment but they're not entirely compliant, either.
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. My question is theoretical
tried to make clear I don't think he would (or could) - but is there a point at which the public tries to take some kind of action. Go back to the election fiasco a year ago in a former soviet republic, where the results were so clearly NOT that of the public that voted - that so many people came out in the streets that everything essentially shut down. I can not recall a single time in our history of such a massive action or result (as in a "general strike") - is it even possible?
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Burning Water Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #8
43. Think about why
I can not recall a single time in our history of such a massive action or result (as in a "general strike")

Let me know if you figure it out.
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ristruck Donating Member (124 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 11:54 AM
Response to Original message
5. You are right....
He does not have to.... There is no balance of power. The group that controls the president also controls most of Congress.

But what would we do?? Well, we have done nothing so far about an incredibly long list of constitutional abuses and abuses of power. It is like we are living in George Orwell's 1984. We are the compliant ones. There would be protests and some riots. People would complain and gripe like they do on here all the time. If it gets to that point though there is not much we could do.

Therefore; now is the time to take action. We have to make a statement in the next election and get real people in there instead of puppets. I realize that I am about as mad as I have ever been and as scared as I have ever been and for the first time in my life I have decided to do something about it. I am going to work to get progressives elected and I am going to let loose of some cash as well to do this. Outside of informing family and friends of the danger of these kinds of people this is all I can think of to do for now.
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. I too, think there would be riots and protests
of a massive scale. Maybe. In part because I think that most americans are seriously unaware of how extreme things have gotten (in terms of our constitutional system) under this era of one-party rule - and thus there is not an overall awareness that the govt that we understand is ceasing to exist and morph into something entirely different. Would such a visible morphing have a big impact upon the public? If so - how do we tap into that visceral reaction by raising awareness that this is, in short essence, the situation we are beginning to find ourselves in.?
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ristruck Donating Member (124 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:19 PM
Response to Reply #11
19. This is the real question......
What you initially proposed has for all intents and purposes already happened. What will it take for people to see this? Well, this alone is one reason why they would never take this kind of step. The vestiges of our system will be left in place to give the appearances of democracy. Why wake up a sleeping giant....

What will it take? hmmm.... It will take leadership first and foremost. This is why I have chosen to align with the progressives. They have taken a principled stand when it was not at all popular. Then it will take education.... I would love to see a documentary done on this buy someone other than Moore. Let's say Woodward would do it. This would have great credibility with the populace. A prime time documentary that runs for 3-4 nights.

Get the people fired up....I am dreaming about a forced resignation that would set the tone. This could happen if the people wake up!!!!

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PuraVidaDreamin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 11:56 AM
Response to Original message
6. I think finally we would see congress find their spine
perhaps this is what it will take
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #6
12. For that to happen, they would simply not leave?
Imagine the theater ... it would make the powerplays witnessed during the texas redistricting fiasco look tame.

I think that folks would be GLUED to the tv. Then I think if the WH tried a physical means of removing folks from the Capital building - there would be a general strike/riot. I think there would be a general collapse of the govt. I have no idea what would happen after that. Rather frightening to think about- though not a real scenario.

I am seriously wondering, however, what would happen if the slumbering giant of the public awoke and realized that congress has become a defacto powerless body of govt - meaning the whole idea of a "representational" part of govt would no longer exist.
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tanyev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 11:59 AM
Response to Original message
9. If there's a photogenic missing pregnant white woman at the time--
I fear not much would happen.
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. question...
when DU was glued to the TV during the flight of texan dems during the congressional redistricting drama... were texans also glued or were they yawning?
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tanyev Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:18 PM
Original message
I had to go google that to remind myself when it happened,
because I did not recall following the story on DU. Sure enough, it happened before I signed on as a member, back when I was an occasional lurker and not in the full throes of an addiction. *sigh*

Anyway, I was glued to that story and thought the Texas Dems did a fantastic thing. It did get a lot of coverage on the local news stations--much more than most national political stories. As I recall the people I worked with at the time knew about it but didn't spend much time talking about it. Just another one of those stunts all those silly politicians pull, you know. There were head shakes of disgust or smiles of amusement depending on a person's political leaning. Most of the people I worked with were too preoccupied with the disasters in their own lives to spend much time thinking about politics.
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:28 PM
Response to Original message
23. at least there was superficial awareness of the events
though your description of it as perceived perhaps as one might view reality tv is rather sad.
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IsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:00 PM
Response to Original message
10. Congress is serving no real purpose now
The Repugs rubber stamp everything that chimp does.

When chimp doesn't like something, he uses twisted legal arguments to get around congress (signing statements)

And the Dems that are in congress have no real power anyway

With these things in mind, I see no reason for chimp to get rid of the illusion that the congress matters. Makes you think we have a check and balance anyway.
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. Does the public care
if the public becomes fully aware that congress has ceased to exist as a part of govt?
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ladjf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:13 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. The public cares. They just don't have much confidence that
anything could be done about it. The voting machine scam cast a terrible pall of pessimism over the voting constituency. Everybody knows the elections of 2000 and 2004 were rigged and not much is being done about it. Americans are overworked, fatigued, in too much debt, in denial and very discouraged. When the masses start becoming physically hungry and shelter-less, there might be some action in the streets.
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:18 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. I think awareness is still low
but climbing. I think the margins were so close in 2000 and 2004 that many who are somewhat aware - still discount b/c the results could have been real (eg allows denial to stay in place). However a jolt of results being vastly different than expectations I think would shake most denial out. Then what happens? COmplacency due to fatigue ? Possibly. Or fear driving action prior to the catastrophies you describe might prompt actions in the streets. I don't know. Am going to start asking around to get a sense...
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ladjf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #18
30. You are posing some good questions, questions that deserve
answers. One of the limitations of writing on DU is that we generally try to be as brief as possible with our posts. But, and this is especially hard for me to do, we are so brief that we either leave out so many salient points that the readers are quite able to get your point.

As to what is wrong with the American people: there is a hugh array of interrelating causes, so many that it would be hopeless to cover a majority of them. One additional contributing factor did come to mind as I read your post: the right wing has been feverishly dedicated to ruining the public school system for whatever their crazy reasons and they done a pretty good job of doing that. With the public schools largely in disarray, there is going to be a real drop off in decision making skills. Ignorant people are not to interested in the researching topics such as politics. They are more inclined to just use their general impressions of the candidates as they relate to certain hot button issues, i.e. abortion, gay rights, family values.
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IsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #15
29. You're probably right. Shit's going to have to hit the fan in order to
shake people out of their complacency.
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ladjf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:40 PM
Response to Reply #29
32. Yeah. And the trouble with that is their resources to fight with
will be all the more depleted. But, the disenfranchised in Latin America are beginning to have some success at getting their voices heard. Their strategies might be of use to us in the near future.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:14 PM
Response to Reply #10
16. If you were right
the tax cuts would have been extended
Social Security as we know it would have disappeared
Medicare and Medicaid- gone
proposed constitutional amendments on the sanctity of life and flag burning- passed
Drilling in ANWAR
Etc.

Not that there's much check and balance, but why overstate it?
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:26 PM
Response to Reply #16
22. Not sure that these things didn't happen due to Congressional actions
as much as congressional response leading to WH restraint - in terms of picking and choosing which things they will go around congress to accomplish inspite of congress.

As bad as I have felt about this WH - the past three months have frightened me to a point of rethinking a lot. The reality of the signing statements... the reality of going around congress explicitly (per the NSA spying) - makes me wonder if right now the GOP controlled congress is less a power and more a bell weather warning per what the admin will try to "make happen" per executive fiat.

Not claiming that Congress has no power - but am starting to look at the functioning of this admin with different eyes, and the danger of serious one-party rule that enables an admin with few (to almost no) brakes.

I am not so sure that the taxcuts won't be extended (follow the bouncing "tax reform" balls, and language/giveaways in various budget documents); I am also not sure that ANWR is safe (look at the new drilling language per Gulf Coast that is getting slipped into other legislation).

I think things in DC have seriously shifted in the past four years - and that it is bordering on dangerous given this particular administration and their beliefs in unbridled power to act as the executive branch. I am doing this pondering - perhaps - as an exercise in thinking through how to sell/explain the dangers of this admin in terms of changing our system of govt and thus the danger of continuing (post 2006) a one-party rule state.
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IsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #22
39. To me, a signing statement says to the congress, you can pass any law
your heart desires, but you know what, I can sign this and basically nullify what you just did.

Nothing less than dictatorship.
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IsItJustMe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #16
35. These are crumbs off the table, on the big issues, Nothing.
We are in Iraq.
NSA is domestically spying as we speak.
The Patriot Act has been passed.
People are being tortured by Americans
Our government can now arrest us and we may have no legal recourse

It's bad. Damn bad. Not overstated at all
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BringEmOn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:14 PM
Response to Original message
17. Cut out the middle man
Why have all that corporate graft going to Reps and Senators when it can go directly to the Crime Family coffers?
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #17
25. heh
bush did say it would be easier if his was a dictatorship. Of course this is the same man who compared serving in war to raising twins, claimed he did both and said war was preferable. :eyes:
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HysteryDiagnosis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:19 PM
Response to Original message
20. Don't you mean "if he told them that he already has
dissolved them"? There isn't much difference when you consider what the boob has gotten away with with his terrah terrah booga booga.
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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:21 PM
Response to Original message
21. Congress is nothing more than an illusion that we live in a democracy
Bu$h needs the illusion to keep people from rioting and forming a revolutionary agenda.
For a while longer, he still needs them.
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #21
27. I wonder if more folks are becoming aware
of the danger of one-party rule as it exists in the bush era.
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rpgamerd00d Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:28 PM
Response to Original message
24. Posts like this make me question the 1st Amendment...
...
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:41 PM
Response to Reply #24
33. why?
My question isn't about it being disbanded - as much as would the public react? Because if the public wouldn't react... than it wouldn't. However if it would - is not possible to begin questioning the danger of one-party rule, when the results are shown that the top (exec branch) does at it pleases and skirts the body (leg. branch) - and the body enables and/or protects the top - to the point where the body could be viewed as only symbolic.

Personally I find several actions of the admin in the past four months very illuminating and worrisome from the issue of signing statements, to the origins over the NSA Fisaless spying (goes around congressional intent, and appears to be done so explicitly), to the issue of how the DP story is unfolding (opposition by GOP congressional leaders folds, or gives cover to admin in form of "more review" which has already been declared by the WH as ensuring the deal - rather laying naked a belief by the admin that they are constrained by the acts of congress.)

I think the danger isn't a disbanding of congress (something that has happened in many other countries, but not here), but is instead the ongoing One Party Rule - esp with an admin so bent on exercising their will, with or without congress.

If it would be likely that the public would be roused into action were congress disbanded... then I believe there is a place on an emotional/visceral level that an awareness of the current admin practices and the suggestion that congress is acting more proforma/symbolic ... is something that could and should be tapped into as we steer into the midterm elections.

Folks like myself shouldn't be able to ponder such things allowed (per the 1st amendment crack)?
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rpgamerd00d Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #33
36. I just think this is patently ridiculous.
If you really think Shrub or any other dictator would even try such a moronic thing, you are simply nuts. Of course no one would accept it. This thread is pointless.
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:45 PM
Response to Reply #36
37. read it - it isn't asking if bush would do it
I agree they wouldn't.

The question is how the public would react - to gauge is there a point at which the public is concerned about maintaining our form of govt. If so, then the dangers of one-party rule (which we have at the fed level) - as witnessed by the seemingly extraconstitutional actions of this admin - is potentially a theme that should be woven into the next elections.

Or do you believe the one-party rule we currently have is not a threat to how we, as a nation, do business?
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:57 PM
Response to Reply #36
41. agree
and many of the responses are outside the realm of reason.
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BeyondThePale Donating Member (895 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:32 PM
Response to Original message
28. FOX News would hail it as a visionary move! n/t
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misternormal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:39 PM
Response to Original message
31. At this point I would have to agree with Ghallegar...
Con is the opposite of Pro...

So Congress is the opposite of Progress.
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #31
38. I would put the current con - more on the neoconservatives
driving the extremist impulses in the WH and among the GOP in congress, than merely on the institution of congress.
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lovuian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:42 PM
Response to Original message
34. I'd be thinking of getting out of this country...
if he dissolves Congress its official he's a dictator...
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salin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #34
40. he won't
however, gauging reactions - what do you think your neighbors would do? Other folks?

Just trying to gauge - is there a point where our public gets concerned, on a broad scale, per our form of govt?
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Burning Water Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-04-06 01:25 PM
Response to Original message
42. He can't do that.
We don't live under a parliamentary system.
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