Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Extreme Right Debates A Coup

It may have escaped your notice, but this weekend the sane wing of the Republican party has been trying to stop rightwing extremists from advocating an American coup.

Stephen Taylor, guestblogging at Outside The Beltway, has the rundown on the debate between those on the right who feel all lefties and liberals are traitors and those who, like Taylor, feel that:

Of course, part of the answer is grounded in blind partisan loyalty that sees the Republicans as somehow the sole keepers of defense and security and the Democrats as the party of appeasers and cowards. Such a dichotomy is quite incorrect, but it does infuse the thinking of many.

The bottom line is that yes, there are policy differences between the two parties, but the choice not between victory and defeat.

It would help our public discourse (as well as the policy making process) if we were all mindful of that fact.
Taylor quotes sense by Ed Morrissey of Captain's Quarters blog and extremism from the bloggers at Powerline as being typical of the debate - one which has been stimulated by the G.O.P. heirarchy deliberately over the last four years and reached its slimy height with the RNC's midterm ad "The Stakes". However, now that the Democrats have won a convincing victory in both House and Senate and the Bush administration is making conciliatory noises, the right's mad dogs are unwilling to drop their bone.

Which leads them into unforgiving territory - effectively advocating a coup to overthrow that democratic process and install their own dictatorship, all in the name of national security.

After all, if you're going to say things like this:
If one is worried about friends and family who vote for Democrats being made out as traitors, I never said anything of the sort. But if they are family or good friends, perhaps one should ask them how they can defend such treasonous discourse from the leaders of their beloved party. That might be a more productive conversation than attempting to marginalize another point of view which does nothing more than point out said statements and individuals for what they, by definition, really are.
And this:
So let me be the first conservative to step forward and say what must be said.
Finally, after years of suspicion and accusations, we not only found the smoking gun, we found the bullets, the target, the secret plans, and the conspirators plotting to politically assassinate a President who is guilty of protecting out nation from terrorists. Unmasked and caught red-handed, the modern Democrat is a traitor. They should be treated no differently than the Rosenbergs; tried in a court of law, convicted, and suffer the harshest punishment. Death by firing squad, preferably. On TV, if possible.
And this:
And therein, comes the question about whether are not Democrats have become 'enemies of the state....' Depending, of course, on how exactly define the word 'enemy', I supppose...There is a very thin line between "enemy of the state", and "useful idiot". On this issue that line is so thin is to be considered invisible.
Then you end up, by neccessity, with people who sincerely believe something like this:
The choice is clear. Vote Republican, stay the course, and fight the war on terror over there. Vote Democrat, withdraw from Iraq, and fight the war on terror here. The choice is simple. If the dims win, they will try to impeach both Bush and Cheney. Conyers has the plans drawn up. That would make Nancy Pelosi President of the United States. I will proudly be one of the patriotic Americans to take up arms to throw off the yoke of fascism she represents. Hopefully I would be on the squads assigned to eliminate the left.
That's where the logical chain ends, at a rightwing coup to overturn the will of at least 55% of the American people in the recent midterms. Few - if any - of the uber-right's pundits will admit this, but they all know it is true.

Could such a coup succeed? Well, that's another matter. It would have to be instigated at the highest level, probably that of the presidency. Then, though, the 30% who are hardcore supporters of illegal spying, legislation that severs America's ties with the rule of law and makes it possible to throw any American in the gulag, laws that allow martial law to be declared and the military to become a domestic law enforcement arm simply on the president's say so - then, those 30% are more than enough as long as another 30% simply accepts and does nothing. History, from Hitler's rise to Saddam's rule in Iraq, tells us that is usually exactly what happens.

That such a happenstance may be remote is debatable, but it is also beside the point. The extreme right are advocating exactly such a coup as a logical consequence of their rhetoric. They know it. It falls to those of us who actually love freedom and democracy on both left and right, rather than using it as a cover for totalitarian ideology, to throw it in the uber-rights' faces and make sure everyone else knows it too. That's the best way to make sure such a coup remains only a remote possibility.