Jus Gentium

There are also some cryptic messages and signals which we can derive from the historic House Speaker vote in Washington today, in addition to the fact that this is the first time in 100 years that such an incident has occurred in Washington. For one, nineteen and twenty are chosen numbers on the part of the opposition to Kevin McCarthy, not the real or actual numbers, for a number of reasons. For one, the fact that nineteen was the outcome and the registered number on both the first and second votes, only to become twenty in the third vote which in turn set off a bunch of red flags that led to ending the proceedings so that everyone can figure out what is going on means that the outcomes and the registered numbers of the three votes were managed and orchestrated on the part of the opposition to McCarthy. As Mitch McConnell once said, everything in Washington amounts to “political theater.”

It follows that no one really knows the actual number of those who are opposed to Kevin McCarthy’s speakership. Some folks believe that the number of those opposed to McCarthy can be brought down through negotiations, while others believe that McCarthy is a lost cause and that the opposition to McCarthy will only grow from this point forward. Even Donald Trump, who earlier had committed to McCarthy, is no longer committed to McCarthy. Nothing is certain at the moment. But arguably, the crisis of American leadership abroad which is prompted by a decades-long imperial and hegemonic policy has led to a clear and obvious failure to compromise from within Washington, and this failure to compromise from within Washington has in turn prompted a political deadlock that has no “quick fix” as mentioned before. 

As mentioned before, there are economic, political, regional, and social factors prompted by a decades-long imperial policy and a crisis of American global leadership which has led to the political deadlock and the potential collapse of an entire branch of the central government which have manifested today. Many of these factors have been discussed in previous blog posts. And at the heart of all these issues or factors and the manner by which these issues and factors converge is upon the issue of credibility and legitimacy. Today’s crisis in Washington is largely a crisis of credibility and legitimacy, and the renewal of credibility and legitimacy and thus the exit out of this crisis has to occur when the renewal of credibility and legitimacy is carried out through popular will. As demonstrated today, this renewal of credibility and legitimacy cannot occur from within government itself. For the most part, this renewal of credibility and legitimacy has to occur from outside of Washington and through the people per se. 

As one scholar argued: “Constitutionalism cannot survive, even in the presence of a constitution, if the principles and standards of behavior are matters of whim for those in authority.” Those principles and “standards of behavior” are in turn delineated by “natural law” or “divine law” or a “higher law” as we have discussed in previous blog posts. Nor is popular will and the renewal of the central government’s credibility and legitimacy on the part of the people detached or separate from such a “natural law” or “divine law” or “higher law.”  

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