Friday, May 2, 2014
I'd hope that most sentient beings can agree that, regardless of what they might think of the Cliven Bundy Foxaganza, and of the people flocking to support him, with guns, threats, and illegal checkpoints on public roads, the term "patriot" applies to them like "gasoline" applies to "fire suppressant." Let's agree on that much. A guy who denies the legitimacy of the US government ain't no patriot, even if he, without irony, horses around like John Wayne, flying the US flag. People threatening US Senators with physical harm ain't no patriots. Armed jagoffs stopping citizens on public roads and demanding ID ain't patriots. That they think they are only underscores the insanity of it all.
So if we might agree on that much, the question remains: what, exactly, are they? Delusional, without doubt. Missing the "at least be consistent" gene, undeniably. But what sort of people do what they're doing? What are they thinking?
Clearly, they're heroes to themselves. Lying behind concrete with their rifles at the ready, all aimed and trusty, it must be uncomfortable on their bellies with their presumed hards-on (although we might suppose that those same guns might be a reaction to a certain, uh, anatomic inadequacy, so I could be wrong about the pain.) Tough, and safe. Fearless, with nothing to fear. Without fear of having to prove it, they claim willingness to die for whatever cause it is they think they're there for: the rights of people to pick and choose which laws to follow. The right to ignore judicial rulings at will, in direct violation of the most fundamental basis at the very heart of the constitutional democracy for which they proclaim dying love, despite understanding it not one bit.
Do they really wish to become martyrs? Are they hoping for a shooting confrontation with US troops? Guys who reportedly planned to use the wimmenfolk as human shields? Kinda doubt it. And what, we must wonder, do they see as the ultimate outcome of such an event? Public outcry leading to revolution? Of what sort? To achieve what kind of government? What's the philosophical basis of it, and the historical reasons to believe it'd be workable? Or is it just about playing doctor and going home for dinner?
More than that, though, at what point should the US government begin to consider these guys more than laughable? How many people setting up how many roadblocks should it take before direct action ought to be taken? It's not an easy call. In fact, given the evangelicaliztion of the military and the undisguised hatred of our president among many of its leaders, ought one to consider the possibility of refusal of orders to intervene?
Seriously. The one thing the crazies have going for them is that Obama isn't crazy. They must be pretty sure they can huff and puff with no consequences. After all, it's not like they're Kent State students peacefully protesting a war. They're patriots. Other than its laws and the system by which they get put in place, and the document on which the process is based, and more than half the people that live in it, they loves them some America.
I have no answers to the preceding questions. But I think it's about more than the specifics of Bundy and those misguided (generously) militiamen. I'm torn between laughing and crying, between thinking it's a meaningless aberration with no long term consequences, and seeing it as a sign of the coming politiclypse, cheered on by Fox "news" and right-wing screamers who have no idea of the damage they're doing, nor ability to see beyond their primordial midbrain reaction to Barack Hussein Obama, to the undemocratic and unAmerican contradictions at the center of their positions.
Potentially, these self-described protectors of America -- the many people like them and supportive of them, anyway -- are the ones who'll finally, and irreversibly, bring it all down.
at May 02, 2014
My next newspaper column: “Being president doesn’t change who you are. It reveals who you are.” (Michelle Obama.) The same can be sa...
Here comes my next newspaper column: Once upon a time, most Republican members and leaders had integrity. Believed in science. Consi...
My next newspaper column, sent in with too little time to address the latest mass murder. But Trump sent condolences, so it's all ok...
Tomorrow's newspaper column: Bullet points for Trumpists: · Trump said he’d protect Medicare and Medicaid. His budget cu...
What a great negotiator. What great deals he'll make. Asshole.