Point of View Columns

Tea Party Terrorism

Recently some commentators in the press as well as White House staff members have referred to the Teapublicans in the United States Congress as “terrorists” by reason of their strategy of shutting down the federal government in order to repeal or defund the Affordable Care Act. The thundering demands for apology as well as the cries and shouts of outrage and feigned injury cannot hide one basic fact – the Teapublicans in Congress are terrorists.

It has been said that one person’s patriot is another person’s terrorist. As has been noted before, George Washington, Jefferson Davis, Menachem Begin and Nelson Mandela have all been labeled with the term “terrorist” at some point. But in all of these examples, the individuals involved operated pursuant to a stated opposition to the governmental entity that they defied.

The Teapublicans are terrorists of a different order. Holding to a loudly articulate but philosophically incoherent view that “government is the problem”, the Teapublicans seem to believe that only the social service aspects of the federal government are “the problem”. On the Planet Tea Party there is no need for investment in education, health or infrastructure. But there is a rationale for funding law enforcement, penal institutions and farm subsidies.

But it is not their clouded view of government and the underlying social contract that has sustained the United States for over two centuries that is the problem. The problem is that, while claiming to be patriots and having this country’s best interests foremost in their hearts, they are willing to wreak havoc on the governmental process because they did not get their way.

There are two schools of thought regarding why the Teapublicans insist on playing Captain Ahab to the white whale of Obamacare. One is that there resides within the right wing of the right wing a belief that a national health care system is an unacceptable expansion of the federal government and should be opposed at all costs – even the cost of an orderly and healthy society and a stable economy.

The problem with this analysis is that Medicare and Medicaid have been a part of this country’s social safety net for almost fifty years. Social Security has been a part of this country’s array of citizen services for almost a century. Only the most rabid, foaming at the mouth Teapublican would advocate the repeal and destruction of these institutional supports, yet Obamacare has become the personal Alamo of the right wing of the right wing.

At some point someone will connect the dots and recognize that the viciousness of the modern neo-conservative movement known as the Tea Party coincides with the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States. And it is a fact that on the day that President Obama was inaugurated in January of 2009, the leaders of the Republican Party and conservative operatives actively conspired to collapse and delegitimize his presidency. While political opposition is a healthy proposition in politics, the Teapublicans crashed past the boundaries of decency and logic a while ago.

And so, leaders of the Teapublicans felt comfortable suggesting that President Obama is not an American citizen, that he is by turns a fascist, a communist, a Trojan Horse for the domination of America by the United Nations and an anti-colonialist revolutionary. He could be called “a liar” from the floor of the Congress and “Second Amendment solutions” have been casually discussed in the most gun-choked nation on Earth.

It is through this clouded prism of mindlessness, illogic, bigotry and meanness that the Teapublicans view President Obama and Obamacare. And it with this godforsaken world view that they can justify shutting down the federal government or even collapsing the American and the global economies.

If this sounds familiar, it is because it the same bloody, soulless illogic that motivates every terrorist and hostage taker in the world today. In the view of the Teapublicans the end justifies the means even if the means cause tremendous harm and permanent damage to the United States and its citizens.

Having failed to fully advance their cause at the ballot box – losing two presidential elections to the Anti-Christ in Chief; having been betrayed by the AlitoThomasScaliaRoberts rightwing cabal in the United States Supreme Court; having been unable to secure veto-proof majorities in the House and the Senate; the Teapublicans have decided to jettison the rules since they haven’t been able to win by the rules.

Terrorism is used by those who can see no other way to advance their cause. Of course, in the case of the Teapublicans there is another way – advocate, legislate and adjudicate.

The Teapublicans in Congress are genuine terrorists who are only interested in advancing their demented vision of the future, by any means necessary. No apologies to the terrorists in the Capitol are necessary.

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Point of View Columns

Weekend Edition – October 4, 2013

While one person’s terrorist is another person’s patriot, in these United States it is hard to argue that the Teapublicans in Congress are not home grown terrorist as they revel in the damage that that they are inflicting on the American people. Meanwhile, the musty, funky smell of racism is attached to the mindless opposition of the Teapublican terrorists, reminiscent of a terrible time in this country’s history. And finally, ever wonder what would happen if the Teapublicans were black? History tells us what did actually happen.

Tea for Terror

The Teapublican terrorists in Congress are very clear that they are prepared to wreak damage on this country if they don’t get their way. This is not the way of the “loyal opposition” or the conflict resolution process envisioned by the Constitution. This is anarchy pure and simple.

It is true that “terrorist” is a subjective term. George Washington, Menachem Begin, Yasser Arafat, Jefferson Davis and William Tecumseh Sherman were all considered “terrorists” by the other side. By that standard, today’s congressional Teapublicans are certainly terrorists.

Even during their most virulent and repulsive iterations, racist Dixiecrats like George Wallace, Strom Thurmond and John Stennis never even hinted at collapsing the governmental infrastructure of this country as they sought to defend the hellish segregationist culture that they espoused. To their credit, they regrouped and reconfigured as Republicans and have indeed been able to roll back some key elements of the civil right movement that they opposed.

Today’s Teapublicans are not concerned with process or protocol. Their one basic demand is my way or the hostage gets it…and in this case the hostage is the United States government. It is certainly not the American way. It certainly is the way of terrorists.

The Return of the Nigger Breakers

In all discussions about the mindless opposition to President Obama and the Affordable Care Act, there is an almost universal reluctance to confront the fact that there is a deep and undeniable racist element to the hard core Teapublican attacks on President Obama. Barack Obama’s presidency has been essentially moderate and middle of the road, much to the chagrin of some of his supporters who are truly on the left. Nevertheless this centrist president has been attacked as if he were getting his directions from Moscow, Beijing or Nairobi or wherever.

During the terrible hell that was slavery in the United States, plantations would employ specialists who had the ability to “break” recalcitrant or resistant slaves. They would either “tame” the oppositional slave or kill him/her. They were known as “nigger breakers”.

Similarly, the Teapublicans wish to “break” Barack Obama. Indeed, Senator Mitch McConnell was quoted in 2009 as saying that he would “break this boy” referring to the President of the United States.

And the Teapublicans have taken up the task of delegitimizing President Obama – through the “birther” nonsense to “Fast and Furious” to “Benghazi” to calling him a liar during his address to Congress to the multiple attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act – it is all about the Teapublicans seeking to “break” the first black President of the United States.

If the Teapublicans Were Black…..

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if the Teapublicans were black? You need not wonder. In the 1960’s there was an organization called the Black Panther Party. The Black Panthers advocated that black Americans exercise their Second Amendment Rights. The Black Panthers argued that government should be limited in its presence in the lives of black Americans.

What happened? Many Black Panthers were shot down in the streets. Many Black Panthers were arrested, tried and convicted for conspiring against the government of the United States. Forty years later many Black Panthers are still in prison.

Clearly there is a difference between White Tea and Black Tea.

Have a great weekend – stay strong and be great!

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