MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts: Is Congress’ reluctance to act on economy ‘an act of treason?’

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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Article III, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution defines treason as “levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.” And it says, “No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.”

But is the U.S. Congress is guilty of treason for not intervening more in a bad  economy? On MSNBC on Tuesday, Thomas Roberts posted that question to Washington Post blogger Ezra Klein in reaction to a Monday post on Klein’s blog.

“Ezra, you wrote on the blog that the worse this gets, that the less likely Congress will act to stop the bleeding,” Roberts said. “Why don’t people look at that like it is an act of treason?”

Klein didn’t quite go that far with his analysis, saying he didn’t believe it was an evil plot by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House John Boehner.

“I should say Suzy Khimm wrote that,” Klein said. “We have more writers than me on the site. Whether it is an act of treason – it’s a reality of politics right now. For Republicans, they’re in better shape if the economy is doing poorly and Obama stays weak. And it isn’t, I don’t think cynical. I don’t think what happens is Mitch McConnell and John Boehner retire to their volcano lair and plot of how to doom the American economy.”

However, he did say there was a need for government intervention at this point in time.

“I think people are very good at convincing themselves what their self-interests requires them to believe,” Klein continued. “And so they convince themselves what Barack Obama is offering to help the economy will not help. Barack Obama is wrong in all ways and so they fight it. In many ways and gridlock is a good recipe for not moving forward. We actually do need government action, so the more we paralyze, the more we just sort of collapse into partisan bickering the less we can do to move the country forward and that is not in the end good for Barack Obama.”