So Now They Want a Revolution?

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Lately we have been hearing a lot of squawking and screeching emanating from the conservative right wing about a revolution.

This is rather perplexing given that we recently had an election in which the elected President won rather substantially without the need for voter caging, voter suppression, election fraud, recounts, recount shut downs, lawsuits and the Supreme Court.  Nor was it necessary to bring in the likes of a Swift Boat attack machine and a corrupted Secretary of State (R-OH) to deliver a win in a razor thin, close election.  

And despite all of the problems we face in these dire and stressful times the President's approval ratings remain in the 60's.  Today it is at 67%. Today an ABC/Washington Post poll also reveals 65% trust President Obama to handle relations with Muslim nations.

So, what is the problem?  Why is a revolution necessary now?  Where, may I ask, were these American revolutionary ideologues when former U.S. House Speaker, The Hammer, Tom Delay (R-TX) threw open the doors of Congress and ushered in the special interest fat cats and lobbyists who would pervasively influence the laws that now govern us?    

In case the wannabe revolutionaries did not know it, the likes of

Wall St. bankers and cheerleaders for deregulation were among Hammer Delay's invitees.

The report, “Sold Out: How Wall Street and Washington Betrayed America,” shows that, from 1998-2008, Wall Street investment firms, commercial banks, hedge funds, real estate companies and insurance conglomerates made $1.725 billion in political contributions and spent another $3.4 billion on lobbyists, a financial juggernaut aimed at undercutting federal regulation.

Nearly 3,000 officially registered federal lobbyists worked for the industry in 2007 alone. The report documents a dozen distinct deregulatory moves that, together, led to the financial meltdown. These include prohibitions on regulating financial derivatives; the repeal of regulatory barriers between commercial banks and investment banks; a voluntary regulation scheme for big investment banks; and federal refusal to act to stop predatory subprime lending.

Where were these proponents of “Stand up NOW and SAVE America” when George W. Bush and Dick Cheney quietly and systematically dismantled the inherent rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution whose tenets were deemed “quaint” at the time?  And, according to recent news reports, Bush had panicked after 9/11. The antidote for Bush's panic attack?  

Torture.  Where was the right's outrage when Bush and Cheney started torturing political prisoners? Weren't these folks worried that if Cheney had a bad day, they could be tortured too?  

One could suppose the right wing ideologues are trying to come to terms with life outside of their shattered bubble.   Unfortunately its coping mechanisms for dealing with the transition from an alternative fake reality to the real world are at best, unproductive and worse, downright scary and dangerous.

In an editorial in the The New York Times Charles Blow expressed his concern for conservative hate talk.

In his article

Pitchforks and Pistols

Blow asserts conservative chatter and hate talk is far from harmless.

Lately I've been consuming as much conservative media as possible (interspersed with shots of Pepto-Bismol) to get a better sense of the mind and mood of the right. My read: They're apocalyptic. They feel isolated, angry, betrayed and besieged. And some of their “leaders” seem to be trying to mold them into militias.

Mr. Blow said he was initially amused by the twisted logic, garbled and veiled hate speech.  After spending substantial time listening to conservative media, however, Mr. Blow changed his tune.  He realized all is not harmless talk.    

But, it's not all just harmless talk. For some, their disaffection has hardened into something more dark and dangerous. They're talking about a revolution.

Mr. Blow's article certainly gave me pause because I too had the tendency to dismiss the ravings of the right wing as just that.  I would laugh at the ranting and hyperventilation from conservative ideologues and thought of them as pathetic and out of touch sore losers who throw tantrums like children when things don't go their way.

The events of this past week should certainly make us rethink some of our impressions of right wing hate talk.  Who listens to these people?   Who takes them seriously?

Last week was a very ugly one in America.  As we know an immigrant who lived in the U.S. for over twenty years shot and killed at least thirteen people in the American Civic Association in Binghamton, NY with an assault rifle.

The Association is well known for providing support and outreach services for refugees and immigrants.  It has been existence since the 1930's.   The killer, Jiverly Wong, had very recently taken English classes there.  

Wong had a lot of idle time on his hand because he had lost his job and was unable to find another.  Wong, completely isolated and socially alienated, believed the world in which he lived ridiculed him. He spent a lot of time shooting his guns.  Alone.

He was also a gun enthusiast who often spent weekends shooting targets and trying out different guns at a local sporting goods store. He had been licensed to carry handguns in New York since 1996, the police said.

On Saturday, three police officers were ambushed and murdered in Pittsburgh by a crazed gunman wielding an assault rifle.  

Two of the murdered officers were married men.  Both had two daughters.  The third officer and his fiancé had plans to marry.  

The Pittsburgh killer had an obsession with guns.

Other friends said Mr. Poplawski had several guns, including an AK-47 assault-type rifle, a .357 Magnum revolver, a .380-caliber handgun and a .45-caliber handgun. They also said they believed he had not been getting along with his mother.

The killer also feared the Obama Administration would impose a ban on guns.

Of course President Obama has no intention of suspending the Second Amendment.  Now what or who would have put this irrational thought into a very disturbed man's head? Very disturbed news anchors?

According to another who is fomenting a revolution Chuck Norris said an uprising is in order to block impending totalitarianism.  

Huh?  I don't get it.

So, totalitarianism is impending now that Dick Cheney and his secret executive assassination rings is out of power?

Chuck dude, are you out of work or something?

Norris also said he'd become President of Texas, where the uprising will begin.  

That's OK Chuckie Boy.  We don't need you starting any revolutions down here. Stay in California, dude, where Hollywood has plenty of sets, costumes, weapons and fabricated towns for you to play a macho cowboy or soldier with formidable firepower wherever you need that power and fire to come from. You can knock off anyone your little ol' heart desires.

When I appeared on Glenn Beck's radio show, he told me that someone had asked him, “Do you really believe that there is going to be trouble in the future?” And he answered, “If this country starts to spiral out of control and Mexico melts down or whatever, if it really starts to spiral out of control, before America allows a country to become a totalitarian country (which it would have under I think the Republicans as well in this situation; they were taking us to the same place, just slower), Americans won't stand for it. There will be parts of the country that will rise up.” Then Glenn asked me and his listening audience, “And where's that going to come from?” He answered his own question, “Texas, it's going to come from Texas. Do you agree with that Chuck?” I replied, “Oh yeah!” Definitely.

And then there is Fox “News” good ol' fake crybaby Glenn Beck. It seems that Beck, like Dick Cheney suffers from delusional paranoia.  He wants us to surround something or someone.  Or maybe he wants to surround someone or something. Martians maybe?

Actually Beck's 9 step agenda has an interesting and complicated twist.

5. If you break the law you pay the penalty.  Justice is blind and no one is above it.

OK Glenn – so why don't you all bring your pitchforks and pistols outside the  homes of Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, Alberto Gonzales, Harriet Meyers, Karl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld, and Scooter Libby? Afterwards you can move on to Fairfax County, CT and Manhattan where many of the Wall St. bankers and AIG executives live. Next you could go to Detroit where the Big 3 CEOs hang out.  After Detroit move on over to Switzerland, home of USB, the bank that helps very wealthy Americans and Europeans find places to hide their income and evade taxes. When you finish in Switzerland head on back to the U.S. and swing by Houston. Park outside the homes of ExxonMobil execs who work 24/7/365 to block alternative energy.  Next find out where Richard L. Scott lives.  He's the dude who will pump millions of his own bucks into a health care reform smear campaign. Standup dude Scott hired the same firm that is responsible for the reprehensible Swift Boat attack ads during the 2004 Presidential Election.  

All of the above are the ones who have been trying to steal your democracy and who have been robbing you blind all along.

Another right wing conservative who is promoting a revolution is a politician. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) calls for an “orderly revolution” whatever that is.  

At this point the American people – it's like Thomas Jefferson said, a revolution every now and then is a good thing. We are at the point, Sean, of revolution. And by that, what I mean, an orderly revolution — where the people of this country wake up get up and make a decision that this is not going to happen on their watch. It won't be our children and grandchildren that are in debt. It is we who are in debt, we who will be bankrupting this country, inside of ten years, if we don't get a grip. And we can't let the Democrats achieve their ends any longer.

Ms. Bachmann is also hallucinating over the recently expanded AmericaCorps program calling it mandatory “Re-education Camps.”  

Wow. This is beyond crazy. AmericaCorps is like the Peace Corps, here in the U.S.  It's mission is to provide outreach and support to impoverished people. I guess Teach for America is also a mandatory re-education program, according to whacko thought.  

CNN's Lou Dobbs makes a substantial living by bashing immigrants. Indeed, he is on record as proclaiming himself a supporter of a right wing vigilante group known as the Minuteman Project.  This project is comprised of volunteers who, heavily armed, assist patrol agents with monitoring the southern U.S. border.

In a discussion of a Wall Street Journal  editorial on immigration during his December 9, 2005, show, Dobbs announced, “I support the Minuteman Project  and the fine Americans who make it up in all they've accomplished, fully, relentlessly, and proudly.” As you may know, the Minuteman Project has been touted by conservative outlets, despite controversy over its anti-immigrant rhetoric and vigilante-style tactics.

Dobbs owns some culpability where hate crimes are concerned.

The recent attention paid to a notorious Long Island hate crime in which a group of young whites went in search of Latinos to harm has raised serious questions about the relationship between immigrant-bashing rhetoric and the surge of anti-Latino bias crimes nationally.

And the mainstream purveyors of this rhetoric — particularly pundits like Bill O'Reilly and Lou Dobbs — are denying their culpability in the only means available to them: By distorting the reality of hate crimes themselves.

Rush, Chuck, Glenn, Lou, Sean, Bill O. and Michelle, there are drugs for the disease that plagues all of you and Dick Cheney.  Please see a psychiatrist ASAP and stop – STOP – projecting your own irrational and pathological fears and insecurities by shamefully ringing the alarm bells and fanning the delusions of the tormented souls who suffer from untreated mental illness.  They could very well be taking you folks seriously.  

You, Sirs and Madam, are whipping them into a dangerous and frightening frenzy. Those who are paranoid, psychotic, seriously depressed and socially alienated and who also happen to have a fondness for assault weapons are especially vulnerable to hate talk and fear.  

Come on folks, get a grip on reality.  Get help.  Now.  It's not like any of you can't afford top notch care.

Check out an example of untreated, unhinged delusional paranoia, folks.  It's pretty ugly.


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  1. The Law?
    Is it still illegal to advocate the violent overthrowal of our Constitutional government?  Or to conspire to do so? It sounds like some of these wing nuts are at least close on both counts.

    What a collection: Michelle Bachmann, Chuck Norris, Bowser Beck, Lou Dobbs, John Coryn.  

    • Maybe some of the lawyers
      in this group might like to respond to your question.  I myself think conspiracy to overthrow the government, especially by violent means, is a crime. But I am not a lawyer….

      • I was about to say that.
        I'm not sure why these people aren't at least being arrested. There's certainly reasonable suspicion to get some of these nut cases behind bars for a couple of hours at least. Glenn Beck also sounds like he's dangerously close to inciting a riot, referring to Democrats as vampires and the only way to stop them is to drive a stake through their hearts. Yeouch. Sounds like a mortal threat to me.

    • ProgressiveInTexas on

      A mental execise…
      Imagine if a video of a Muslim Imam at a mosque in say, Detroit, surfaced.

      On the tape, the figure can be heard saying:

      …[our] people should be armed and dangerous…we need a revolution…

      Glen, Sean etal at the Fringe Network would be demanding that these people be sent to Gitmo…

  2. Copy edit
    As much as I hate to be a troll, I really really like this article and think it makes some excellent points. Unfortunately, it really needs copy-editing. There are a ton of typos. Hallicinating? Cupability? I would love to share this article with others, but I don't feel comfortable doing so when it appears to be written so carelessly.

  3. The right wants it both ways
    Glenn Beck has a problem with video games that he claims are responsible for violent and misogynist behavior.  But inciting violence through irresponsible hate talk is OK?

  4. Everybody please relax ….

    First, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Michelle Bachman and their like are all driving the GOP down the road of obscurity and permanent minority status.

    Second, for all their “revolutionary language,” which is properly attacked for being mindless demagoguery, the right has always had wing-nuts that speak that way.  These wing-nuts are best ignored or challenged only by better and a more logical and coherent argument.  In other words, Libby's post is excellent and should be distributed widely, but our actions should end at making better political arguments and better political campaigns, not at calling the AG's office.

    Indeed, we only feed their insanity when we assert that because a few wing-nuts actually uncritically listen to these talking heads that the talking heads actually need to have their First Amendment Rights restricted.    

    Beyond the political comment above, as one of the lawyers on this blog, the reason for my post was to provide the requested legal standard for lawfully punishing or suppressing speech related to “revolution.”  

    Legally, since the 1957 Supreme Court case of Yates v. the United States, the standard has been focused on the difference between supporting violent revolution in the abstract or taking concrete actions to make it actually happen.  As the court stated, in Yates:

    “… indoctrination of a group in preparation for future violent action, as well as exhortation to immediate action, by advocacy found to be directed to “action for the accomplishment” of forcible overthrow, to violence as “a rule or principle of action,” and    employing “language of incitement,” is not constitutionally protected when [1] the group is of sufficient size and cohesiveness, [2] is sufficiently oriented towards action, and [3] other circumstances are such as reasonably to justify apprehension that action will occur.

    This is quite a different thing from the view of the District Court here that mere doctrinal justification of forcible overthrow, if engaged in with the intent to accomplish overthrow, is punishable per se under [federal law]. That sort of advocacy, even though uttered with the hope that it may ultimately lead to violent revolution, is too remote from concrete action to be regarded as the kind of indoctrination preparatory to action which was condemned [by a prior case]. … As one of the concurring opinions in [a prior case] put it: “Throughout our decisions there has recurred a distinction between the statement of an idea which may prompt its hearers to take unlawful action, and advocacy that such action be taken.” There is nothing in Dennis which makes that historic distinction obsolete.”

    See Yates v. US, 354 U.S. 298, 321 (1957)(Emphasis added – citations omitted)(Reversing convictions of 14 Communist Party members).

    Thus, calling for a Revolution in the abstract; saying one is needed or hoped for; asking people to prepare for it in vague and unspecific terms; or, predicting a revolution in the future, while all mindless or insane, are all fully protected by the US Constitution.  

  5. This has been driving me nuts for a while now
    I get it, they're driving themselves into the minority and taking what few moderate elected officials they have left with them (Sen. Snowe, Sen Specter), and yeah it is upsetting they didn't feel this way when actual illegal activities were being done under the Bush administration.

    But why are they doing this without the provocation or cause. It's not the federal government taking over, cause otherwise they would have jumped all over the Bush administration in its final months. Heck Ron Paul would have been the Republican nominee for President if they believed anything they were saying.

    I can only have one answer. Conservatives in general have an authoritarian mindset. They do not ask how or why something is. They do not come to blogs and discuss why things are that way. Check out Redstate, it's all ditto-heading. There's no equivalent to Swingstateproject or OpenLeft working on strategy and debating it. And all it seems to come down to is there is no part of government they can now turn to be told what to do or tell others to do. They just are dealing with having no power, but the reaction to it is . . . extreme and does not make sense.

  6. irrational thinking
    The problem we face right now is trying to understand this logic rationally. And the reason we can't overcome this problem is because it is not logical and not rational at all.

    It hasn't been that long ago that talk like this occured, but on the left. We wanted to throw out Bush, etc. But the difference was we were labeled unpatriotic. Labeled insane. Labeled out of touch with “mainstream Murica”.

    So it is ok for the right to speak this way. Let them look insane. But remember the Obama supporters are the majority. We rule the roost now (maybe not in Texas, but overall). And everytime one of these racist violent pinheaded sycophants talks like this, call them out on it.

    Why tip toe around it and try to appear smarter than they are? Cowering in the corner and pretending we are still the minority will do us no good. Call them out for what they are. Call them unpatriotic. Tell them they don't support their country. How dare they question the elected President of the majority of the people, right? This type of rhetoric obviously worked for them for 8 years, so we may as well be using it ourselves.  

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