The terrorists have won

John C. Calhoun, spiritual father of the first great insurrection.

John C. Calhoun, spiritual father of the first great insurrection.

While we strike (supposed) terrorists in Yemen with drones, and urge the NSA to spy on us relentlessly without constraint in order to prevent a “terrorist” attack, we have allowed a coup d’état to take place at the highest levels of our government. It is finished. It is over. The revolution is complete. We have knuckled under to a terrorist takeover of our democratic processes.

Terrorists use intimidation, sometimes military and violent, sometimes seemingly civil and non-violent, to force a family (kidnapping) or a nation (insurrection) to do their bidding. We have an entire ENORMOUS industry in the US devoted to keeping us safe from terrorism. But it has failed us. The Tea Party has brought about a successful insurrection—they have destroyed representative government as surely as if they had commandeered the Pentagon.

terrorism
1. the use of violence and threats TO INTIMIDATE or coerce, especially for political purposes.
2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.
3. a TERRORISTIC METHOD of governing or of resisting a government.   (Dictionary.com)

The media in America understands the coup although no one seems to have connected the dots. (You can skip all of the short references and read the clearest statement of the facts, by E.J. Dionne–below all of the clips.)

“Congressman [Peter] King (R-N.Y.) claimed that Cruz has been trying to INTIMIDATE members of the GOP with ‘implicit threats of primaries’ if they don’t vote the right way” (1). 

“The danger is that the Republican leadership, held HOSTAGE by the Tea Party. . . “ (2).

“At an Illinois town hall meeting on Monday, Republican Congressman Aaron Schock said those threatening to hold the government budget HOSTAGE over health care were misguided, ‘beating their chests.’ Schock said, ‘If you’re going to take a hostage, you have to be willing to shoot it.’ To which an audience member gleefully said, ‘Kill it’ [the budget]” (3).

“We don’t always agree with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, but he was correct Tuesday when he called on the House to put federal workers back on the job — and then take the budget to conference committee without a “gun to the head.” To negotiate now would be to reward the HOSTAGE-TAKERS for their unreasonable behavior. The Affordable Care Act is the law of the land, and Republicans need to give up their obsession with it unless, of course, they had something more productive to offer than a one-year delay” (4).

“. . . the Republican leadership seemed powerless to rein in the demands of its most conservative members, who would rather shut down the government or – – even worse — force a default in the government’s bond payments to bring an end to Obamacare. Such moves would be disastrous for the country, and ruinous for the Republican Party. Put aside, for a moment, the hope for a half-a-loaf compromise with Democrats. The people driving this government HOSTAGE-TAKING aren’t looking for half a loaf, and their tactics can’t be rewarded” (5).

“Democrats such as Senate majority leader Harry Reid have sought to paint themselves as willing to make responsible spending cuts, while tea party Republicans hold such a deal HOSTAGE to their own whims” (6).

“Yet yesterday the options for reaching a compromise appeared narrow, not least because of Republican attempts to HOLD THE GOVERNMENT HOSTAGE by crippling the so-called Obamacare reforms, hated by Tea Party conservatives and set to be rolled out on the same date” (7).

DIONNE, E.J.  “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: THE TEA PARTY SHUTDOWN.” Contra Costa Times (California). (October 2, 2013. Web. LexisNexis Academic.  4 Oct. 2013.

The tea party Republicans should hang a “Mission Accomplished” banner across the House of Representatives. They could flank it with large portraits of Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican who has in fact, if not in name, replaced John Boehner as speaker of the House. The right-wing extremists got exactly what they wanted. Now, what will the country do about it?

In blundering into a shutdown, Boehner has lost any claim to authority. Helpfully, the speaker-in-name-only underscored this fact himself on the House floor when he mocked the way President Barack Obama talked. Does anyone remember a real speaker going to the well of the House and making fun of a president of the United States? Can anyone now DOUBT WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR WASHINGTON’S DYSFUNCTION? THE REPUBLICAN RIGHT STILL DOES NOT ACCEPT THE LEGITIMACY OF OBAMA’S PRESIDENCY. THIS IS WHY MUCH OF THE GOVERNMENT SHUT DOWN. . . .

Making sure the government pays its debt is not a “concession.” It’s what we expect from A WELL-FUNCTIONING CONSTITUTIONAL SYSTEM.

A WELL-FUNCTIONING CONSTITUTIONAL SYSTEM

A WELL-FUNCTIONING CONSTITUTIONAL SYSTEM

It’s what we expect from decent stewards of our great experiment. THE EXTREMISTS WHO HAVE TAKEN OVER THE HOUSE DO NOT BELIEVE IN A NORMAL, CONSTITUTIONAL SYSTEM. THEY BELIEVE ONLY IN POWER. 

There’s a profound irony here, since no one talks more about the Constitution than the tea party. Before the Civil War, John C. Calhoun and a variety of nullifiers and future secessionists spoke incessantly about the Constitution, too. We know where that led.

In the course of things in a constitutional and democratic republic, parties win elections on the issues that matter to them. They pass laws or repeal them by majority vote. The tea party could not muster such a majority to repeal the Affordable Care Act because Democrats held the White House and the Senate in the 2012 elections. Lacking a majority, the extremists chose force. “Do what we want,” they said, “or we will render the country ungovernable.”

That’s what they have done. Everyone says Boehner knew better and did not want this outcome. But he was so fearful for his job that he let it happen.

120801_ted_cruz_win_ap_605My conservative colleague Michael Gerson had it exactly right Tuesday: “We are no longer seeing a revolt against the Republican leadership, or even against the Republican ‘establishment’; THIS REVOLT IS AGAINST ANYONE WHO ACCEPTS THE CONSTRAINTS OF POLITICAL REALITY.”
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(1) Howerton, Jason.  “GOP Rep. Goes Off on Ted Cruz: He’s a ‘Fraud’, ‘Kamikaze Pilot’ and ‘Those I’ve Spoken to Think He’s Crazy’.” The Blaze. Sep. 25, 2013. Web. 4 Oct. 2013.
(2) Ibbitson, John. “Americans held hostage by Tea Party.” The Globe and Mail (Canada). September 30, 2013. Web. LexisNexis Academic.  4 Oct. 2013.
(3) Jan, Tracy. “This time, Tea Party aims at GOP ; Activists call for risking government shutdown to stop health law.”  The Boston Globe. 9 August 2013. Web. 4 Oct. 2013.
(4) “The unproductive shutdown.” Editorial page. McClatchy – Tribune Business News. 2013, Oct 01. Web. 4 Oct. 2013
(5) “Moment of truth for GOP: Break away from Tea Party.” Editorial. The Boston Globe. 28 September 2013. Web. 4 Oct. 2013.
(6) Trumbull, Mark. “Government shutdown: How might this time be different from 1995?” The Christian Science Monitor.  2011, Apr 05. Web. 4 Oct. 2013.
(7) Usborne, David, US Editor. “Obamacare battle may trigger government shutdown; Republican attempts to derail planned healthcare reforms could provoke financial meltdown.” The Independent (London). September 21, 2013 Saturday. Web.  LexisNexis Academic. 4 Oct. 2013.

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