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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Where Will the Next Fort Sumter Be?

(By American Zen’s Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari.)

How many times do we have to hear people say that 'somebody' is going to make an attempt on this president's life before we start wondering, 'Why do you keep saying this? Are you trying to convince people to do it? Do you have any information?’” – Glenn Beck on his radio program

Here’s a possible answer to our economic woes: Maybe we ought to start a pool taking guesses where the first official shot will be fired when the second Civil War is begun. My guess is it will once again be the hilariously dysfunctional state of South Carolina.

As Civil War buffs and historians can tell you, Fort Sumter was, simply put, the birthplace of the first War Between the States. Located off the coast of South Carolina, on April 12, 1861 the Union Army fort was bombarded by rebel forces and the Union Army was forced to surrender it to the fledgling confederacy. Five days later, Virginia, the largest and most powerful of the southern states, seceded from the Union. President Lincoln regarded the attack on Fort Sumter as an act of civil war and confederates likewise accused Lincoln of the same when he called for volunteers to join the Union Army to help take back the fort.

So it’s only fitting that the first verbal salvo launched in this brewing civil war that will be fought not between state lines but across a growing, invisible ideological divide was launched by an obscure, pudgy South Carolina redneck named Joe Wilson who became a hero for the conservative cause by clearly breaking Congressional rules of behavior on international TV and refusing to publicly apologize for it.

A couple of days ago, Newsmax, the tabloid print version of Fox “News”, published an article by one John Perry entitled, “Obama Risks a Domestic Military 'Intervention'.” (The article has since been scrubbed since Logan Murphy’s expose of it on Crooks and Liars.) In it, Perry opines that eventually, the military will launch an insurrection against Obama. Until a cached or captured version of this seditious screed comes back to light, we’ll have to content ourselves with what Logan bothered to reproduce, such as this:
There is a remote, although gaining, possibility America's military will intervene as a last resort to resolve the Obama problem. Don't dismiss it as unrealistic.

America isn't the Third World. If a military coup does occur here it will be civilized. That it has never happened doesn't mean it wont. Describing what may be afoot is not to advocate it. So, view the following through military eyes:

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

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.

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

Granted, this John Perry character is either an obscure hack or the nom de plume de poison of someone better known. But it’s not the identity or lack thereof of the author that’s disturbing as much as the sheer reach of Newsmax.

Newsmax is so endemic on the internet that you will commonly see their ads even on the biggest liberal blogs, one usually featuring Obama wearing doctor's scrubs (such as Crooks and Liars, for instance, which, as with so many other blogs hungering for bandwidth revenue, conveniently and immediately forgets their partisan principles when Newsmax’s cash is dangled before their faces).

Newsmax is partly owned by Republican sleazemesister Richard Mellon Scaife, the publisher of the Pittsburgh Tribune and the one who funded the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth and different smear campaigns against the Clintons, most notoriously the Arkansas Project, that alleged a federal employee was murdered to keep him quiet about the Whitewater scandal (arriving as an eerie counterpoint is the recent murder of a census worker who was found, ironically, on September 12th in southern Kentucky hanged naked with the word "Fed" scrawled across his chest. Luckily, the authorities are keeping an open mind and entertaining the possibility that the gagged victim whose hands and feet were bound could have committed suicide).

Newsmax boasts some 300,000 readers and, whether or not that’s accurate or typical Republican puffery, one fact is clear: Its tentacular reach is such that their message in some way gets on even the biggest and most influential liberal blogs, even if those who go there never click on the banner links and openly scoff at it.

If “Perry’s” piece, which in itself borders on treason, was an isolated peak (or low), we could afford to continue laughing at the perennially misinformed right wing rag that is Newsmax. However, Perry’s rhetoric takes the growing ideological divide to the next level. Now, Perry is theorizing, if not covertly proposing, that our military stage a coup “to resolve the Obama problem” in a manner akin to various banana republics such as Latin American countries overrun by tinpot dictators such as Chile and El Salvador, ones typically favored by Republican presidents.

The only difference, as Perry optimistically hopes, is that we’re not a third world country (despite 37.3 million of us living as if we are, as of 13 months ago and there’s no reason to think that number’s gone down since then) and a coup will be “civilized”, sort of like the bloodless coup carried out by another right wing tinpot dictator, this one in Pakistan, one favored by another Republican president.

Of course, it’s those 37.3+ million Americans who will be called upon to fight in the front lines of such a “civilized” coup. We learned that much when Bush’s grandfather, future US senator Prescott Bush, tried to enlist the aid of impoverished WW I veterans in his own attempted coup of the US government.

And another thing that is lost on Perry: If, in the event of a military coup that will unseat our democratically-elected president, we’d be admitting to ourselves and the world that our electoral system, the very foundation of our democracy, really doesn’t work, after all, and that the voice and will of nearly 70 million people, or over one third our population, can’t be trusted.

Congressman Patrick Kennedy, (D-RI) was quoted, ironically, by none other than the aforementioned Newsmax that the rhetoric we’ve been hearing all year, particularly this past summer, could lead to one or more assassinations.

So what other conclusion are we supposed to arrive at when Republicans such as Trent Franks call President Obama “an enemy of humanity”, and Joe Wilson calls him a “liar” on international television? Franks made his remarks last Saturday at a gathering called “Take Back America”, a conservative event whose very name is hostile and undemocratic, as if regaining a majority in Congress and control of the White House is something that has to be “taken back” by force instead of won, much the same way in which Fort Sumter was taken back by the confederacy.

So if those of you who are still employed want to start up office pools guessing where the next Fort Sumter will be, the smart money says it’ll come full circle in South Carolina. The place where civil wars, family values and educational standards go to die.
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Blogger Steve said...
Unfortunately, for Perry and his military coup aficionados, Burt Lancaster has been dead 15 years.

Blogger Bartender Cabbie said...
In 1862 General Mclellan said that he would like to war on two states; SC and MA. SC is obvious. It contained the most radical Southern politicians that advocated a split from the Union, and of course the first shots were fired there. Why MA? It was the epicenter of the abolition movement. Hopefully as Americans, we can all "tone it down a bit." Obama is the president. I myself do not like it, but he was elected by the majority. That is the nature of our system. Rhetoric does seem to be getting out of hand, but American politics is very rough and tumble. We should all just sit back a let the system "run its course." In 2012 there will be another election and those of us that oppose this current administration will have an opportunity to vote. If President Obama is reelected, then so be it.
The liklihood of a military intervention into civil politics is very unlikely.The aforementioned General did toy with the idea in the early years of the Civil War.More accurately, he had some bad advisors on is staff that advocated such an move. He was opposed to Lincoln's policies, but of course he did not take suck drastic action. He ran against Lincoln in the 1864 elections as the Democratic candidate for President.
The point here is that General Mc. had at his disposal the Army of the Potomac, was a political enemy of Lincoln, and could have taken Washington with ease and set himself up. He did not and chose the American way of politcal disagreement. He ran for office. I do not think our nation has to fear the military.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
If SC, TX, FL, the Repubs are SO determined to leave the USA, they have Representatives and Senators who know how to introduce the dissolution legislation in Congress to make it happen without firing a shot.

If indeed they have the Congressional power the Dems seem to be granting them, such a resolution should pass easily. For sure, I'd be first in line to encourage my representatives to vote for it -- if not co-sponsor it.

Won't happen! Secession is the LAST thing those dolts want. And the thought of actually having to take their weapons and shoot them at somebody who might actually be armed and shooting back... They'd wet their pants!

Blogger missy said...
Unfortunately, John Perry is a real person: I worked for him in the late 80s/early 90s when he had fallen from his Washington perch (he was a quizzling in the Nixon & Ford administrations) down, down, down to the editorship of the NW Georgia (a stone's throw from Alabama) Rome News-Tribune.

Rome was an appropriate place for Perry: the center of town is dominated by a hideous statue of Romulus and Remus suckling at the she-wolf's teats that was donated to the city by none other than Benito Mussolini himself.

My only surprise in reading Perry's screed yesterday was that the old crank hadn't succumbed to cirrhosis yet.