Abdication: in Secret? in Groups?

Wikipedia has a very nice entry on the subject of abdication. It means the renunciation of office by a sovereign. Most will quickly think of Edward VIII, who gave up the throne of England to marry American divorcée, Wallis Simpson.

The list of “important abdications” begins in 510 B.C. and includes four in 2013 alone: Pope Benedict XVI, Beatrix, Queen of the Netherlands, Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar and Albert II of Belgium, King of the Belgians.

Nice to know, but I went to Wikipedia looking for two things and found neither.

The first thing I looked for was a group abdication, for example by the entirety of a legislative body.

The second thing I looked for was a secret abdication, for example by the entirety of a legislative body.

To be fair, legislative bodies tend to be elected and elected officials tend to resign rather than abdicate but the “resignation” page was equally unhelpful.

If you believe Wikipedia, there is no precedent for an undisclosed, group abdication or resignation by the entirety of a legislative body like, for instance, the United States Senate and House of Representatives.

If indeed all 535 Senators and Congress people have abdicated without telling anyone, it should be big news at least because it has not happened before. True, they might not be missed, but completely abandoning their posts should qualify as news especially in the traditionally slow month of August.

Why might this be the case?

The President appears likely to ignore them entirely as we set off to do whatever it is we plan to do in Syria, a section of the Constitution to the contrary notwithstanding.

For some time now, they have had little role in the laws upon which they voted. The Affordable Care Act and Dodd Frank come to mind. In those cases, lobbyists and staffers wrote thousands of pages of laws while the 535 Senators and Congress people stood around with their hands out collecting bribes.

Actually, it is pretty clear that 531 Senators and Congress people have abdicated because all they seem to do is what Harry Reid (D NV), Mitch McConnell (R KY), John Boehner (R OH) and Nancy Pelosi (D CA) and their political hench people tell them to do. Simply allocating the correct number of votes to these four and sending the others home could save much time and money.

Could the explanation for their recent efforts be that they all gave up without telling anyone? Secret abdications don’t seem very sporting. At least Edward VIII told his people what he was up to though he did not tell them he was quite such a fan of Hitler.


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Haven Pell

At the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, a woman asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” Without hesitation, Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

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