Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Ed Kilgore at the Political Animal blog has some important posts about the growing use of eliminationist rhetoric by the far-right, and their threatening armed insurrection and sedition,
None Dare Call It Treason, if they do not get their way in the democratic political process (see this Fairleigh Dickinson University poll in which 44% of Republicans, think “in the next few years, an armed revolution may be necessary to protect our liberties”):
As Steve Benen notes
this morning, the National Rifle Association’s new president, James
Porter of Birmingham, Alabama, likes to talk about the importance of the
Second Amendment as a way to ensure the American people will be able to
“resist tyranny”—i.e., shoot and kill law enforcement officers, members
of the U.S. armed services, and presumably anyone else (you know, like
their neighbors) who might disagree with their definition of their
essential “liberties”—at some undefined point in the future. And while
I’ve not yet seen evidence of him calling Barack Obama a “tyrant”
(though he has called him a “fake president”) I’d be shocked if it doesn’t exist.
So let’s put it this way: Porter seems to be highly representative of the amazingly common
type of contemporary “conservatives” who combine extremist language
about their political opponents with violent language about their
political options—who in effect point their guns at “liberals” while
making it known they and they alone will decide what “liberties” to
surrender, democracy or laws be damned.
It makes it worse that Porter is one of the old boys who thinks it ha-larious to refer
to the American Civil War as the “war of northern aggression” (as “we”
put it “down south,” he said to a New York crowd recently).
Since that war, whatever else it represented, was without question an
armed revolution against the government of the United States, you have
to wonder if the Confederacy—or as it was commonly referred to in the
north for many decades, “the Rebellion”—is Porter’s model for defense of
oneself against “tyranny” (you may recall that John Wilkes Booth
shouted “Sic semper tyrannus“—“thus always to tyrants”) after shooting Lincoln.
Am I perhaps being unfair to these people in suggesting that they are behaving like America-haters and are flirting with treason?
I don’t think so. Porter and those like him could dispel this sort of
suspicion instantly, any time they wanted, by just saying: “Let’s be
clear: the kind of ‘tyranny’ we are arming ourselves to forestall is
something entirely different from anything Americans have experienced
since we won our independence—a regime engaged in the active suppression
of any sort of dissent, and the closure of any peaceful means for the
redress of grievances. We’re not talking about the current
administration, or either major political party, as presently
representing a threat of tyranny.”
I’m not holding my breath for any statements like that to emerge from
the NRA, or indeed, from the contemporary conservative movement. It’s
ironic that people who almost certainly think of themselves as
patriots—perhaps as super-patriots—are deliberately courting the
impression that loyalty to their country is strictly contingent on the
maintenance of laws and policies they favor, to be achieved if not by
ballots then by bullets. Republican politicians should be repudiating
such people instead of celebrating them, accepting their money and
support, and even adopting their seditious rhetoric.
In an earlier post, Ed Kilgore wrote,
By now you may have seen some buzz about a poll
from Fairleigh Dickinson University reporting that 29% of Americans,
and 44% of Republicans, think “in the next few years, an armed
revolution may be necessary to protect our liberties.” It was taken in
the context of understanding the sources of hard-core opposition to gun
regulation measures, and sure seemed to indicate a subscription to
Second Amendment absolutism that’s deeper than anything we’ve seen
before. You can dismiss it for its sample size or its question order or
its wording if you want, but I’m sorry: when nearly half the
self-identified members of one of our two major political parties in any sample looks benignly on the possibility of “armed revolution”—particularly when it’s the supposedly conservative party—we’ve got real problems. If the actual percentage of Republicans thinking positively about armed revolution as a near-term necessity is 15%, we’ve got real problems.
I’ve preached for a good long while now
that the absolute minimum the rest of us can expect from the leaders of
the Republican Party and the conservative movement is to spend some
serious time declaring anathemas against any talk on the Right of some
“right to revolution,” particularly in the context of discussions of the
possession of lethal weapons. Combine a “right to revolution” with the
belief that most people voting for Barack Obama are baby-killing looters
who are revolting against God’s very specific plan for America as laid
right out there in the Declaration of Independence and the original
Constitution, and you could get some unfortunate consequences,
beginning, obviously, with a lot of people whose commitment to the rule
of law and democratic procedures is perpetually conditional.
We need to get right in the faces of people blandly asserting a “right
to revolution” and make sure they explicitly acknowledge that “armed
revolution” is not some sort of Independence Day parade, but the very
tangible enterprise of taking weapons and spilling the blood and taking
the lives of police officers and members of the United States Armed
Forces. Even if they continue to maintain that “right” as a remote, 1%
contingency if America becomes a very different place, perhaps they’ll
be less likely to talk as though it’s a lively proposition that might be
triggered by next week’s health care regulations or next year’s adverse
But our main target ought to be the politicians and pundits and
bloggers that walk the revolutionary rhetorical road because it’s
“entertaining” or it makes them feel all macho (like Grover Norquist
swaggering around Washington with a “I’d rather be killing commies”
button after one of his trips to Angola in the 1980s), or it’s just
useful to have an audience or a political base mobilized to a state of
near-violence by images of fire and smoke and iron and blood.
As I’ve observed on many occasions, you can only imagine how these
self-appointed guardians of liberty would feel if casual talk of “armed
revolution” became widespread on the left or among those people. There should not, cannot, be a double standard on this issue.
So please join me in calling on conservatives to cut this crap out
and separate themselves from those who believe in vindicating the
“original constitution” or defending their property rights or exalting
their God or protecting the unborn via armed revolution.
UPDATE: Just how sick these people really are. Vendor Pulls ‘Obama’ Target From Booth At NRA Convention. The same company that sold the bleeding Obama firing range dummy also markets another firing range dummy called “The Ex”, barely clothed woman to use at the firing range which will ‘bleed’ when shot.