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September 30, 2009 5:33 PM   Subscribe

John L. Perry worked in the Johnson and Carter administrations. He posts once a week at a blog called Right Angles. Perry's latest column suggested that a "civilized" military coup to "resolve the Obama problem" should not be dismissed as "unrealistic". Another person who thinks a military dictatorship may be in America's future? Gore Vidal.
posted by lukemeister (178 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
For some reason, I hate to see Metafilter provide a voice for this kind of idiotic rhetoric....
posted by HuronBob at 5:38 PM on September 30, 2009 [7 favorites]


So, if you are one of those observant military professionals, what do you do?

Ooo, oo! I'll start. How about "not commit treason?" What do I win?

What a jackass. Holy shit.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:38 PM on September 30, 2009 [56 favorites]


America, love it or leave it, Perry.
posted by R. Mutt at 5:39 PM on September 30, 2009 [18 favorites]


For some reason, I hate to see Metafilter provide a voice for this kind of idiotic rhetoric....

Pushing nutbars into the margins only feeds their persecution complex and makes them more desperate. Sunshine is the best disinfectant.
posted by DU at 5:42 PM on September 30, 2009 [16 favorites]


Can we call them fascists yet?

When I see the worsening degeneracy in our politicians, our media, our educators, and our intelligentsia, I can’t help wondering if the day may yet come when the only thing that can save this country is a military coup. - Thomas Sowell, National Review
posted by Joe Beese at 5:42 PM on September 30, 2009 [19 favorites]


Perry should consider "psychiatric help" for his "Obama problem."
posted by swerve at 5:45 PM on September 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


Have you seen the little piggies
Crawling in the dirt
And for all the little piggies
Life is getting worse
Always having dirt to play around in.

Have you seen the bigger piggies
In their starched white shirts
You will find the bigger piggies
Stirring up the dirt
Always have clean shirts to play around in.

In their sties with all their backing
They don't care what goes on around
In their eyes there's something lacking
What they need's a damn good whacking.

Everywhere there's lots of piggies
Living piggy lives
You can see them out for dinner
With their piggy wives
Clutching forks and knives to eat their bacon.
posted by mosk at 5:46 PM on September 30, 2009 [12 favorites]


Folks, this is Richard Mellon Scaife we're talking about here. He already brought down one Democratic president. Do you think if he had a chance in hell of bringing Obama down, his flacks would be whining about it on his crap internet sites?

These people are freaking the fuck out because they haven't got a clue about how to regain control of the system. They're whipping their slack-jawed proles into a lather because they've got nothing else left in the pipe. They'll scream and yell and howl and obstruct and hope that the recently ascended all-powerful Ronnie will send them a redeemer in 2010 or pleasegodplease in 2012. But they will never, not for one second, imagine that the route back into control is through sound policy and responsible governance because to think that is to believe at the same time in civil society and governmental institutions whose sovereignty derives from the consent of the governed. All those people have become Democrats already, realizing they can hamstring Obama from within his own party. What's left are the troglodyte dead enders. God love 'em.

But here's the thing, histrionic campadres: if you run around freaking the fuck out along with those guys, then you legitimize their lather. You make it seem like there's actually something worth freaking out over. And there isn't. There are just policy challenges and civic responsibility. You know, the stuff that makes up life in a liberal democracy.

So take a minute. Chuckle at the drama queens. Then get the fuck back to work.
posted by felix betachat at 5:47 PM on September 30, 2009 [43 favorites]


Yay, lunatic inflammatory rhetoric!
posted by Divine_Wino at 5:48 PM on September 30, 2009


they haven't got a clue about how to regain control of the system

I hope to hell you're right, but...
posted by PlusDistance at 5:54 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


That "ignore them and they will go away" schtick would only have a snowball's chance in hell of working if you were able to convince the adherents of the thing you wanted to go away to do it. I'm not even sure if I buy its efficacy in that scenario either.

The fact that it's here MEANS its part of the dialogue and needs to be addressed. These conspiracy nuts and their delusions thrive in the vacuum left when the sensible people take the high road.


Ya know, I managed to ignore Glenn Beck (as a lot of people did) all the way up to this spring...yet..he didn't...go...away. How can that be? Huh.


Oh and when I find that girl that sold me the rock that keeps tigers away, well ...we're gonna have some words too!
posted by Senor Cardgage at 5:58 PM on September 30, 2009 [5 favorites]


I dunno, what'd they do when we lost Vietnam and Korea? Did they stage a coup then? No? We've been losing Iraq and Afghanistan (not that I think that the people in charge have an actual idea of what a "win" looks like) for years, did they stage a coup then?

Oh, wait, those Presidents were white, I forgot.

I love the fact that Obama says that it is not about race, when it clearly is a component of it for some, because he provides no ammunition to those people who would only turn around with the kind of rapidity associated with young neutron stars and beam, "See? See? He's black and he makes everything about race!" I think Obama knows that and has avoided it.

That doesn't mean that I won't say it, though — for a lot of these guys, a black guy ... no, let me rephrase that, someone who isn't a WASP male being in the Oval Office is what symbolizes things getting out of hand, not that we have yet another failed foreign intervention on our part.
posted by adipocere at 5:59 PM on September 30, 2009 [14 favorites]


That "ignore them and they will go away" schtick would only have a snowball's chance in hell of working if you were able to convince the adherents of the thing you wanted to go away to do it.

Not to mention the media. For crying out loud, Glenn Beck has a show on network TV. This isn't some fringe voice in the wilderness. This is the core of one of the main political parties in the country. You can (possibly) ignore a whacko 1%. You can't really ignore a whacko 30%.
posted by DU at 6:01 PM on September 30, 2009 [11 favorites]


Polling 2010 right now doesn't mean a thing. If the Democrats pass robust health insurance reform, nothing else matters. They will have promised and delivered and Obama will have something he hasn't quite mastered yet: the halo of the doer. If insurance reform fails, or they pass something lukewarm, they will hemorrhage support for the next year and Obama's momentum will die.

The Republican party leaders know this. Why Conrad, Baucus, Nelson, Lincoln and Carper don't is beyond me. These clowns are complicit in the crib death of Obama's presidency.
posted by felix betachat at 6:01 PM on September 30, 2009 [6 favorites]


For crying out loud, Glenn Beck has a show on network TV.

Cable TV, right?
posted by mr_roboto at 6:02 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


they haven't got a clue about how to regain control of the system.

Nope, not a clue.
posted by haltingproblemsolved at 6:03 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Senor Cardgage: "The fact that it's here MEANS its part of the dialogue and needs to be addressed."

In related news:

Still two months before its Nov. 17 release, Sarah Palin’s autobiography “Going Rogue: An American Life” has already hit the No. 2 spot on Amazon.com’s bestseller list.

posted by Joe Beese at 6:04 PM on September 30, 2009


Oh and I'm not advocating ignoring the crazies. I'm saying laugh at them but don't lose sight of the prize. Their histrionics are designed to distract the nation from the gravity of the tasks at hand. To the degree to which news organizations and political blogs continue to give attention to their theatrics, they are aiding their cause. I'm looking at you, Arianna, Andrew and Josh.
posted by felix betachat at 6:04 PM on September 30, 2009


Isn't this sedition and isn't that illegal?
posted by Toekneesan at 6:06 PM on September 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


Bah. Mere plagiarism. Martin Lewis was there first:

General Pace, You Can Save the US - by Arresting Bush for "Conduct Unbecoming"
posted by Slithy_Tove at 6:07 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


So a democracy is when the majority elect someone (and the Supreme Court doesn't give it to the other guy anyway), and then the pissed-off minority enlists the aid of the military for a coup. Huh, that's a little different than they taught me in school. Must be that New Civics!
posted by jamstigator at 6:09 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Republican party leaders know this. Why Conrad, Baucus, Nelson, Lincoln and Carper don't is beyond me.

Conrad, Baucus, Nelson, Lincoln and Carper care about one person (each): Conrad, Baucus, Nelson, Lincoln and Carper (respectively).

As long as they can continue to get big checks from the insurance industry funding their re-elections to Congress, where they can continue to work for the insurance industry to earn big checks, what do they care about the public, much less occupant of the White House?
posted by DU at 6:10 PM on September 30, 2009 [10 favorites]


felix betachat: "If insurance reform fails, or they pass something lukewarm, they will hemorrhage support for the next year and Obama's momentum will die."

Do you want me to spoil the ending for you?
posted by Joe Beese at 6:11 PM on September 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


Unthinkable? Then think up an alternative, non-violent solution to the Obama problem.

Democracy, or STFU.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:17 PM on September 30, 2009 [7 favorites]


It Couldn't Happen Here
posted by caddis at 6:18 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


The 1934 forgotten coup
more
posted by hortense at 6:19 PM on September 30, 2009 [12 favorites]


That we have forgotten it is insane.
posted by caddis at 6:20 PM on September 30, 2009


That piece on Gore Vidal is fantastic. The very definition of waspish. Some of what he says makes me wonder if he's a psychopath and I don't mean that in a derogatory, sensationalistic way.
posted by Sitegeist at 6:21 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Toekneesan, you mean the Smith Act? It's possible. Depends on whether this is mere advocacy of a political position or idea, or whether it counts as actually encouraging the overthrow of the government. Since they're not actually encouraging anyone to do anything, it's probably the former.
posted by 1adam12 at 6:23 PM on September 30, 2009


I know about cognitive dissonance and all that, but really, how can people who defended Bush/Cheney tooth & nail really condemn Obama for "trampling the Constitution" and destroying the economy? It is a level of insanity I just can't fucking fathom.
posted by Saxon Kane at 6:25 PM on September 30, 2009 [21 favorites]


What is 'The Obama Problem'?
posted by Maximian at 6:28 PM on September 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


Perry has some valid points. I don't think he's done himself any favours with some of the language he uses, but if you take a look at the same arguments put forth by a more lucid and informed commentator, you begin to realise the validity of their position.
posted by fire&wings at 6:30 PM on September 30, 2009


What the hell is a civilized military coup, other than an oxymoron?
posted by BrotherCaine at 6:30 PM on September 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Sedition. It's constitutionally protected speech, but absolutely despicable. Apparently, as far as Republicans are concerned, democracy is fantastic as long as a Democrat never gets elected.
posted by EarBucket at 6:30 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Then get the fuck back to work."

that is good advice..
posted by HuronBob at 6:31 PM on September 30, 2009


This is hardly a new phenomenon. Thirty years ago all these crazies were still there. The internet however gives lunatics in all states of delusion, the afirmation that they aren't the only ones with the same thoughts.
The light of day indeed exposes all this, and we react to it as insanity, but it also provides a means of connection at light-speed for like minded groups. They organize and sympathize with each other. They plan, but seldom go beyond that, for now.
I can remember growing up in a small town, and my mom exposing and fighting a kiddie porn dealer in the apartment building next door. It took all summer.
She almost had to bring the DA personaly to the guy to get charges filed. Now, in 2009, we know that CP is hardly isolated and unique. It's a couple keystrokes away from any computer. Prosecution is often swift, and harsh.
Just like back then, we've shined the light on them, but it's what we ultimately do with them that makes the difference in future society.
posted by 5X88 at 6:31 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Tom Friedman who usually I can't stand, actually wrote a good piece today on respecting the presidency.
posted by Xurando at 6:38 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


After reading these comments, I want to retract my first post here... we DO need to shine the light on this stuff... not ignore it...

/note to self, never post first
posted by HuronBob at 6:39 PM on September 30, 2009


DU: Really, it's reached the point where voting against the public option, especially for Democrats like Baucus, is such a clear vote-loser that no amount of insurance company campaign funds could ever make up for it. I am becoming increasingly convinced that Baucus et al aren't in it for campaign funds at all, but rather for the extremely high-paying jobs as lobbyists and consultants that they'll get from the companies they're representing once they retire or are kicked out of office. It's remarkably sad and tawdry — pathetic, really — but it's the only thing I can think of that really explains their behavior.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 6:41 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


His whole argument is absurd:

Officers swear to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic." Unlike enlisted personnel, they do not swear to "obey the orders of the president of the United States."

Wrong: Article II, Section 2, Clause 1: "The President shall be commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States." Part of supporting and defending the Constitution is recognizing the ultimate military authority of the President.

Top military officers can see the Constitution they are sworn to defend being trampled as American institutions and enterprises are nationalized.

No, actually, companies like AIG and GM begged to be bailed out. What's more, the federal government has a broad spending power, and it is Constitutionally free to act as a market participant if it so chooses. In fact, the federal government is even free to seize companies and forcibly nationalize them if it so chooses, provided it pays just compensation. It's all right there in Article I, Section 8, Clause 1 and the Fifth Amendment. Read it and weep, John L. Perry.

Furthermore: It is absolutely not up to the military to determine the constitutionality of anything. That's the job of the Supreme Court. And if you don't like how it rules, then vote people into office that will appoint people to the Supreme Court that you agree with. And failing that, amend the Constitution.

Frankly, the only possible argument for a coup in the US would be a case of blatant, unapologetic, defiant election fraud. That is, a total breakdown of the democratic and legal system. We are so far from that it's ridiculous.

They can see that Americans are increasingly alarmed that this nation, under President Barack Obama, may not even be recognizable as America by the 2012 election, in which he will surely seek continuation in office.

If that's the case, then surely those right-thinking Americans will vote him out of office. If not, then that's democracy for you (i.e. 'tough shit').

They can see that the economy -- ravaged by deficits, taxes, unemployment, and impending inflation -- is financially reliant on foreign lender governments.

Fair enough, but then you combine this with:

They can see the dismantling of defenses against missiles targeted at this nation by avowed enemies, even as America's troop strength is allowed to sag. They can see the horror of major warfare erupting simultaneously in two, and possibly three, far-flung theaters before America can react in time.

And it doesn't make any sense. On the one hand "oh no, our country is bankrupt" but on the other "we must greatly increase the defense budget!" Defense pork or low deficits, pick one Mr. Perry.

[Do you w]ait until this president bungles into losing the war in Afghanistan

Because we were winning under Bush?

Wait until Israel is forced to launch air strikes on Iran's nuclear-bomb plants, and the Middle East explodes, destabilizing or subjugating the Free World?

First, how on earth is a war in the Middle East going to lead to the subjugation of the Free World? Second, that plan seemed to work out okay with Operation Opera.

Will the day come when patriotic general and flag officers sit down with the president, or with those who control him, and work out the national equivalent of a "family intervention," with some form of limited, shared responsibility? Imagine a bloodless coup to restore and defend the Constitution through an interim administration that would do the serious business of governing and defending the nation.

Where in the Constitution does it even contemplate military control of the country? That isn't restoring and defending the Constitution. It's a blatantly unconstitutional, undemocratic, and forcible seizure of power.

Skilled, military-trained, nation-builders would replace accountability-challenged, radical-left commissars.

The same skilled nation-builders that are doing such a great job in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Unthinkable? Then think up an alternative, non-violent solution to the Obama problem.

Uhh...an election?
posted by jedicus at 6:45 PM on September 30, 2009 [33 favorites]


What is 'The Obama Problem'?

A severe overabundance of melanin, apparently.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:49 PM on September 30, 2009 [36 favorites]


Isn't this sedition and isn't that illegal?

Not if you're a member of the right wing, it isn't. If Rush, Ann Coulter and all the other pundits who call for left-wing politicians to be overthrown or executed can't get arrested for sedition, John L. Perry can sleep well at night.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:51 PM on September 30, 2009


Really, it's reached the point where voting against the public option, especially for Democrats like Baucus, is such a clear vote-loser that no amount of insurance company campaign funds could ever make up for it. I am becoming increasingly convinced that Baucus et al aren't in it for campaign funds at all, but rather for the extremely high-paying jobs as lobbyists and consultants that they'll get from the companies they're representing once they retire or are kicked out of office.

Look, for 80 years plus, there has been a huge, decentralised, but very well-funded project to produce and disseminate theoretical refutations of socialism. This has resulted in a large body of thought, a lot of it quite sophisticated, that purports to prove that markets in themselves are good and that government intervention in itself is bad. These arguments and their underlying premises are now what dominate all of the major universities in the United States. They determine how students learn economics, political science, law, psychology. This is true especially of the fanciest schools, and especially especially of the courses that future politicians are likely to take.

They really believe this stuff! Congressional Democrats don't secretly want some wonderful worker's republic. They learned at school that meddling causes inflation and that that causes tyranny and that they tried it in Russia and it didn't work. They are sincerely opposed to serious left-wing politics. I think people need to stop thinking that Democrats are too cowardly or corrupt to follow their true heart's desires, and start accepting that the party bigwigs are conscientiously implementing the right-wing political program they believe in.
posted by stammer at 6:51 PM on September 30, 2009 [16 favorites]


Every day, I feel more and more like I'm going to wake up tomorrow and we're going to be living out A Handmaid's Tale.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:52 PM on September 30, 2009 [7 favorites]


the guy has called upn the military (gutless, he won't do it for himself) to turn on the commander. He needs to be arrested! for inciting and attempting to overthrow the govt. He is not using the right of free speech but yelling fire in the theatre at this point.
posted by Postroad at 6:53 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


NewsMax - Perry's longtime publisher - is sponsored by the Republican National Committee.
posted by Joe Beese at 6:56 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


These people care about nothing else other than themselves and the cushy positions they've carved out at everyone else's expense. They are craven expense-account whores of the highest order (and don't even get me started on Max Baucus and Ben Nelson).

The "Obama problem" is only a problem because there are changes in the air that threaten to upset their self-serving applecart. They've cast their lot in with the rich and powerful, and the rich and powerful are (finally) being seen for the bloodsucking, fuck-everybody-but-us lot they are, by and large.

Does the widening wealth and opportunity gap in this country bother them? No. Does record unemployment bother them? No. Does the dismal state of health care in the USA bother them? No. Does the fact that the defense of our country fall predominantly on the poor and less educated among us? No. Does our refusal to do fuck-all about global warming or crumbling infrastructure or our crazy reliance on foreign oil matter to them? No.

But community organizers, angry union workers, and a black president drive them right up a tree. Fuck them. Their privilege, power, and attitude need to go. They are dinosaurs; bullies who need to be stood up to. We've done it before, and we can do it again.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:56 PM on September 30, 2009 [13 favorites]


Sedition. It's constitutionally protected speech, but absolutely despicable.
Sedition -- and incitement to overthrow the government -- has never been constitutionally protected speech. The question, however, hinges on what kind of speech is technically "sedition." In fact, the law is still on the books in the form of The Smith Act. Case law using this law (rightfully) defines sedition so narrowly that it's very, very hard to get a conviction, but it is still on the books.
posted by deanc at 6:56 PM on September 30, 2009


Wow, that Vidal piece is interesting. Some crazy in there (McVeigh? ugh), but some interesting parts too:

"Obama believes the Republican Party is a party when in fact it’s a mindset, like Hitler Youth, based on hatred — religious hatred, racial hatred. When you foreigners hear the word ‘conservative’ you think of kindly old men hunting foxes. They’re not, they’re fascists"

and

"Another notable Obama mis-step has been on healthcare reform. “He f***ed it up. I don’t know how because the country wanted it. We’ll never see it happen.”"

sound like pretty common Metafilter sentiments to me, for example (I certainly agree with both sentiments).
posted by wildcrdj at 6:56 PM on September 30, 2009


What is 'The Obama Problem'?

You know... he's the president, and yet he's a negro. How can that be?
posted by steambadger at 6:59 PM on September 30, 2009


I think this does qualify as sedition, and this and what Orly Taitz is doing are arguably worse than anything Eugene v Debs said that got him sentenced to 10 years in prison. But I don't think that sedition is illegal currently.
posted by empath at 7:01 PM on September 30, 2009


I love the fact that Obama says that it is not about race, when it clearly is a component of it for some, because he provides no ammunition to those people who would only turn around with the kind of rapidity associated with young neutron stars and beam, "See? See? He's black and he makes everything about race!" I think Obama knows that and has avoided it.

exactly!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by Ironmouth at 7:05 PM on September 30, 2009


If you believe Wikipedia, "Although unused since at least 1961, the Smith Act remains US law.", the Smith act being the Alien Registration Act, which "made it a crime to advocate or teach the desirability of overthrowing the United States Government, or to be a member of any organization which does the same" (at the time, this basically meant Communist). However, "Although the Supreme Court upheld the convictions of 11 CPUSA leaders in 1951, the court reversed itself in 1957 in Yates v. United States by ruling that teaching an ideal, no matter how harmful it may seem, does not equal advocating or planning its implementation." So it is kind of grey, the law is on the books still but I seriously hope no one would be convicted by it anymore, even if they are despicable.
posted by wildcrdj at 7:05 PM on September 30, 2009


Maybe somebody can do a post collecting all the movies set in the future that included a negro president or chief executive 'cause that was so... so... NOT GONNA HAPPEN!

My brain iz froze. All I get is The Fifth Element(1997)
posted by hexatron at 7:06 PM on September 30, 2009


Maybe somebody can do a post collecting all the movies set in the future that included a negro president or chief executive 'cause that was so... so... NOT GONNA HAPPEN!

My brain iz froze. All I get is The Fifth Element(1997)
I'm pretty sure there was a film with Morgan Freeman as the president. Something about an asteroid crashing into earth, maybe? I didn't see it, but I'm pretty sure it exists.
posted by Flunkie at 7:08 PM on September 30, 2009




On Perry's Newsmax pages: ads for Ann Coulter, firearms classes, boner pills, fake antivirus software. That says a lot.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:10 PM on September 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


24?
posted by josher71 at 7:12 PM on September 30, 2009


"Another notable Obama mis-step has been on healthcare reform. “He f***ed it up. I don’t know how because the country wanted it. We’ll never see it happen.”"

sound like pretty common Metafilter sentiments to me, for example (I certainly agree with both sentiments).


That's funny, because the sense here in D.C. is that Obama is now going to cruise to victory. I was convinced that things were worse than they were.

You don't see these fuckers acting all crazy like this unless their backs are against the wall. They are just losing it over the health care. If the GOP can't stop that, what do they got? Seriously, in reality, they've been the party of no since 1964. There's nothing left to say no to except gay marriage. And they're gonna lose that one too.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:12 PM on September 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


Folks, this is Richard Mellon Scaife we're talking about here. He already brought down one Democratic president.

Really? Because last time I checked, Clinton served two full terms and left the office with a huge improvement in his approval rating.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:14 PM on September 30, 2009 [7 favorites]


Maybe somebody can do a post collecting all the movies set in the future that included a negro president

Deep Impact and, uh, Idiocracy.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 7:15 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]



It's all about race and nothing but.
posted by notreally at 7:17 PM on September 30, 2009


I've said this before, and I'll say it again...

this crap, this evil, evil crap only has a voice because WE support it.... Here in southeastern Michigan the conduit is WJR radio.. once a respected media outlet, it's become a cesspool of rightwing lies and talking points.

The ONLY way to stop the constant barrage of untruths is to take away the revenues that fund the machine... stop shopping at the merchants that support the stations, stop buying the products that pump money into the flow...

when there is nobody left to pay for the electricity to broadcast the lies...the lies will stop having so much power....
posted by HuronBob at 7:17 PM on September 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


I see... he's calling for the Military-Industrial complex to be in control of the US government. How novel. Take that, status quo!
posted by qvantamon at 7:22 PM on September 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


But he made too many enemies
Of the people who would keep us on our knees

posted by Sys Rq at 7:22 PM on September 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


That's funny, because the sense here in D.C. is that Obama is now going to cruise to victory.

Which means he's toast.

D.C. is not even wrong when it comes to reality.

You don't see these fuckers acting all crazy like this unless their backs are against the wall.

And they're doing just that. Do you think that census worker is the last that they'll kill over this? The GOP rank and file are basically being ordered to take arms -- and they're doing so.
posted by eriko at 7:24 PM on September 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Bill Clinton speaks of vast, right-wing conspiracy
(AP) – 3 days ago
WASHINGTON — Bill Clinton says a vast, right-wing conspiracy that once targeted him is now focusing on President Barack Obama.

The ex-president made the comment in a television interview when he was asked about one of the signature moments of the Monica Lewinsky affair over a decade ago. Back then, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton used the term "vast, right-wing conspiracy" to describe how her husband's political enemies were out to destroy his presidency.

Bill Clinton was asked on NBC's "Meet the Press" whether the conspiracy is still there. He replied: "You bet. Sure it is. It's not as strong as it was because America has changed demographically. But it's as virulent as it was."

Clinton said that this time around, the focus is on Obama and "their agenda seems to be wanting him to fail."

posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 7:28 PM on September 30, 2009


MetaFilter: get the fuck back to work.
posted by shoesfullofdust at 7:29 PM on September 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Don't you see it: Civil War TV. After a few perfunctory military actions during sweeps, President Limbaugh leads the Southern states to secession. Send down the cameras. Entertainment for generations.
posted by larry_darrell at 7:30 PM on September 30, 2009


That's funny, because the sense here in D.C. is that Obama is now going to cruise to victory. I was convinced that things were worse than they were.

Hey, I certainly hope they're right. My impression was while that something will probably pass, it won't be anything that will have any useful impact. And then I'd worry that it would be similar in political impact to passing nothing --- conservatives will be energized, liberals will be demoralized. But I certainly hope I'm wrong.
posted by wildcrdj at 7:31 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


This post and this whole thread has me feeling a little scared (for real).
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 7:32 PM on September 30, 2009


The top four items on the Amazon bestsellers list are an interesting progression.
posted by brundlefly at 7:41 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's all about race and nothing but.
People say this a lot. I don't think it's accurate.

The color of Obama's skin certainly facilitates and exacerbates the wingnuttery, but I'm pretty sure the wingnuttery would still be coming through loud and clear without it. It's not about race; it's about the fact that right wing extremists can't deal with any people other than right wing extremists being in power. This is facilitated and exacerbated by race, but it's not about race; certainly not "all" about it, nor "nothing but".
posted by Flunkie at 7:44 PM on September 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's all about race and nothing but.

posted by notreally at 10:17 PM on September 30 [+] [!]

posted by lumensimus at 7:47 PM on September 30, 2009 [2 favorites]




You know who else thought a military dictatorship may have been in his country's futu...what's that? ... Really? .... I see.

Never mind.
posted by The Lurkers Support Me in Email at 7:56 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


>
The top four items on the Amazon bestsellers list are an interesting progression


World War Z would be the jewel in that crown.
posted by Decimask at 7:57 PM on September 30, 2009


We ought not to worry so much about a military coup, so long at least as USAA stays solvent.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:03 PM on September 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


You know who else thought a military dictatorship may have been in his country's futu...what's that? ... Really? .... I see.

Actually, it didn't, on the whole, work out too badly for Turkey (although it sucks dead donkey dicks to be a Kurd in Turkey).
posted by rodgerd at 8:03 PM on September 30, 2009


Can we call them fascists yet?

Vidal does, in the third link. Based on the comments so far, though, few MeFites got that far?

Vidal is a terror of a man, and I mean that as a compliment. Teeman's deferential tone is thick, but what journalist would not quake when trying to talk to a mind like that?

I'd like to read more about his, er, 'support' of McVeigh's ideas, but I'm loathe to wade into what will probably be a Google swamp.

McVeigh is fucking complicated, a lot more complicated than the media's ever presented, I know that.
posted by rokusan at 8:05 PM on September 30, 2009


A few days ago I was in the car with my girlfriend when her mom called (I was driving). Here's what I heard:

"Hi Mom"
*pause while mom replies*
"No, I'm in the car, not near a TV"
*pause while mom replies*
"Oh my god, he's dead?"

It turns out a character on Grey's Anatomy died, but the first thing I thought was that Obama had been shot. I was pretty convinced of it, too, and I couldn't understand why my girlfriend and her mom proceeded to have what sounded like a normal conversation afterwards. It was definitely disconcerting, but the more I hear about nutjobs like this, the more I worry that someday my paranoia won't seem so silly.
posted by notswedish at 8:12 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Mr. Vidal, it seems, is even more bitter than Larry Kramer, and I didn't think anybody could out-bitter Larry Kramer. The bitchy snipes against Edmund White are almost amusing in their asperity.

Vidal's time has long since come and gone. This world is not the world of "The Best Man," if it ever was. He needs to cede the stage.
posted by blucevalo at 8:13 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


McVeigh is fucking complicated

OKC is complicated. What we still don't know about it could fill a book.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 8:15 PM on September 30, 2009


rokusan: "Vidal does, in the third link. Based on the comments so far, though, few MeFites got that far?"

I saw the Vidal piece earlier today. Out of respect for his past accomplishments, I thought it best passed over in silence.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:16 PM on September 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


and, uh, Idiocracy

The transdimensional magnificence of Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho transcends your puny human notions of race.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:20 PM on September 30, 2009 [9 favorites]


The ONLY way to stop the constant barrage of untruths is to take away the revenues that fund the machine... stop shopping at the merchants that support the stations, stop buying the products that pump money into the flow...

when there is nobody left to pay for the electricity to broadcast the lies...the lies will stop having so much power....


I believe you've said this several times (correct me if I'm wrong) but it just flat-out does not make any sense. Consider: I'm a pretty typical mefite as far as political leanings go. I have no clue what's advertised on right-wing talk radio, except when I visit my grandfather's workshop to pick something up and flip on the power-bar to turn on the light. Of these few minutes of radio over the past few years, I've learned I shouldn't be buying:

* computer training videos
* diet classes

That's it. I already don't buy these things. I can't go any further out of my way to hurt these retailers. This should be obvious because I'm not their target fucking market. This theory does not make sense.
posted by odinsdream at 8:21 PM on September 30, 2009 [5 favorites]


diet PILLS. not classes.
posted by odinsdream at 8:21 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Holy cow! I knew there was a reason I cleaned my guns today.
/armed liberal
posted by Baby_Balrog at 8:25 PM on September 30, 2009 [4 favorites]


During Black History Month and around inauguration time, a public school teacher taught some kids a song about Obama, after checking the lyrics with their parents. There were no complaints. Today, the head of the Republican party said:

This is the type of propaganda you would see in Stalin's Russia or Kim Jong Il's North Korea. I never thought the day would come when I'd see it here in America.

This is the type of fanaticism Republicans are up against as we fight to stop the Obama Democrats' radical leftist transformation of America.


All Republican politicians are bad people.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:28 PM on September 30, 2009 [9 favorites]


ROU_Xenophobe, odinsdream: Your comments had me imagining classes in which Glenn Beck taught how to drink Brawndo: The Thirst Mutilator.
posted by lukemeister at 8:29 PM on September 30, 2009


What is 'The Obama Problem'?

There aren't enough of him.
posted by Ufez Jones at 8:32 PM on September 30, 2009 [16 favorites]


Because last time I checked, Clinton served two full terms and left the office with a huge improvement in his approval rating.

By servicing the Congressional Republican agenda (and they still tried to crucify him).

If Congress is still controlled by the Democrats in 2010, Obama will not live to see a second term. The Secret Service is great, but they already admit they are undermanned due to the 400% increase in threats, and Big Surprise! Congress is unwilling to fund more manpower to protect him.

Of course, the fact that he even needs such unprecedented protection exposes a fundamental cancer in our society. America is ultimately ruled by a radical, violent, right-wing extremist minority backed by the richest and most powerful (politically and militarily) human beings life as we know it has ever seen.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:38 PM on September 30, 2009


The irony of right-wing attacks on Obama, given the defense made by these same people for the construction of Bush's Security State (the repercussions of which we are still very much dealing with), is remarkable.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 8:41 PM on September 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Something about an asteroid crashing into earth, maybe? I didn't see it

Ohhhhhh, Jesus, I wish I could say the same.
posted by adamdschneider at 8:42 PM on September 30, 2009


The Xianist fascist military takeover depicted by Reznor in NIN's Year Zero begins to rear its ugly head. 2024 -- America Is Born Again!
posted by hippybear at 8:45 PM on September 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


And they're doing just that. Do you think that census worker is the last that they'll kill over this? The GOP rank and file are basically being ordered to take arms -- and they're doing so.

deep breaths. deep breaths.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:45 PM on September 30, 2009


If Congress is still controlled by the Democrats in 2010, Obama will not live to see a second term. The Secret Service is great, but they already admit they are undermanned due to the 400% increase in threats, and Big Surprise! Congress is unwilling to fund more manpower to protect him.

You apparently have the power to read the future. Therefore, please MeMail me the winner of tomorrow's 4th at Belmont.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:47 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Vidal's an insufferable old monster, but that doesn't mean that he isn't right on occasion. In this case, I'd say about the lack of education in America and the primarily fascist nature of the right (the hysterical patriotism, the fetishizing of spectacle, the weirdly expressed sexual fixations).
posted by jokeefe at 8:52 PM on September 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


You apparently have the power to read the future. Therefore, please MeMail me the winner of tomorrow's 4th at Belmont.

Oh, please. You say the President is fine because people in Washington DC say so. You have no clue.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:54 PM on September 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Something about an asteroid crashing into earth, maybe? I didn't see it
Ohhhhhh, Jesus, I wish I could say the same.


The previously mentioned Deep Impact.
posted by brundlefly at 8:54 PM on September 30, 2009


When I see the worsening degeneracy in our politicians, our media, our educators, and our intelligentsia, I can’t help wondering if the day may yet come when the only thing that can save this country is a military coup. - Thomas Sowell, National Review

There was a time when I used to respect Sowell, saw him as cut above your average commentator, arguably a candidate for recognizable intellectual life on the right. Maybe it's because I hit his academic work first, maybe it's because I respected his story, maybe it's because I wanted to believe.

But that time is now over. Not even over that particular seditious line alone. The whole column is a mess. "The last time I saw a Republican express outrage was 1991." Really. That statement alone is a white flag of surrender on either the front of integrity or awareness:

Outrage Becomes Laura Bush
Outraged in October
Moral Outrage Fuels Tea Party Movement
Gadhafi's Camping Trip Is a Bloody Outrage

But, yeah. Back to the sedition:

Bah. Mere plagiarism. Martin Lewis was there first:

General Pace, You Can Save the US - by Arresting Bush for "Conduct Unbecoming"


There's a huge, huge difference between suggesting a legal tactic for arresting the President, or using the legal process of impeaching the president, or even assassinating the President.... and a military coup. Why?

The former things are problematic, in the best case means for unusual times only, in the worst case morally corrupt, in each case they make politics murkier and more complicated. But they all essentially allow for the continuity of representative democracy. There's a clear understanding of what to do when they're invoked, rules and law for what happens next, even how the attempt to invoke them would be challenged.

A military coup throws out the rules of the game entirely and reverts to might makes right. It would literally be the end of the U.S. as a continuous concept. Re-establishing any kind of line of legitimacy afterwards is dicey at best. The costs in terms of human life to do it firmly are potentially demonstrated by the civil war in our history.

That's why I hope there's never any such thing as any kind of military coup here in the U.S. As messed-up as I think we are right now as a society, I think with the framework and prosperity we've inherited in this country, there's always a better way than violence if we decide we really want it. But if it gets to the point where because of bullshit rhetoric like Mr. Sowell has invoked here enough of us have decided it's time to line up with our rifles to win power not by the ballot box but by force, to potentially kill other Americans and wound very idea of representative democracy itself, I'm going to be pissed off enough that I might get the notion that it would be particularly satisfying to personally put a bullet through his lying mouth.

You want outrage from a Republican, Mr. Sowell? I'll give it to you. I'm still for some reason registered as one in my home state, so I suppose I count. God Bless America and damn you to hell for tearing at it like this if you keep up that talk, for you will bring hell here if you do.
posted by weston at 9:12 PM on September 30, 2009 [14 favorites]


McVeigh is fucking complicated

Timothy McVeigh was just another of many right-wingers who kill, maim and torture to spread their fascist ideals.

He was left to complete his work because non-violent tree-huggers and 60-year-old hippies seem to issue the kind of clear and present danger that the FBI doesn't see from allowing armed, militant right-wing fascists and racists like McVeigh run around to do their dirty work. For several days after the bombing, Muslims were profiled and harassed, without any evidence of wrong-doing.

Time and time again the FBI and the media downplay right-wing fascist violence in our country. McVeigh's story is only as complicated as the conspiracy theorists want it to be. The reality is just more of the same criminal oversight of right-wing domestic terrorism.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:40 PM on September 30, 2009 [3 favorites]


2009: The Stupidest Year In America, Ever.
posted by Ratio at 9:47 PM on September 30, 2009 [5 favorites]


You apparently have the power to read the future. Therefore, please MeMail me the winner of tomorrow's 4th at Belmont.

That's rich, you're constantly going on about how if we don't do whatever (like have legitimate trials for suspected terrorists) the Republicans will sweep into victory and we'll have a Palin/Bachman presidency 2012 or whatever.
posted by delmoi at 9:52 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


(er, that should say 'like not have legitimate trials for suspected terrorists')
posted by delmoi at 9:53 PM on September 30, 2009


Still two months before its Nov. 17 release, Sarah Palin’s autobiography “Going Rogue: An American Life” has already hit the No. 2 spot on Amazon.com’s bestseller list.

Well, so it would seem, but, Scaife and his ilk are notorious for the practice of buying up millions of advance copies of books that fit their agenda and then distributing them for free at various think-tank events and other public occasions, to pump up the sales numbers and create the perception of a groundswell of interest in a particular topic or support for particular policies.

This is a frequent PR tactic of the Illiberal Right that former (Scaife-bankrolled) American Spectator author David Brock and other former movement conservatives have written about in great detail.

These guys don't leave anything they can control to chance. If it fits the agenda for a book on a particular political topic to be a best-seller--if that's the outcome guys like Scaife, Norquist, Murdoch and others deem necessary to push the debate in a certain direction--they have more than sufficient funds at their disposal to ensure that happens, and there's absolutely nothing illegal about it. It's a commonly used PR tactic even outside the arena of politics--music promoters, for example, have been doing it for years to hype albums.

That's part of what distorts the political debate in the US so much. In theory, we enjoy legal protections against the domestic use of official propaganda (with some degree of latitude in times of war), but there's no law at all to prevent unofficial propaganda, even when it's taken to outrageous extremes. And considering that our wealthiest citizens are worth more than several small countries in some cases, it's not hard to see how they could mount some pretty effective campaigns to shape the public debate and popular perception.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:55 PM on September 30, 2009 [17 favorites]


as the conspiracy theorists want it to be

There is no monolithic entity of CT's as such, and it's extremely misleading to imply there is.

Regarding OKC, Jesse Trentadue had enough of a case about the suspicious death of his brother to be awarded a settlement, and if you hear him interviewed you will realize he is not crazy. Do all his allegations pan out? I have no way of knowing, but as is often the case with these things the devil is in the details. Certainly the possibility for right-wing rogue elements in the military is nothing new. Fwiw, Laurie Mylroie and some other right-wingers blamed OKC on Saddam Hussein.

posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 9:57 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


There's a huge, huge difference between suggesting a legal tactic for arresting the President, or using the legal process of impeaching the president, or even assassinating the President.... and a military coup. Why?

I think for a military general to arrest the president, based on the UCMJ on something as vague as "conduct unbecoming" would pretty much be a coup. If it happened through the DOJ it would be a lot
posted by delmoi at 9:58 PM on September 30, 2009


2009: The Stupidest Year In America, Ever.
Well, so far. But I bet if we put our backs into it, we can ratchet it up a notch for 2010!

OBAMA GONNA CRASH AN ASTEROID INTO EARTH JUST LIKE PRESIDENT FREEMAN DID
posted by Flunkie at 9:58 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have emptied the larder in many National Guard armories, and military supply depots. The ability of an undermanned, underequipped U.S. military, which is probably essentially unwilling at the individual citizen-soldier troop and officer level to participate in a domestic military coup, to maintain the kind of martial law necessary to enforce a military coup in the U.S., against a population of 340 million, is laughable.

Maybe a coup's elite could take Washington, D.C. and Louisville, initially (given the armor at Fort Knox). And, for a couple of weeks, they might have air superiority over major cities. But keeping it all, permanently, in a large country, against a politically centrist population thousands of times larger, is a pipe dream.

No Marine who was at Fallulah, would want to try to take Chicago.

It wouldn't be the end of America, but it might be a nasty, brutish, short chapter in her history, if ever such did come to pass.

Better, by far, that right and left, we ask better of each other, and better leadership from those elected, than we have been getting, this summer. It's only free speech when all remain free to speak, and all can be heard, whether anyone, in particular, figures anyone else should be heard, or not. Until every street corner has its soapboxed prophet, we've still room for all to speak, and for all to be heard, by any as would give ear.
posted by paulsc at 10:07 PM on September 30, 2009 [5 favorites]


McVeigh's story is only as complicated as the conspiracy theorists want it to be.

I get a shiver whenever something that seems rather large is explained away as a bad apple, a lone nut, or any other granola component.
posted by rokusan at 10:07 PM on September 30, 2009


And Vidal can be as bitter and bitchy as he likes. I hope I live long enough to earn that.
posted by rokusan at 10:08 PM on September 30, 2009


I've always wondered: who gets control of the nukes in the event of a coup anyway?
posted by saulgoodman at 10:14 PM on September 30, 2009


I mean, not to be all scare-mongery sounding, as I put the chances of an actual coup at exactly nil.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:17 PM on September 30, 2009


> That's it. I already don't buy these things. I can't go any further out of my way to hurt these retailers.
On his Fox News show this past Wednesday, right-wing extremist Glenn Beck claimed, “The uber-left is in business with big business.” But next Tuesday, Beck is keynoting a U.S. Chamber of Commerce forum in Michigan sponsored by several major corporations, including AT&T, Comcast, and Dow Corning. 1
This isn't just about advertisers on local affiliate AM radio.
posted by cj_ at 10:18 PM on September 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


There is no monolithic entity of CT's as such, and it's extremely misleading to imply there is.

To the extent that there's the same undercurrent of the OKC bombing being a "false flag" operation, in the same manner that Bill Sparkman's murder is said by right-wing pundits to have been committed by government operatives, I'll admit I'm skeptical.

In any case, the government and media have shown that they simply do not take acts of right-wing terrorism seriously, until violent and deranged conservatives are armed and have already committed acts of terror.

The reality is that we've got a black guy in the White House threatening to set everyone up with healthcare, which is pretty terrifying stuff in itself. The media clearly has its hands full keeping people scared.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:18 PM on September 30, 2009


Some people are saying, "It's all about race and nothing but." That's about as ridiculous as saying, "They hate our freedom." It's dismissive and reductive.

Don't you remember all the Clinton hate coming from these same people? I remember a local talk radio personality who had attributed something like 22 murders to Clinton, during his political rise.

As for Perry's coup (which at least he's willing to admit is, "not an ideal option.") We've had right-wing crazies for a while. What about the New World Order, militia movement, black helicopters and secret symbols on highway signs so that the UN troops can herd Americans into concentration camps already constructed on US soil?
posted by ActingTheGoat at 10:23 PM on September 30, 2009


No Marine who was at Fallulah, would want to try to take Chicago.

posted by paulsc at 10:07 PM on September 30 [+] [!]

"There are certain sections of New York, Major, that I wouldn't advise you to try to invade."

Also, Sophocles wrote "let know man be happy until he is dead", not Aeschylus. Poor Gore, he comes off so hateful and bitter, Vonnegut read like that too at the end.
posted by Ndwright at 10:26 PM on September 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


No Marine who was at Fallulah, would want to try to take Chicago.

There's an old, probably apocryphal, story about President Kennedy's inner circle discussing an invasion of Cuba, and a general comes in with a map of Chicago.

"OK, in World War II, we invaded the island of Iwo Jima. The entire island is about as big as the city of Chicago. It took about a month to capture, and we lost more than 6,000 men doing it, with four times that many injured."

He overlays the map of Chicago with a map of Cuba, and the audience realizes that the island stretches from Chicago to about New York City.

"OK, now this is Cuba..."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:10 PM on September 30, 2009 [5 favorites]


Good thing we have the second amendment!
posted by fuq at 11:19 PM on September 30, 2009


CPB: Maybe the maps were just on a different scale or something...
posted by Saxon Kane at 11:23 PM on September 30, 2009


Also, Sophocles wrote "let know man be happy until he is dead", not Aeschylus.

It appears in the Histories of Herodotus (Book 1, Chapter 32. 440 BCE.) Attributed to Solon.

Sophocles' Oedipus Rex was first performed in 429 BCE.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:34 PM on September 30, 2009


Sorry, I'm back. That's what happens when I walk away from the computer mid-comment and accidentally post too early.

Aeschylus uses the line, "Only when man's life comes to its end in prosperity dare we pronounce him happy" In Agamemnon (458 BCE)
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:56 PM on September 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Are we not supposed to point out that this shit is a pretty obvious manifestation of racism? All this red-baiting crap - Jesus - if ONLY Obama was a freaking Socialist! I'd be dancing in the fucking street if he wanted to nationalize something, ANYTHING! I mean, no thinking person can believe this garbage, so its got to be a cover for what's really going on in their minds. Which is clearly a terror of blackness.
posted by serazin at 12:05 AM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sorry, just read back to some of the comments. And yes, I remember the Clinton hate, and it was severe, but the tone of this is totally different. I can NOT imagine people bringing guns to those famous Clinton Town Halls. Can you?
posted by serazin at 12:08 AM on October 1, 2009


Sorry, I'm back. That's what happens when I walk away from the computer mid-comment and accidentally post too early.

Aeschylus uses the line, "Only when man's life comes to its end in prosperity dare we pronounce him happy" In Agamemnon (458 BCE)
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:56 PM on September 30 [+] [!]


I stand corrected. Let's hear it for old Gore, then, at least he still knows his classics.
posted by Ndwright at 12:12 AM on October 1, 2009


If the Democrats pass robust health insurance reform...

Who do you think you're kidding?
posted by univac at 12:45 AM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Mr. Vidal, we will miss you when you're gone.
"When you foreigners hear the word ‘conservative’ you think of kindly old men hunting foxes. They’re not, they’re fascists.”
posted by adamvasco at 12:57 AM on October 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


In Fascist America conservative Fox hunts you.
posted by qvantamon at 1:47 AM on October 1, 2009 [24 favorites]


> And yes, I remember the Clinton hate, and it was severe, but the tone of this is totally different. I can NOT imagine people bringing guns to those famous Clinton Town Halls.

Agreed. I'm a little baffled when people say this is not about race and point to the Clinton era. Yeah, partisan bullshit has been around as long as I've been alive, and probably long before, but this has a timbre and volume that far exceeds "shrill," involves more people, and is at a fever pitch before Obama has even done anything. Were there mass protests of Clinton just months after he took office, calls from mainstream media commentators for coup and succession? I was younger and less politically involved then, so maybe I missed all that. But in my recollection, the shrillness mostly leaked over during notable military campaigns and the Monica Lewinsky mess, cases which were not unexpected.

There's obviously more going on here -- a lot more. The anger, hatred, and fear is orders of magnitude higher. Hmm, what's different? Occam might've had an idea.

I'll accept alternate hypothesis for this shift, but I haven't heard anything convincing so far. I'll buy that a different media landscape (including the Internet) and some more backing/money from large corporations who genuinely fear he might make policy detrimental to their profits have made it seem more prominent. I think there's some truth to that. But I have yet to see any explanation about why all those people protesting his Presidency are so freaked out about it. These people may be really dumb, I don't know, but I really doubt they are actually worried about Death Panels™ or Communism. That's just ridiculous.
posted by cj_ at 2:34 AM on October 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


odinsdream, you may not buy any of the products advertised, but those advertisers do not know that. The Glenn Beck advertiser boycott has led 62 companies to pull their ads from his show. The effective action is not just to stop buying the product, it's to tell the advertiser that you're gong to stop, and that your family is, and that you'll tell everyone yo know that they should. That neither you, nor your family,nor anyone you know currently buys the product is not something the advertiser can know, nor can they risk losing your group (when multiplied by however many people write similar letters to them) as customers. The companies that ignore those letters are self-identified as actual supporters of the offending commentatertots, and can then be treated appropriately. Like this.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:24 AM on October 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


I remember a local talk radio personality who had attributed something like 22 murders to Clinton, during his political rise.

My father is intrigued by his ideas and most likely subscribes to his newsletter.

My father is an out-and-out racist. The man has said in so many words that "black people are wired differently than white people. It's not their fault, their brains just don't function the same way."

And he doesn't hate Obama half as much as he hated Clinton.

Just sayin'. It's not just race with the haters. Or at least, not with all of the haters. And my father's a pretty hateful hater.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:31 AM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Agreed. I'm a little baffled when people say this is not about race and point to the Clinton era. Yeah, partisan bullshit has been around as long as I've been alive, and probably long before, but this has a timbre and volume that far exceeds "shrill," involves more people, and is at a fever pitch before Obama has even done anything. Were there mass protests of Clinton just months after he took office, calls from mainstream media commentators for coup and succession? I was younger and less politically involved then, so maybe I missed all that. But in my recollection, the shrillness mostly leaked over during notable military campaigns and the Monica Lewinsky mess, cases which were not unexpected.
First of all, the right wing noise machine has had almost a decade post-Clinton to ramp up the rhetoric and dial up the dumb, and they have done so, and have been doing so since long before Obama was a blip on the radar.

Especially after 9/11, the right has been in full-on lunacy mode for quite some time now. The signs that they carry saying that Obama and Pelosi and Reid are Nazis are a natural progression from the signs they used to carry saying that Pelosi and Reid are Nazis; the idea of secession from a perceivedly unamerican government is a natural progression from the idea of waterboarding supporters of a perceivedly unamerican minority party.

Second, perhaps the bafflement is because when you hear "it's not about race", you might be interpreting it as something other than what the speaker means:

Speaking as someone who has in this thread said that it's not about race, I would like to point out that I did not say that race doesn't play a significant role in inflaming the situation. In fact, I explicitly said the opposite: I said that Obama's race is obviously facilitating and exacerbating the wingnuttery.

I would also like to point out that I only said this in response to someone who claimed that it was "all" about race, "and nothing but".

That's a fundamentally absurd position. It's not "all" about race. Teabaggers wouldn't be teabagging, at least not in nearly as large numbers, if Michael Steele were president. And I wouldn't be at all surprised if a significant percentage of those teabagging today would be teabagging if Hillary Clinton were president. In fact, I would be surprised if they weren't.

Are there more of them going into full-on lunacy mode against Obama than would against Clinton? Yeah, probably. Are totally crazy things like secession and coups talked about more? Maybe.

But I frankly don't know. The right wing spent years and years and years specifically preparing for a Hillary Clinton presidency -- since well before she even announced her intention to run -- portraying her as a nazi commie feminazi socialist bitch murderer who hates America. Even during the campaign, Obama came as quite a surprise to them, and it took them quite some time to switch from "Hillary is a feminazi murderer who wants to destroy America" to "Obama is a secret Muslim who wants to destroy America".

In summary, I guess I'm saying this:

When someone says "It's all about race and nothing but", frankly, that's detached from reality. But pointing out that "It's all about race and nothing but" is detached from reality is not equivalent to saying it's not about race in any sense or to any large degree.

Obviously Obama's race feeds the flames of the insane, to a great degree even, and I don't think anyone is arguing that it doesn't; I, for one, have tried to make it clear, multiple times, that I agree that it does. But no governor would be hinting that secession is a valid response to the health care policies of President Michael Steele, riling up mobs who are angry that President Steele is a commie nazi socialist fascist who actively wants to destroy America. And I am not sure that the same could be said if you replace "President Michael Steele" with "President Hillary Clinton".
posted by Flunkie at 6:13 AM on October 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


I agree that "It's all about race and nothing but" is reductive and inaccurate. But I've consistently been seeing people blow off the racial element entirely. This is the sentiment I'm reacting to. It's the elephant in the room, and anyone who points it out get shouted down. Of course crypto-racists will come up with some other bullshit -- we've made it socially unacceptable to call someone a nigger. Ask your favorite conservative what they think of "political correctness." "PC Police" is shorthand for "someone who calls me out for being a bigot."

> But no governor would be hinting that secession is a valid response to the health care policies of President Michael Steele

Well, Michael Steele didn't become President, did he? Or get nominated? Or even run? Using Mr. Steele as proof that the Republican party isn't racist is ridiculous, honestly. The two aren't even comparable.
posted by cj_ at 6:49 AM on October 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


I have to say that I discounted the "all about race" contingent, too. I still say it's not ALL about race, but the picture here convinced me that the whole "it's socialism" thing was as much about race as it was about left/right politics. Socialism was never a scare word when Clinton was president, so what makes it so popular now? The fact that Obama is black ties it neatly to decades of racism in the south.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 7:13 AM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Using Mr. Steele as proof that the Republican party isn't racist is ridiculous, honestly.

Flunkie wasn't claiming this at all, but was simply claiming that racism was a convenient inflaming factor for their hatred, not the original motivating factor. There are certainly people where this is not the case, that his very un-whiteness is the be-all and end-all of their hatred, but there is a significant contingent that deep down think "and not ONLY is he trying to steal my health care guns and abort my christian baby with evolution, but he's black!"
posted by haveanicesummer at 7:25 AM on October 1, 2009


I agree that "It's all about race and nothing but" is reductive and inaccurate. But I've consistently been seeing people blow off the racial element entirely. This is the sentiment I'm reacting to.

But I don't think that anyone in this thread said that.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 7:30 AM on October 1, 2009


Michael Steele is thoroughly marginalized in the Republican party (the poor guy had to publicly apologize to Rush Limbaugh), while Barack Obama was propelled forward to the Presidency. Hypotheticals where Michael Steele is President carry no weight with me, because it would never happen.
posted by cj_ at 7:33 AM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


> But I don't think that anyone in this thread said that.

I dunno. Every time this topic comes up and someone mentions race, there's a bunch of people quick to say race isn't the real problem 'cos the Republican party is totally not racist -- they have Michael Steele and Alan Keyes! It's the political equivalent of "some of my best friends are black" to my ears.

If someone could advance a single convincing argument to explain the level of vitriol we're seeing since BO's election, I'd reconsider my view that this is almost entirely about him being black. I think a lot of people here don't really believe that flat-out racists exist or something.
posted by cj_ at 7:41 AM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Joe Beese: Can we call them fascists yet?

When I see the worsening degeneracy in our politicians, our media, our educators, and our intelligentsia, I can’t help wondering if the day may yet come when the only thing that can save this country is a military coup. - Thomas Sowell, National Review


It might have been more honest and fair of you to note that the Thomas Sowell quote is from May 10, 2007, during the second term of George W. Bush.
posted by Slap Factory at 8:59 AM on October 1, 2009


But no governor would be hinting that secession is a valid response to the health care policies of President Michael Steele
Well, Michael Steele didn't become President, did he? Or get nominated? Or even run? Using Mr. Steele as proof that the Republican party isn't racist is ridiculous, honestly. The two aren't even comparable.
Whoa whoa whoa whoa-ho-ho.

I agree that using Mr. Steele as proof that the Republican party isn't racist is ridiculous.

However, I would like to point out that the idea that I was using Mr. Steele as proof that the Republican party isn't racist is also ridiculous.

I said no such thing, and I frankly can't imagine how you derived it from what I read.
posted by Flunkie at 9:12 AM on October 1, 2009


"... from what I wrote", I mean.
posted by Flunkie at 9:14 AM on October 1, 2009


It might have been more honest and fair of you to note that the Thomas Sowell quote is from May 10, 2007, during the second term of George W. Bush.
And more descriptive to note that it was in reference to "liberal" ideas, like a belief global warming.
posted by Flunkie at 9:31 AM on October 1, 2009


From Henry A. Giroux on the work done by those deep-pocketed Right wingers I mentioned upthread who pre-order Rightist books in bulk to pump up their sales numbers:
The most powerful members of this group were Joseph Coors in Denver, Richard Mellon Scaife in Pittsburgh, John Olin in New York City, David and Charles Koch in Wichita, the Smith Richardson family in North Carolina, and Harry Bradley in Milwaukee - all of whom agreed to finance a number of right-wing think tanks, which over the past thirty years have come to include the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Koch Foundation, the Castle Rock Foundation and the Sarah Scaife Foundation. This formidable alliance of far-right-wing foundations deployed their resources in building and strategically linking "an impressive array of almost 500 think tanks, centers, institutes and concerned citizens groups both within and outside of the academy.... A small sampling of these entities includes the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute, the Manhattan Institute, the Hoover Institution, the Claremont Institute, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, [the] Middle East Forum, Accuracy in Media, and the National Association of Scholars, as well as [David] Horowitz's Center for the Study of Popular Culture."
In other words, Scaife, Coors, Koch and a handful of other extremely wealthy Right-wing partisans created virtually 99% of the primary sources the media relies upon for expert analysis and opinion with the explicit intent of advancing an anti-labor, pro-market deregulation, anti-government agenda. I challenge you to count the number of commentators featured by major news outlets over the course of any given week that don't represent one of these organizations. They're almost always aligned with one of them.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:47 AM on October 1, 2009 [7 favorites]


jedicus: Frankly, the only possible argument for a coup in the US would be a case of blatant, unapologetic, defiant election fraud. That is, a total breakdown of the democratic and legal system. We are so far from that it's ridiculous.

Nine years wasn't that long ago.
posted by paisley henosis at 10:23 AM on October 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


I assume you're partly joking, paisley henosis, but the 2000 election was pretty far from a 'total breakdown of the...legal system.' The legal contest was duly appealed to the highest court in the land, and the result of Bush v. Gore was followed by both the winner and loser. A breakdown of the legal system would be if the Supreme Court had made the decision under duress or if the losing party had ignored the decision and proclaimed itself the winner.

Now, you can disagree with the rationale behind the result or with the process, but that's an argument for reform, not a coup.
posted by jedicus at 10:58 AM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


The 1971 Lewis Powell memo to the US Chamber of Commerce memo that is referred to in the link that Saul Goodman provides speaks of a generation of young men and women who are taught to "distrust and despise the American political and economic system."

With all the anti-gubmint posturing going on these days, the distrust and hatred has now transferred to the right-wingers whose forebears (such as Powell) planted the seeds and established the preconditions for it. But I have a hard time believing that Lewis Powell would have been thrilled about widely-disseminated publications openly calling for the treasonous overthrow of the American government by force.
posted by blucevalo at 11:04 AM on October 1, 2009


It might have been more honest and fair of you to note that the Thomas Sowell quote is from May 10, 2007, during the second term of George W. Bush.

The linked Sowell column no less a mess for its age, and the idea of a coup has the same problems and is no less seditious no matter when it was proposed.

I'll allow, however, that he should not have been expected to notice the examples of Republican outrage I linked to, from the then-future. However, I'll stand by the accusation that his statement that he can't think of any examples of outrage between 1991 and May 10, 2007 is a thoughtless one, only explainable by either inattention or lying. I'm pretty sure I could come up with a half-a-dozen examples on a half hour and a bet.

Nine years wasn't that long ago.

I think the courts made a bad choice, myself, arguably not even a particularly good faith choice. But blatant, unapologetic, and defiant election fraud the 2000 election was not. It was genuinely close. And thank goodness we had the courts as an agreed on method of settling the dispute. Bad as the outcome was, rifles would have been much, much worse.
posted by weston at 11:15 AM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


> I said no such thing, and I frankly can't imagine how you derived it from what I read

You said, "no governor would be hinting that secession is a valid response to the health care policies of President Michael Steele".

The implication seems to be that in some hypothetical universe where a black Republican were elected President, the party would support him -- therefore this is not about race but about policy/partisanship. I don't disagree with that, necessarily, but it's contingent on the Republicans having a black President to be anything but speculative fiction. To say I'm dubious this will happen any time soon would be an epic understatement, and I feel it has no bearing on the question of whether the current atmosphere is primarily about race or not.

Sorry if I am missing your point, I'm not sure what else to take away from your comment.
posted by cj_ at 11:44 AM on October 1, 2009


The ONLY way to stop the constant barrage of untruths is to take away the revenues that fund the machine... stop shopping at the merchants that support the stations, stop buying the products that pump money into the flow...

ASCII and ye shall RXD
Where does the GOP’s cash come from? The private list of supporters.
posted by rough ashlar at 11:47 AM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


although it sucks dead donkey dicks to be a Kurd in Turkey

Try being an Armenian
posted by rough ashlar at 11:50 AM on October 1, 2009


empath : But I don't think that sedition is illegal currently.

This is an opportunity for the vast-left-wing-media-empire to finally get their shit together and fucking act;

The question that should be coming up every time someone says something like this is "So, I take it this means that you are comfortable in your current roll as a seditionist?"

They should be confronting statements like this by calling it what it is. It's a fucking talking-point that, if everyone got behind it, would gain traction.

Stop screwing around and name these people for what they are.
posted by quin at 12:19 PM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


Why does John L. Perry hate America so much?
posted by vibrotronica at 12:28 PM on October 1, 2009


In all seriousness: I don't think it is unreasonable to say that vote fraud seems to have been used to further the achievement of both GWB elections, nor do I feel it would be false to suggest that the Justices may not have been acting to protect the will of the people as much as to further their own political schools. None the less, I was absolutely making a glib comment to be a smart-ass, and apologize for any confusion stemming from that like-same glibness.
posted by paisley henosis at 12:41 PM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


U.S. military, which is probably essentially unwilling at the individual citizen-soldier troop and officer level to participate in a domestic military coup,

I wouldn't be so sure. The career military has a culture of contempt for civilians which would make them quite willing to participate in a coup, and the Christian right has been engaged in a blatant program of taking over the officers' corps. Their ownership of the Air Force Academy, for example, has been well-documented.

I suspect they would use the classic stab-in-the-back scenario to justify the takeover...so it might be safer for all of us to keep them fighting a losing war in Afghanistan, rather than bringing them home in shame, where they can stew over the injustice of having the politicians lose yet another war.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 1:20 PM on October 1, 2009


secret symbols on highway signs

They're written on the backs of the highway signs...because furriners drive on the other side of the road!!!!
posted by Jimmy Havok at 1:28 PM on October 1, 2009


Holy shit. Gore Vidal as a voice of reason?
Are you people really believing this stuff you type or are you just trying to one up the previous poster in a sick variant of the game "mine is bigger than yours"?

A religous right driven military coup?
Anybody with a disenting voice is a racist and must be silenced?
Still clinging to vote fraud in not one but 2 elections?

I think I mistook Metafilter for an an educated rational group, and while some may still be, from what I see you people deserve to be scared.
posted by 5X88 at 2:03 PM on October 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


5X88, we're not the ones advocating a military coup, are we?
posted by vibrotronica at 2:39 PM on October 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


I had mixed feelings about whether I should include Vidal in the post, but words such as 'psychopath', 'crazy', 'terror', and 'bitter' in the comments about him suggest some skepticism by Mefites.
posted by lukemeister at 2:39 PM on October 1, 2009


vibratronica, no we're not, but there sure seems to be a whole bunch of folks upthread almost considering it to be destiny instead if calling it what it is.
The narrow minded hatred of anything the radical right says or does, and then attributing it to the whole segment of society just paints them with the same broad brush that society fought with civil rights and segrgation.
Personally, in all the moderates, conservatives, and blatent card carrying Republicans I know and interact with daily, there isn't one of them that considers these folks touting "revolution" as anything more than complete nitwits. A small segment of attention whores, looking for a camera.
They'll get mention in all forms of media because they're saying things that are shocking. I've heard them compared to the long debunked satanic ritual murders by moonlight or the repressed memory of child abuse stories of the 70's and 80's. It's the new fad, and the longer it continues the more dramatic it has to be portrayed or people stop paying attention.
Relax, the Radical Republicans aren't coming by land or by sea. They couldn't keep a bunch of LaRouchians out of a rally in DC, tell me, how are they gonna organize the military?
posted by 5X88 at 3:16 PM on October 1, 2009


“The career military has a culture of contempt for civilians which would make them quite willing to participate in a coup, and the Christian right has been engaged in a blatant program of taking over the officers' corps.”
While it’s true the Dominionists, the Christian right, etc have been pushing themselves this way, civilian control of the military is heavily ingrained in noncoms and in officers the direct word of God doesn’t carry anywhere near the weight.

At best you might get one crazy colonel fully on board. Maybe. Probably some company grade dunderheads. But in the rarefied air, generals officers (who are limited in number and chosen through an extremely rigorous process involving the joint chiefs, the secdef and the pres.) are far too involved in politics to even think about a coup – much less the decades they’ve spent getting it drilled into their heads what it means to serve a democracy and that civilian leadership is sacrosanct (yes, I choose that word carefully) and the decades they’ve spent drilling it into others heads.
Someone with 10 thousand to 20 thousand-odd armed men capable of operating as an independent war machine can be an extremely compelling presence.

Anyone commanding at the division level would stomp the blueberries out of someone under their command talking treason. At that level they’re earthbound Gods, powerful enough in their little sandbox not to worry about the actions of any of their subordinates, but not far enough away enough to not notice.
Your three and four star generals tend to be synonymous with whatever the hell the joint chiefs and civilian leadership set them to do so they’re not even a factor in that regard. On top of that, they keep getting shuffled out (by tradition, but it’s a very strong tradition). In part so junior officers can be promoted But also so no one can sit at high levels of military power and amass influence enough to be a factor. Plus there's loads of oversight.

In short, without political leadership it will never happen. And if it needs political leadership to happen, what’s the point of coercing the military? Why not just seize political leadership? Plenty of ways to do that. Voting f'rinstance.

It’s funny though, I read the same insubordination "the troops should" type stuff from the other side here – people arguing the troops should do any number of things including rebel against Bush and violently overthrow the government (check the old Iraq threads, plenty of anti-troop stuff on top of that).

And it’s the same counterargument – no, the don’t do that. They can’t. They’re supposed to only listen to civilian leadership, period.
Nothing’s changed. And yet, some asshat on the right screams this same crap (or a bunch, looking at Thomas Sowell) and there’s pretty much the same zero chance of that happening and the same troops are castigated as either being prone to revolt or anti-left or whatever.

Like they have anything to do with having to straighten out the degeneracy in politicians, media, etc, or foreign policy or any number of things that are (as has been said above) far far better dealt with without violence.
They don’t. And they shouldn’t. And that’s all. It’s not some difficult conundrum. Hate Bush? It’s not for the military to decide to do something about it. Hate Obama? It’s not for the military to decide that either.

Perry’s column itself, I have the same arguments I’ve had here against the military doing anything like that. With the addendum that as a former skilled, military trained, nation builder, I think my Remmy M700 would be blessed by the hand of St. Butler in resisting coup supporters.
F’ing military coup. Goddamn people never even been on a camping trip much less understand the massive inertia in logistics alone being addressed in raising that concept. And oh, yeah, “not me, but ‘you guys’ should go off and do what I think should be done.”
Yeah, get some f’ing mamaluks. Oh wait.

“I've always wondered: who gets control of the nukes in the event of a coup anyway?”

The U.S. has a lot of C2 for all that. For the ICBMs the president carries the codes for verification of authority to order an attack.
It’s still contextual though. If Obama called the Launch Control Center and said “Hey, nuke Oslo. Right now!” There’d be a lot of hemming and hawing. (Uh...Oslo, Norway? Dude?)

Which, y’know, sucks if the great old ones are suddenly attempting to come through a gate there, but pretty decent as a safeguard. Also, the form the codes take…who knows? Only a few people. So it’d be tough to get control of any of the land based nukes because it requires disparate points of agreement.

The bombers - there are permissive action links on the nukes themselves, so if someone just took a nuke, they’d have to break the encryptions without detonating the safeguards. That’s without convincing the flight crews to prep the plane, getting pilots to fly, all the things it takes to flush the birds.
The subs are the tricky bit. In a coup, if someone wanted to launch, it’d take time (plus context) you’ve got the ELF arrays sending, what, only a few bytes a second (I’m not Joe Tech).
The big thing though is a given crew could overcome their local safeguards and launch. You couldn’t have a General Ripper scenario because the various crews would have to be in on it, plus, again, the context, you couldn’t just say “guys, they took out New York and L.A. and we’ve got to go…oh, and, uh, by the way we’re blacking out all communications so you can’t independently verify any of this.”

So short, simplified answer – no one gets the nukes. It’s always a cooperative process. And therefore, in some respects, responsive only to the proper C2 (at least in total – you could have a whole submarine crew of lunatics I guess. Pretty long shot that 80-odd guys are all nuts. Nuts in the same apocalyptic way. All stable enough though to go through training, oversight, etc. etc. etc. )
Bruce Blair wrote a book on Command and Control for the Brookings Institute. Pretty comprehensive.

The Obama problem -
Black folks have been a pretty systematically oppressed underclass in the U.S. for a long time – even devoid of any personal ethnic bias on anyone’s part. Yes you had Brown vs. the BOE but it wasn’t until No Child Left Behind (most all other parts of it suck) was passed that income and social disparity was institutionally shifted to start accounting for it. "Race" is still bound up with money, identity, class, all that.
So even if nothing about Obama is about race (but yeah, it is). This is still about race.

There are a lot of racist bastards out there. And some of them are in the military yeah. But this is akin to the "Boy, I'd fuck her" talk in that - A. it's just talk and you're a big chump and you're not going to do anything and even if you tried you'd get shot down because you're an idiot misogynist.
And, B. - it's not advocacy - it's vocal support for a system that is already in place. This particular bit seeks to identify with a communality in the listener (man, we are all bad-asses, aren't we? We don't want to hurt anyone, but sadly, if it's necessary...), as well as the obvious inherent appeal to force, but also appeal to an authority and a legitimacy that is different from the system that got Obama elected.

The authority of the military, apart from naked force, is also in it's social legitimacy. And there's, again, the problem, on the one hand you have this completely false image of the military (fetishistic worshiping of the troops or hating them is still a kind of idolatry) versus the reality of it just being a system to get certain things done under the will of the people.

So too - race in this argument (Perry's comments, but the larger socially contended question) is obscured by the falsely built up image of race as bound with, perhaps strong emotion as well, but most certainly a kind of legitimacy. Or in this case negative legitimacy. If you're a racist, you're wrong. So who wants to be a racist? So the words avoid the proposition, while still laying claim to the system.
In this case a system, yes still the will of the people, to oppress a certain group (economically, and in other ways).

They're saying one thing, but the reality is something quite different. And in both cases (I'm only speaking of the two, but there are many other illusions harbored) the more they push the false image, the more they pimp this, the clearer is their willingness to damage and destroy the reality.

So, to somewhat refute 5X88, I don't think this is something to afraid of or something in itself to be upset about, but rather, a symptom indicative of a symptomatic ill to be examined.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:17 PM on October 1, 2009 [13 favorites]


although it sucks dead donkey dicks to be a Kurd in Turkey

Try being an Armenian


If you'd bothered reading or quoting my point, you'd notice I was discussing the possible virtues of a millitary coup. The massacres of the Armenians happened under Ottoman rule and before the establishment of the Republic; as such, they constitute support for the idea that a coup can sometimes improve things, whereas the treatment of the Kurds (and the millitary enthusiasm for such) rather detracts from it.
posted by rodgerd at 3:25 PM on October 1, 2009


I just wanted to add that the link in a previous FPP, The American Military Coup of 2012 posted on December 6, 2003 is out of date, as are probably all other posts and comments that reference "The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012" from Vol. XXII of Parameters. The correct link is <URL: http://www.carlisle.army.mil/usawc/Parameters/1992/1992%20dunlap.pdf>.

I wrote the people at the War College and called them on the carpet for pulling down this important article from the web at a time when it is most needed. It was cached by Google as recently as Sep. 5th, so I felt they must have pulled it down because of the brouhaha over the last couple of days. The nice editorial assistant lady wrote back and told me that it was an oversight in updating the index. So I felt like a jerk and had to write back to apologize.
posted by ob1quixote at 6:28 PM on October 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


I said no such thing, and I frankly can't imagine how you derived it from what I read
You said, "no governor would be hinting that secession is a valid response to the health care policies of President Michael Steele".

The implication seems to be that in some hypothetical universe where a black Republican were elected President, the party would support him -- therefore this is not about race but about policy/partisanship. I don't disagree with that, necessarily, but it's contingent on the Republicans having a black President to be anything but speculative fiction. To say I'm dubious this will happen any time soon would be an epic understatement, and I feel it has no bearing on the question of whether the current atmosphere is primarily about race or not.

Sorry if I am missing your point, I'm not sure what else to take away from your comment.
If you now want to refuse to acknowledge that a hypothetical Steele presidency would not result in mass teabagging demonstrations calling for secession and so forth, whatever, that's fine with me. But don't pretend that this is what you were originally disagreeing with me about, until it was explained to you that I obviously wasn't saying what you claimed I was saying, at which point you suddenly shifted to this new excuse for disagreement.

What you were originally supposedly disagreeing with me about -- and I say "supposedly" because it bears absolutely no relation to what I was saying -- was your apparent idea that I was claiming that the existence of Michael Steele proves that the Republican Party is not racist.

I claimed no such thing -- not even close -- and once again, frankly, I am having a very difficult time comprehending how you arrived at the conclusion that I was saying that the Republican Party is not racist.

So, you now don't want to engage in a hypothetical about Steele being president. Whatever; bully for you. But I said absolutely nothing even remotely similar to what you accused me of saying.
posted by Flunkie at 7:18 PM on October 1, 2009


> It's not about race

> I am having a very difficult time comprehending how you arrived at the conclusion that I was saying that the Republican Party is not racist.

...
posted by cj_ at 12:54 AM on October 2, 2009


It’s funny though, I read the same insubordination "the troops should" type stuff from the other side here – people arguing the troops should do any number of things including rebel against Bush and violently overthrow the government (check the old Iraq threads, plenty of anti-troop stuff on top of that).

*ding*

Worth repeating.

The overthrow talk happened often enough during the last 8 years. Didn't happen then, so unless the new guy goes WAY outside the bounds of The Constitution I doubt it'll happen this time.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:18 AM on October 2, 2009


Black folks have been a pretty systematically oppressed underclass in the U.S. for a long time – even devoid of any personal ethnic bias on anyone’s part......If you're a racist, you're wrong. So who wants to be a racist?

The underclass is why there are 'black business only' phonebooks. The 'these businesses speak Spanish' phonebooks are mostly hispanic run places. Some religions what you only spending money with others who are of your faith or only date within the faith.

I rarely hear the people who want to talk about 'racism' mention the above examples as 'being racist'. And rather than look towards why the opposition is in opposition, its far simpler to slap that 'racist' label on than it is to analyze if the opposition is due to 'being a party supporter', 'arn't getting the "change" that was "promised"', are a bigot or really are a racist.
posted by rough ashlar at 4:41 AM on October 2, 2009


So now every political thread is going to be dominated by this "it is SO!"/"it is NOT!" back and forth about the influence of racism on current politics? C'mon people!

It should be obvious to everyone by now (even the inveterate bigots, although maybe not since they tend also to be monomaniacs obsessed with issues of racial identity) that racial/ethnic sectarianism is a political means, not a political end. The whole point of injecting the subject of racism into politically charged issues is to distract everyone from the underlying issues themselves--it's like the sociopolitical equivalent of derailing a thread.

Apparently, it's working and it's effects are fractal in nature.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:49 AM on October 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


errggg... "its effects are fractal"
posted by saulgoodman at 9:49 AM on October 2, 2009


>It's not about race

> I am having a very difficult time comprehending how you arrived at the conclusion that I was saying that the Republican Party is not racist.
Yes, take four words out of context, ignoring the fact that I amply described that I was responding to people who say it's all about race, and nothing but race. Ignore the fact that I described this multiple times.

Also ignore the fact that I amply described that I believe it to be greatly facilitated and exacerbated by race. Ignore the fact that I described this multiple times, too.

Then juxtapose those four words with another statement, also taken out of context, in which I was replying to your completely unfounded -- and frankly, dumb -- claim that I was attempting to use the existence of Michael Steele as "proof" that the Republican Party is not racist.

Then throw these two different out of context quotes together. Make sure to ignore that they have little to do with one another even ignoring all of the previous problems listed about them.

Jesus Fucking Christ. You even said you didn't disagree with the point that I was making - that's it's not "all about race" and "nothing but race". The point that I clearly explained was the only point I was making, multiple times. What the fuck is wrong with you?

I'm done with this "conversation". Goodbye.
posted by Flunkie at 10:51 AM on October 2, 2009


Smedley Butler,
posted by lemuel at 9:01 PM on October 2, 2009


Still clinging to vote fraud in not one but 2 elections?

Silly old facts...educated rational people don't need to cling to facts.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 11:17 PM on October 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


At best you might get one crazy colonel fully on board.

Your assurances that it can't happen here have completely reassured me. Not.

You seem to know enough about military structure to understand how it can be perverted to ensure that a particular ideological cadre dominates it. You don't get promoted unless your superior officer recommends you for promotion, and if he's a Dominionist, you don't get promoted unless you are a Dominionist too. Gradually, non-Dominionists are forced into retirement as Dominionists rise up through the ranks.

Not worrying about a military coup by people who flat-out state that they are chosen by God to rule the country won't prevent it from happening. Making sure people are aware of the danger is the first step to preventing it.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 11:43 PM on October 2, 2009


"... Not worrying about a military coup by people who flat-out state that they are chosen by God to rule the country won't prevent it from happening. Making sure people are aware of the danger is the first step to preventing it."
posted by Jimmy Havok at 2:43 AM on October 3

I live in a military town (Jacksonville, FL) and I know, at some level, perhaps 100+ military personnel, including a number of command officers, a greater number of career non-comms, and many enlisted personnel. In addition, I know, personally, another 75+ retired ex-Navy and Coast Guard officers.

Based on that admittedly limited sample, in my experience, smedleyman is far more accurate in his assessment of U.S. military proclivity to support of a coup against civilian control of the U.S. government, than are you, Jimmy Havok. The people manning our nuclear subs tonight, under the oceans, believe, to a man, I'm convinced, that civilian political control of the weapons in their missile tubes is the only rational strategy for working their mission. Because, the minute they walk away from that belief, the whole weight of Armageddon falls squarely in their lap.

No one wants Armageddon in their lap. You can't possibly tip that big, no matter how nice Armageddon is to you. You just want Armageddon to go dance on somebody else's lap, without exploding, like a good girl.

I say this as a person who lives in a city about 90 miles south of one of the largest U.S. nuclear submarine bases, in a city that is also home to a surface fleet base, and a Navy air base. The men who stand watch tonight are willing to fight, immediately, if that be their lot, and, as a whole, and more important, down to every single man who was ever in their shoes that I have ever known, they hope to God it won't be.

If there is reason the U.S. nuclear arsenal should ever fly, they are the best among us to ever say so, and if they say so, and more importantly, if they do, as we have charged them to do, when nothing less will do, they do through tears and honor.

What the hell more can you expect from human beings?
posted by paulsc at 1:13 AM on October 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


> I'm done with this "conversation". Goodbye.

Cya!
posted by cj_ at 2:35 AM on October 3, 2009


What the hell more can you expect from human beings?

To refuse to do it, when push comes to shove?
posted by Grangousier at 2:53 AM on October 3, 2009


To refuse to do it, when push comes to shove?

The thing is, if there were any suspicion that they'd refuse, they'd have to be replaced by WOPR. The whole idea of nuclear deterrence means everyone has to know that if you use nuclear weapons against us, we'll burn your cities, poison your wells, and salt your fields—guaranteed or your money back.

This, of course, means that if push ever comes to shove, the mission has already failed, and there's nothing left to do but commit wanton genocide with them. (Previously.) There's a lot of time to think about that when you're (mumble)hundred feet underwater, going (mumble) knots to nowhere.

MAD is one big game-theoretic paradox, but simply recognizing it as one doesn't free you from it.

Note: WOPR does not actually exist.
posted by haltingproblemsolved at 5:38 AM on October 3, 2009




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