Haven’t we seen this barefaced sideshow before? The GOP sabotages another Democratic president “to save America.” Predictably, racism has made wary, less culpable Obama an easier mark than wayward Clinton. Deserved and not, abuse heaped on Clinton, today’s most popular politician, portrayed a sex-crazed, flimflam American, distinct from the socialist-Nazi-Muslim-foreign-born illegal who menaces our freedom.
For years extremists running the GOP set higher goals for tactical weapons of mass destruction than stray Democratic presidents – too few won often enough to sustain shrill outrage. Boundless umbrage against progress calls for a monumental enemy worthy of foaming indignation. And lo and behold, this crusade came forth upon the earth: #1) to revise our structurally flawed Founding Document, with new blemishes emerging every year. That reinforced #2), to reverse the march of time, turn back the clock not just on science, better informed citizens, fair taxation or workable oversight and regulations. The enemy’s agents blazoned forth: “activist” federal judges mishandling the Constitution hunting up that slew of manufactured rights, namely voting, legal, civil, housing, gender, retirement, and women’s.
Clearly, this will not do, whether it’s called democracy, modernism, diversity or secularism. Inflamed, rogue patriots are obligated, “no matter what it takes” in Sarah Palin’s phraseology, to band together, rise up, and redeem our “lost honor.” Like a secular Rapture where good comes from wreckage.
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Ridiculing evolution or global warming are merry diversions for fact-challenged goobers still smarting from baffling science classes laced with hard words. Ditto, the ongoing, tiresome gag about where Obama was born, more laughs. Sure, blocking abortion and gay marriage qualify as God’s work, but the Republican U-Turn on history won’t whistle-stop at Happy Bush Days, even the Happier Reagan Days. No, this sick puppy of a country needs major surgery, guided by Dr. Rand Paul’s scalpel, slicing up hard-won civil rights laws. That reverts to some illusory “free market golden age” when “separate but equal” ruled over water fountains, bus seating, and lunch counters.
Guys with Guns Make the Rules
The notion to rework the Constitution parallels the delusion one group owned this lost golden age, or the country, amplified by extremist appeals to violence. Why, if that ornery Congress pumps out one more fundamentalist-unfriendly law, Tea Party wingbat Sharron Angle warns, watch out for “Second Amendment remedies” (translation: armed insurgences by rogue militias). Her fellow loonies don’t know how President Washington harshly pulverized such uprisings, like the Whiskey Rebellion, no Tea Party, that one.
Angle’s brigade can then get join up with racist, secessionist, Christian militias, and/or anti-abortionist terrorist groups who equate gun violence with freedom. At last year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre voiced this very theme (while distorting history): “Freedom is nothing but dust in the wind ’til it’s guarded by the blue steel and dry powder of a free and armed people . . . Our founding fathers understood that the guys with the guns make the rules.” Isn’t this only brazen “might makes right” morality, and damn the Constitution? Actually, the British had tons more guns; they had other, closer wars to fight so they relinquished the rebellious Colonies.
“Back to the good old days” reverts beyond 60’s. If the right guts Social Security, furthering disemboweling the New Deal, we’re talking 1920’s, when men were men, women stayed in the kitchen, gays hid in the closet, poll taxes kept minorities from polluting elections, and other good stuff. If Republicans castrate the 14th Amendment, denying native-born babies citizenship, we regress to post Civil War Days. If we truly obliterate church-state distinctions, on the march since W., that regression revisits pre-Revolutionary eras, before our founding documents codified our best values.
Turning History on Its Head
Even worse, the denial of religious freedom (opposing mosques on private property) returns us to the worst 17th C. Puritan intolerance. Witch trials, anyone? Do extremist Republicans so hate America they forget why our foreparents “crossed the pond:” to escape church inquisitions equating deviation or disbelief with treason and sacrilege, punishable by death?
Indeed, candidate Angle absurdly turns history (and reality) on its head, judging the results of painstaking democratic deliberations as devilish temptations by predatory politicians. So, demonic legislation is the current target, making “government our God, thus violating the First Commandment. We have become a country entrenched in idolatry, and that idolatry is the dependency upon our government. We’re supposed to depend upon God for our protection and our provision and for our daily bread, not our government.”
Set aside the infantile delusion of God baking every day or how exactly He protects from oil spills or terrorism. The facile crossover from an elected legislative body to orders not to worship more than one god is bizarre in the extreme, marrying ignorance with arrogance. Overall, if religious freedom is vulnerable, democracy an idolatrous sham, and selected, native-borns not citizens, wither America? If this is “getting one’s country back,” let’s demand Plan B, with less shock and awe to settled statutes and laws that work.
Ditto: freedom of the press, targeted by candidate Angle when without irony she demands the media only ask questions she wants to answer. And so, our glorious “free” press, the marvel of the world, is reduced to free advertising for partisan hacks. What lies beyond “mind-boggling”? Stripped of core freedoms, who needs due process or equal protection, whether for gay couples dying for marriage or alleged terrorists, untried citizens slated for assassination, eager to avoid dying? One deleted right’s about equal to another, no?
Dirty tricks, like “death panels” or “government takeovers,” pale next to a sustained, calculated crusade to “take over” inherited rights and then bless us with theocracy. So, goes this very Big Lie, the U.S. Constitution must answer to dangerous anti-Constitutionalists who, worst of all, think themselves most patriotic when they’re being most un-American. That’s a dangerous delusion. What’s next on the block – cruel and unusual punishment (like torture)? Slavery? Rescinding prohibition or votes for women? Rogue neo-revolutionaries don’t sweat the small stuff.
Palin’s Jungle Stampede
But wait: there’s one more defiant backslide, a return to mob rule, even the law of the jungle: attend to how the incendiary Sarah Palin envisions her “mama grizzlies.” Compelled by faith and motherhood, this multitude will protect threatened “cubs” from all sorts of the vaguest, unnamed but hostile liberal assaults:
Women are rising up and saying, ‘No, we’ve had enough already.’ Because moms kinda just know when something’s wrong. Here in Alaska, I always think of the mama grizzly bears that rise up on their hind legs when somebody’s comin’ to attack their cubs, to do something adverse toward their cubs. Ya thought pit bulls were tough! Well, ya don’t wanna mess with the mama grizzlies . . . all these women who are banding together, rising up, saying, “No – this isn’t right for our kids and for our grand-kids” . . . we’re gonna get our country back on the right track, no matter what it takes . . . Look out, Washington! – ’cause there’s a whole stampede of pink elephants crossing the line.
We’ve regressed the furthest yet, to the elemental, pre-book world where righteous mother energy turns into punitive stampede. Beware, this call is not to become better voters, but a mob of flailing she-bears convinced “something’s wrong.” Fiercer than pit bulls and banding together, these are vigilantes primed for action because they know they’re right and every opponent wrong: “No matter what it takes.” No longer metaphoric she-bears with claws, this army answers to Palin’s repeated war call: never retreat, reload.
Batten down the hatches. If this isn’t the GOP’s brashest, most primal call to mob rule, pandering to animalistic fury without proof or justification, what is? We here transcend politics as usual with officials facing stampedes by those who “kinda know when something’s wrong.” Me, too, and I want MY country back, and the integrity of the Constitution, not the dictates of Bible-bangers wholly ignorant of where we are and how we got here. Finally, not to identify blatant, fear-baiting sedition is to return to a 1964 low point in American politics, as bad as W. when Republican presidential candidate, Barry Goldwater, actually bellowed, “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! . . . moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!” That was 46 years ago.