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I see it all the time. Liberal media commentators, most often persons of color like MSNBC's ubiquitous Joy Reid or, case in point today from the beautiful and brilliant Angela Rye (sorry, I'm a guy) on the Marin Bashir show who closed a passionate comment about the stunning irony of the war on Obamacare by saying of republican spokes-persons that "their constituents don't have the health care that they need...they continue to vote against their interests because members of Congress, who HAVE the best health care in the country, are telling them not to support this [ObamaCare] just because of who the president is and what he stands for." As much as I respect the likes of Ms. Rye, Ms. Reid, Prof. James Peterson, Rev. Al Sharpton, Karen Finney, commentator and radio host Joe Madison and other MSNBC "friendlies" , it is pure supposition and frankly a dangerous and un-unhelpful tendency to conclude that republican intransigence and contrarianism is "just because of who the president is and what he stands for" or "it's all because they hate Obama". Please excuse me for generalizing as not all the names I've mentioned have said those exact same words, but very often I'm afraid they similarly imply ideas to the same effect. And that is a biased and defensive way of reacting to something which may have nothing whatever at all personal against the president for who he is and what he stands for.

The truth is that today's Congress is not the Congress of our youth or our history. With the possible exception of a fossil or two like John McCain who has been in the Senate since Grant took Richmond, the whole Republican side of the two party system has become something other than one of two parties of the representative form of democracy our country has practiced for over two hundred years. The critical element as central as elections has been stripped and/or eroded away by what qualifies as at least a defacto tyranny if not a fully premeditated assault on government of the people, by the people and for the people for reasons clearly stated that have absolutely nothing to do with President Obama, who he is, or what he may seem, although the part about "what he stands for" is germane. But it's not specifically health care, it is for the traditional American form of democracy where losers abide by the outcomes of elections and remember that a political defeat does turn one automatically into enemies of the state who will destroy it if they do not indeed get just what they expected to in their unsuccessful election bid or legislation proposal.

One of several definitions of tyranny is "rule by the illegitimate". Losers of democratic processes i.e elections and/or votes on legislation in the Chambers of Congress who then take the country to financial ruin on short-sighted and vain premises, or shut down the government with unwillingness to do their jobs of facilitating the wheels of American process as determined by the will of the people and the majorities which represent democratically chosen victors, is "rule by the illegitimate".

We can not continue to have one party who observes tried and true American democratic traditions and another which has taken to becoming not friends in the same nation who do their best until the next election cycle for the good of the country but a full-time treacherous internal enemies with hungry partisan media industries with no scruples except to keep the pressure on, right or wrong, fair or not. And despite the easy appearance that it has everything to do with the president's skin color and his father's name and nonsense speculation that his birth place is outside of traditional bounds of the USA, if the president were a woman it would be sexism being used just as this disloyal horde who swept into the House of Representatives in 2010 did it with subtle but voluminous sexism--airing hundreds and hundreds of political ads using the honorable first woman Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, as a human tackle dummy and punching bag over and over in ads that didn't need to mention her at all but just had to include the Rush Limbaugh dog whistle comment of "...voted with Nancy Pelosi on...." as if to imply every incumbent Democrat was joined at the hip with Nancy Pelosi on every vote (to all but remind everyone constantly of the disgraceful way that misogynist hate monger Rush Limbaugh portrayed the first woman speaker routinely).

There is no certainty--only appearance that republicans have turned enemy just because of who the president is and what he stands for. There is however not only evidence of a true historical break with American democratic tradition which foments   a perverse loyalty to a clique, a mob, a gang--a criminal loyalty to each other's secret disgrace of having signed an unlikely tyrant's blind ideological totality which they then hold higher than the true oath of office sworn with hand on the Bible. It is this glue of fear and disgrace--and the fear of incurring the wrath of the mighty overlords who will dispatch them to career assassination by right wing partisan media if not complete evisceration by the Chief Inquisitioner of the fake republican stand-in mob, Rush Limbaugh.  

What is the stated goal of the very real and unique brush with American tyranny we are facing which is nowhere near as subjective as race hatred of president Obama?
It is "to shrink the US federal government until is is small enough to drown in a bath tub". That is what the thing called the "sequester" is doing. But it's never enough for this gang of low-grade signatories of Norquist's blind ideology. They've been getting use out of the political dog whistle word "spending" for so long, they can't stop even though the deficit has come down by 60% and will cure itself if we just had some cooperation from our fellow Americans. But no. They have left the America we still believe in. They want to kill it. Drown it. They are reckless and vain and petty. They know not where they take us, as long as it's them and not the people the majority had chosen to do so.  

The colluders in this tyranny are not united as much in their hate of President Obama--no, not nearly are they united in that as they are in fear of breaking ranks and incurring the foam at the mouth wrath of the Chief Inquisitioner of the stand-in republican gang of third rate boobs who signed Grover Norquist's patently un-American blind ideological totality to have a chance to play Congress-people on TV while simply acquiescing to a mob that has replaced the republican party and meddling wealthy industrialists who want no law so they can profiteer unfettered by law, conservation or common sense. They got a war wrong and we let them off the hook. Shame on us.

Please brothers and sisters, and you Mr. President, this is not about you. Norquist, Club for Growth, the Kochs, Rupert Murdoch, Rush Limbaugh, and a host of others have republican Congress's balls in the same vice, and some gleefully put them there and don't need to have anything squeezed, tyvm Mr. Cantor. They are the worst kind of liars and cheats--the ones who wrap themselves in the most flags and want god in your school while privatizing your prison. We need to stop this over-simplification that this is just racism and see that we're are living two untenable realities. One must prevail. And it must be the one for which US law already exists--not the make it up as you go along insanity of today's right. You and I know they have nothing to go to and just want to rip down. They are not a qualified demolition crew to say the least--just a bunch of ambitious nuts to whom law must be applied. Racism is a red herring in this case and their think-tanks love that there a liberals seeing little more than it's all about hating on Obama. That's not to say there's no racism, just that we do a disservice by ignoring tangible wrong-doing on an epic scale by dismissing it all to hopeless old racism. Those think tankers get paid well to know the value of illusion even if it's unflattering.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bud Fields, smrichmond, SherwoodB

    "Education Is Not the Filling of a Pail, But the Lighting of a Fire" W.B. Yeats

    by RareBird0 on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 09:20:30 PM PDT

  •  "We" is the greatest misconception of the (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cpqemp, blueoasis, chuckvw, skohayes


    There isn't a "we" in the sense of the American nation-state; that is a highly arguable reality here any more. Ownership, like Braveheart's nobles, has so many offshore interests that they are not American. The rich aren't Americans, their enterprises aren't American, their wealth and finance aren't American. They're more occupiers than anything else.

    Our Constitutional system by contrast is premised on all of that being as American as we the people.

    Philadelphia, we have a problem.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 09:37:46 PM PDT

    •  That's a very germane perspective (0+ / 0-)

      globalism changed that even though it manifests in several ways in Americans--mostly all of them bad because the un-monied are still the "we" in we the people and have gotten the shit end of the stick as the Cold War ended and the new race commenced. That race was and is the sustainable development (or just development) race which America's rank and file know almost nothing of except that their job and maybe industry has gone to another country which has indeed raced to achieve enough development that they are able to sustain industries that have been outsourced to them. (That is not to confuse the ability to sustain an industry with the greater sustainability of the natural eco-system around that industry.)

      Wealthy American industrialists whom have taken advantage of every global resource including the ability to evade US taxes by keeping their profits abroad, are what we'd have to call AINOs--Americans in name only. And like the ironic version of RINOs which I discussed in my last diary which asserts that for all intents and purposes ALL Congress-persons calling themselves republican are republicans in name only because they refuse to keep the country first above their extortion-enforced loyalty to each other and the totality pledge which created the sequester and the movement to shrink the government until it can be drowned in a bathtub. And b/t/w, nobody all woke up one morning with that same idea and goal. It came from one source and that one source is the best place to start changing the game from politics to law.

      "Education Is Not the Filling of a Pail, But the Lighting of a Fire" W.B. Yeats

      by RareBird0 on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 08:07:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Racism is relevant, though... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoasis, Bud Fields, Kimbeaux

    It's the tool they use to motivate and raise cash. Religion is the other motivation they exploit.

    I loved your essay, though.

    What is so unnerving about the candidacy of Sarah Palin is the degree to which she represents—and her supporters celebrate—the joyful marriage of confidence and ignorance. SAM HARRIS

    by Cpqemp on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 09:46:43 PM PDT

  •  Racism IS a metastatic cancer upon us. (0+ / 0-)

    I am grateful for your thoughtful and passionate diary. One of the decisions I made some time ago, in order to survive in the chaos, deals specifically with your racism allegory.

    If you hear the word coming out of the mouth of a Republican, understand it is meant to be a purposeful distraction. Thus, my job requires me to ferret out the reason for the desire to distract, and understand that.

    From the Court House to the White House, and at every point in between, there IS something each of us can and should do. We should vote! Every citizen must insure that they are both qualified AND registered to vote...right now!

    Listen carefully to the noise in the chaos, and catch this language of distraction. Then do the work of a citizen, and speak truth to power. If that doesn't make racism an irrelevant stain upon our past, it surely will compel these liars to find another, better target word to use.

    It's interesting to note that, despite their millions and their explicit intent, Republicans are learning in their shock that it ain't "ObamaCare". Thanks for the difficult work.

    Nurse Kelley says my writing is brilliant and my soul is shiny - who am I to argue?
    Left/Right: -7.75
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.51

    by Bud Fields on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 10:30:05 PM PDT

    •  thank you and I so approve your message (0+ / 0-)

      In a conversation yesterday with someone close to me who is politically on my team but who is not aware of how much right-wing messaging she still exposes herself to, we talked about how republican governors like McCrory of NC are making it very difficult for minorities to vote. The early voting days and "after church" tradition is being done away with. Most people who don't know anything about the history and local realities of being able to vote might, like this family member said, say "Election Day is Tuesday, why should they get any special treatment?" Then when I explain that there have been efforts over the decades to district tens of thousands of minority folk and provide polling facilities that can only accommodate at most 1,000 people in one day even if they stand on line for 5 hours. Then the light bulb goes off of why there have been accommodations like early voting and "after church" and so forth. If you zone 10,000 minority voters for one polling place that at max can only handle 1,000, and at that, not well with long waits and you staff several polls in white neighborhoods where there's almost no wait, this is criminal. And our country is being beset by criminality which comes from the governor's mansions--cosigned now by the republican majority in the Supreme Court. And these are the people who want to "take their country back". The hypocrisy is gob-smacking.  

      "Education Is Not the Filling of a Pail, But the Lighting of a Fire" W.B. Yeats

      by RareBird0 on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 08:29:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  From a more structural POV (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    what reason is there for big money to believe its rule is illegitimate?  Don't both parties set policy in a manner that addresses the desires of big money first and foremost?  That preclude the implementation of programs which don't involve cutting cutting very large checks to corporate America?    If you want to change the rules of the game now, or seem to, you have to give due and proper notice to the affected parties whose dominant position in the process is to be undermined, to wit, big money.  

    Clap On, Clap Off, The Clapper!

    by ActivistGuy on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 10:44:29 PM PDT

  •  Agree that it's not about the person or persons (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in a particular public office. Disagree that the obstructionists are in any sense reality based.
    The Tea Party people and their instigators are idealists in the sense that they are convinced their ideas, however disconnected or out of touch with real events, are all that matter. It is because ideas are their only reality that they want to shove them down people's throats. If people can just be made to say the right things, then the world will magically conform. Even though what they see (appearance) is important, what they hear is the prompt that, presumably, produces action, although for members of Congress that's manifest as obstruction.
    Think of the instinct-driven as being directed by external forces which they do not, however, recognize for what they are. For an example of how that works, recall Limbaugh being set off like a firecracker by Ms. Fluke. It was as if her appearance and her speech pushed a button and Limbaugh was off and running on a trajectory of his own making even as he was convinced "she did it" and that "she" had no resemblence to the real person. It was all a figment of Limbaugh's imagination, but that's all he's got. He's missing some link to reality and there are, apparently, lots of other people like him. They cannot distinguish the figment from the real because they do not see the real.

    And vice versa. They can't see a figment (what the brain invents) as a figment, either. So, they can't distinguish between a dollar, for another example, and the value it represents. The dollar as symbolic representation escapes them, as does the written word as a symbol of speech and thought. I suspect that not being aware of thinking, the function of the brain, is similar to not being aware of the beating of the heart, unless it is suddenly interrupted. Unconscious while awake. It must be a very fearful state.

    The question is how it happened that such people got elected to public office. And I think the answer is that, since the gift of gab is their only talent, they really aren't suited for anything else but to parrot what somebody tells them. They're repeaters, just like some of their ilk in the media are just reporters. Indeed, the modern day press and pols have that in common. Whether or not press or pol are antagonistic probably depends on whether they were coddled or abused as children. The abused are likely to take it out on someone else, spending a life time getting revenge.

    •  I would not say that the Tea Party (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hannah, Kimbeaux

      are idealists, but ideologues.
      As you pointed out-repeating talking points issued by ALEC, or the Koch brothers, not even being aware of what they're saying half the time and not caring about the consequences of pushing their agenda down the throats of every American, and then insisting that they enjoy it.

      Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

      by skohayes on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 03:36:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I appreciate your fine effort to engage (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      You last paragraph asks how it happened that such people got elected... That is traditional American rationale at work just like how continuing believers, eve like the President himself, think. But The America where that question makes perfect sense started to disappear with the chain of events which started in 1987 when Ronald Reagan deregulated the FCC and killed the "Fairness Doctrine" which was the ethical glue that held the American media to the same center for the previous 40 years where we all observed American democratic political traditions the same way. Reagan begat what was to come.

      And that is GOP TV which without the decency to label itself that and instead disguising itself under the title of Fox "News" --a "schism reality" began the massive American identity crisis that exists today where asking "how could such a person get elected" is but one rationale in a country suffering multiple personality disorder. To race through it all and give you a thumbnail sketch of how I see what has happened is that the first so-called "republican revolution" which happened in the mid-term of the first Clinton Administration is the demarcation point (although the US' decisions by the first Bush and his Defense Secy Dick Cheney to invade Panama and Iraq and downplay the UN's effort to create a unified global agenda in 1992 to treat the causes of war preventively also mattered greatly in the veering of America toward the personality schism that has created the country now at war with itself).

      Fox News gave the likes of a blowhard like Newt Gingrich a biased power no one ever had in the Speakership before. Meanwhile as partisan media penetrated America deeply and created venues for those already disposed to vote republican to virtually compartmentalize themselves in biased one-sided media content where there were no rules, law or serious watch-dogs to act when lines had been crossed. As people we can only watch one channel at a time. But millions upon millions where all watching and listening now to decidedly hateful messages. There was even the natural competition among sensationalists to out-do each other and take their messages to the next extreme which in years not that far before you would never hear such "totalitarian" messages in America. The democrats were now the enemy--the socialist, the liberal, the spender, the intellectual meddler, while the republican was freedom's very incarnation. This turned many states so "red" that democrats could never even compete. That opened the door for extortion on the right.

      It used to be that no one would primary an incumbent in their own party because fighting inside the party would give favor to the other party. Since right wing media forces had the "liberals" covered with round the clock demonization, now the right could fight amongst themselves without fear and still win. Opportunist Grover Norquist stepped forward from his relegation to ideologue gadfly to two-legged super-power. His pledge, and the signing of it to never raise taxes come hell, high water, asteroid or eruption of a super-volcano, became the per-requisite to gain favor with right wing donors (lead all the way to who knows who). No sign? No chance. And President Clinton was being so harassed by Fox News and the press in general for his sexual indiscretion that no one seemed to realize that Norquist had gained the power to filter who would be allowed to enter Congress. The states that were red where partisan media was so deeply entrenched were his to lord over. If a pledge signatory did not comply with the full line of now tyrannical ideology, he or she would become the sacrificial lamb to be torn up in local partisan media and a new dullard--often and unqualified dolt like Bachmann, Steve King or Louie Gohmert who may not even be smart enough to know that being loyal to the Norquist mob and then swearing the oath of office which is in conflict with the Norquist pledge is the crime of perjury if intentions are to hold Norquist's pledge higher in authority. And they have no choice not to or they will be finished. This is how and why the rules we think of like "how did this person get elected" ceased applying to all Americans and only applies to traditional main-stream thinkers. I want to return to being one without the need to crusade against the usurpers who are trashing our system. I had two uncles killed five days apart in American military uniforms fighting against fascism and totalitarianism, and yet it has sneaked into our very midst.

      Jefferson said "the price of freedom is eternal vigilance". Truer words were never spoken. As bad as our split personality is, I believe we can fix it and it doesn't mean war or arresting every republican who has perjured themselves. It means applying the law, using words like extortion and fraud where they apply and taking down the king pin who was never elected to anything. The story and its result will shake America to the core. But it will be a good shake as those who have been duped will turn on their deceivers.

      "Education Is Not the Filling of a Pail, But the Lighting of a Fire" W.B. Yeats

      by RareBird0 on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 09:27:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I live in a small Texas town which is situated (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes, Kimbeaux, unfangus

    on the northeast corner of a 20,000 sq. mi. rectangle virtually devoid of non-whites.  For years I owned a small ladies' dress shop on the square until illness forced me to sell it this summer. The nomination of Obama was unwelcome news to my customers. I never talked politics, but they talked among themselves. On weekends we would get a lot of traffic, and while the ladies shopped their husbands would gather at the front of the store and talk. They made no bones about their racism. The barbershop that I frequent is also filled with anti-Obama talk that is entirely racist.

    I have friends in OK and they mirror what is happening down here in Texas. They send me hateful email attachments about Obama and blacks. All of these people are regarded in their OK communities as pillars of the communities they live in.

    Racism dominates the thinking of  wide swaths of the white population throughout the southern states. They will never, never be able to think otherwise. They truly believe that they are good Christian Americans.

    Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

    by hestal on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 02:26:57 AM PDT

    •  Yes, so true (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      And social media has split families just like it is 1861 all over again. My relatives would send me jokes I would resent. Then my mom would do it thinking they were funny and that I would laugh too. And I had to straighten her out. And she realized she had to straighten herself out. And I'm very proud that I was able to do that. At first I was angry that she didn't really know who I was politically. I had to say "mom, don't you know me by now?". Being a Christian television watcher she didn't even have a clue that I was one of those "liberals" they were always hating on. I had protested the first Iraq war and my activities swept me into favor in UN/NGO circles in NYC where I became a UN representative for one of the longest existing NGOs and I was allowed accreditation myself to the UN Department of Public Information so I had credentials and could participate in most everything but the Security Council. I was exposed to the best of America's left and they didn't convert me, I found myself leading quite often--it's deep in my core. So, I have since purified my mom (except for that creepy Christian TV crap) and now she finds herself at odds with her siblings and all her friends that she used to go to church with who send her Mexican joke e-mails and one's about lazy black folk. And now she gets appropriately angry. I feel like if there is a god, I get an A on my report card for neutralizing hate in my own family. I wish I could get at it all. It's a sad disgrace--not funny.

      "Education Is Not the Filling of a Pail, But the Lighting of a Fire" W.B. Yeats

      by RareBird0 on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 09:44:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  They believe (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that the smartest black man is just as dumb as the most uneducated trailer park redneck. That's the bottom line.

    Any black person in a position of authority, or black professional, or successful black businessman, is that way because of affirmative action and the advantages showered on minorities by the gummint.

    You will never get these people to admit that any black person is as smart as them. Not gonna happen.

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 07:50:42 AM PDT

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