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Tilting at Windmills

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August 27, 2009

INHOFE RAISES PROSPECT OF 'REVOLUTION'.... One of these days, it sure would be nice if Republicans felt the need to denounce this kind of radical, vile rhetoric.

At a town hall Wednesday night, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) told constituents, "We're almost reaching a revolution in this country."

Inhofe also said he doesn't need to know what's in a health care reform bill to vote against it.

"I don't have to read it, or know what's in it. I'm going to oppose it anyways," he said at the event in Chickasha, Okla.

The senator was in good company, with most of the audience agreeing with him and expressing their disdain for big government and Democrats. One man said, "No more compromise. We're losing our country."

I can't begin to understand why Inhofe and his like-minded extremists are so angry. But for an elected member of the United States Senate to speak publicly about the possibility of a "revolution" is deeply frightening.

What's more, let's not forget that Inhofe isn't the only one throwing around insane rhetoric like this. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has encouraged her supporters to "rise up" and be "armed and dangerous." Several GOP lawmakers are talking up the idea of "nullification," which is effectively secession-lite. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's former press secretary recently wrote about "the coming revolution," which he suggested might be similar to "Project Mayhem" from the movie "Fight Club." (In the film, "Project Mayhem" involved militarizing terrorist cells that blew up banks.)

Inhofe is a U.S. senator, and he's decided to fan the flames.

I'm reminded of something Josh Marshall wrote a few weeks ago: "[L]et's all collectively throw a little cold water on our faces and just realize that this is some really crazy stuff. The health care debate is now being driven by a perverse nonsense feedback loop in which the Palin/Limbaugh crowd says all sorts of completely insane lies, gets a lot of ... how shall we put it, impressionable people totally jacked up over a bunch of complete nonsense."

It's getting worse, the perverse nonsense feedback loop is getting louder, and elected members of Congress are dues-paying members the Palin/Limbaugh crowd.

It was just a couple of years ago when prominent conservatives told us criticism of the president and the United States government in the midst of a crisis was borderline, if not outright, treason. The love-it-or-leave-it crowd, after just seven months of a Democratic administration, has reached a very different conclusion about standards of patriotism in the 21st century.

Steve Benen 3:20 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (59)

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This isn't FIght Club, this is Helter Skelter for the modern right winger. Sooner or later their a Charlie Manson for the 21st century is going to arise from this cesspool and show them what it looks like when their ravings become reality.

Posted by: martin on August 27, 2009 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

"But for an elected member of the United States to speak publicly about the possibility of a 'revolution' is deeply frightening."

Seriously? "Frightening"?

You need to take Josh's advice.

Posted by: converse on August 27, 2009 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

I remember the last time the GOP was ranting about revolution and blowing up the government. Spring of 1995. Then Oklahoma City happened. They got real quiet, real quick. It's going to take some rabid act to bring a reasonable tone back to the conversation.

Posted by: Dan on August 27, 2009 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

It's quite simple. Republicans believe that they are entitled to rule. If elections go the other way, the other side must have cheated, and while Democrats are required to submit to Republican authority whenever Republicans are in office, non-Republicans are illegitimate and must be opposed by all means necessary. Any tactic -- intimidation, lies, you name it -- is allowed, and since Democrats are evil, any reluctance to employ any tactic is a sign of weakness.

Posted by: Joe Buck on August 27, 2009 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

-And all we need is for the FBI to arrest a few of these a-holes (I INCLUDE elected politicians),for treason/sedition/seccession/inciting to riot, and the spark is lit.

Of course a little Posse Commitatus on yo' ass, tanks in downtown Tulsa, FEMA camping for all, might throw that "cold water" on a few people. . .

Posted by: DAY on August 27, 2009 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

..it sure would be nice if Republicans felt the need to denounce this kind of radical, vile rhetoric.

If only they weren't so busy spewing the vile rhetoric.

One man said, "No more compromise".

Republicans compromised? I must have missed that day.

Posted by: ckelly on August 27, 2009 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

What's the mystery? They've already admitted publicly that denying us health care reform is intended to break Obama. His Waterloo, remember?
Of course, getting the press to pick up on it is a bit of a reach. It seems like the only way to get their attention is to kidnap a blonde.

Posted by: Slideguy on August 27, 2009 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

"...said he doesn't need to know what's in a health care reform bill to vote against it"

Remember, this is one of the guys who have wound up his supporters to disrupt Democratic MC's town meetings by screaming repeatedly "Did you read the bill?"

(That's "Members of Congress").

Posted by: Zandru on August 27, 2009 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

As I've written before, let them secede (give them South Carolina, given its history) so that they can live in their 'utopia' of non-governmental 'interference.'

Then, when all of the people are dying (for lack of healthcare access), when all the utilities stop working, when the streets crumble, when fires go on and on, when random street violence grows for lack of a response, it may dawn on them why government exists. Why taxes are paid. Maybe then the pitchforks will come out, when the birthers and the deathers and the 'hands-off my Meidcare' hoi polloi realized that they've been fighting against their best interests, they'll seek revenge. But by then their overlords will have their Utopia realized as well: complete power. Feudalism is what they want; give it to them.

Posted by: terraformer on August 27, 2009 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

If they are looking for the antichrist they need look no farther than the mirror. Breeders of evil and mayhem all them "good Christians"

Posted by: johnR on August 27, 2009 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

Nothing new here. The Reagan Revolution,
the Contract With America Revolution, The Neo-con Revolution.....Republicans launched more revolutions the Che Guevara.

They're good at revolutions. They just don't know how to govern.

Posted by: Paul Avery on August 27, 2009 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

This country is getting down right scary. Everybody knows that the right is armed to the teeth. They are loud and proud of wasting money on guns and ammo that the store in a closet somewhere. I don't want to alarm anybody but I know a lot of folks on the left who have quietly stockpiled guns of their own. This country is quickly devolving into some sort of very dangerous crazy house.

We talk a lot about Rush Limbaugh and Fox News, but MSNBC cable hosts like Chris Matthews show clips of gun toting protesters almost nightly. The right might be nuts, but some on the left are exploiting the crazy for the sake of ratings. All of them fan the flames. If cable and talk radio producers don't feel the need to act responsibly somebody, a lot of somebodies, could get seriously hurt. How do we get Congressmen, and the nuts on cable and talk radio to agree to a cease fire before real shooting starts?

Posted by: Ron Byers on August 27, 2009 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

Really not hard to understand. They're all racists or classists or crazy.

Posted by: Jay on August 27, 2009 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sick of their talk. They should bring it. Until then, they're just a bunch of whining pansies.

Posted by: Chocolate Thunder on August 27, 2009 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

Remember that Inhofe is a member of the Family, the C Street gang that wants all power for Jesus's political disciples. Normal social values like caring for poor, sick people don't enter into it.

Posted by: anandine on August 27, 2009 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

Inhofe is very dangerous to my beloved country! He deserves not his title of senator if indeed he trashed his institutional standing by advocating revolution. He does, however, deserve our collective scorn for being such a dunderheaded fool! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on August 27, 2009 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

Its all Obama's fault. If he hadn't invoked the Lincoln imagery early in his term the far right-wing wouldn't have been reminded that they lost the Civil War. Not that he could have avoided it. I mean he is black.

Posted by: John Henry on August 27, 2009 at 4:04 PM | PERMALINK

Where's sane America? Why doesn't it raise its head? Where are all the people who voted for a black president and felt so good about it on election day?

Where are these people at the townhall meetings? Why doesn't anyone stand up and say: "We have an elected president. And if you call for a revolution against him you will have to fight me first for I stand behind the constitution!"

Is this all about cowardice?

Posted by: Vokoban on August 27, 2009 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

I can't begin to understand why Inhofe and his like-minded extremists are so angry.

What's so hard to understand? There's a black man in the White House. A smart black man. Smarter than they are. Uppity, even. It's every cracker redneck's nightmare.

Posted by: JCB on August 27, 2009 at 4:08 PM | PERMALINK

Putting the Big O in public Option

Here is a truly radical idea:

We need to make the public option optional for individual States.

States can vote themselves in or vote themselves out. Those States voting themselves in will allow their citizens the option of the public option. Those states voting themselves out will not make the public option available to their citizens.

Arkansas and Alabama and Oklahoma and Tennessee can freely reject it and continue on with their status quo. Other states can choose to participate in the public option and bear its financial burdens and its shared rewards.

Think about it.

The most unhealthy states with the most obese people are the ones that oppose the public option. These diabetic States will end up burdening the public option and making it more expensive for the healthier States.

Indeed if the right-wing hillbillies had any sense they would realize that the public option will result in a net cash flow to their hillbilly States. But these States, like Oklahoma, are too simply to stupid to realize this. And you know what? Their ignorance is our boon. Give all States the option of opting out of the public option. It will make it cheaper for the smarter States in the long run...

Posted by: koreyel on August 27, 2009 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

First question the authority of the election, and the legality of the presidency.
That began with John Robert's misstatement of the oath, remember how that was picked up in the echo-chamber, requiring a new delivery of the oath.

Then the birther nonsense.

Then the claims that it's an overthrow of "my America" - in alliance with foreign interests.

Then scare people with talk of death panels, etc.


Watch people empty gun stores of ammo and guns.


The revolution is already happening, in their minds. And the number of numbskulls who think they'll become eternal heroes by "doing something" is rising every day.

Posted by: SteinL on August 27, 2009 at 4:11 PM | PERMALINK

The assumptions of a liberal democratic republic is that while individuals will have disagreements given their different backgrounds and interests, their common humanity and citizenship will permit compromise as both work within the traditions of civility to resolve their differences.

The assumptions underlying Senator Inhofe's "revolution" is the appropriate metaphor for resolving political disagreement reflects a different political tradition entirely.

Indeed, by suggesting that those who oppose the agenda of a duly-elected democratic administration need to engage in revolution, Inhofe is borrowing, whether he realizes it or not, from the ideas of a famous German political theorists of the early 20th Century, Carl Schmitt, whose "Concept of the Political" had a strong and lasting influence on Nazi political thinking.

Those portions of Schmitt's Concept of the Political that underlie Inhofe's thinking as well seem to be these:

"The specific political distinction to which political actions and motives can be reduced is that between friend and enemy."

"The political enemy need not be morally evil or aesthetically ugly; he need not appear as an economic competitor, and it may even be advantageous to engage with him in business transactions. But he is, nevertheless, the other, the stranger; and it is sufficient for his nature that he is, in a specially intense way, existentially something different and alien, so that in the extreme case conflicts with him are possible. These can neither be decided by a previously determined general norm nor by the judgment of a disinterested and therefore neutral third party."

"And finally, only the actual participants can correctly recognize, understand, and judge the concrete situation and settle the extreme case of conflict. Each participant is in a position to judge whether the adversary intends to negate his opponent's way of life and therefore must be repulsed or fought in order to preserve one's own form of existence."

Democracies assume that individuals with disagreements are ultimately fellow citizens who will find a way to resolve those disagreements peacefully. Inhofe, like Schmitt, believe those individuals are enemies who share virtually nothing in common. It is frightening to think that Inhofe's radically undemocratic and potentially violent worldview may form the mainstream core of Republican and conservative thinking in this country today.

Posted by: Ted Frier on August 27, 2009 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

Evidently, these Radical Authoritarians (they certainly are not conservatives) don't believe in elections unless they win them. Don't forget, these are the people who brought you all those stealth candidates back in the 1980s. They were also instrumental in the highjacking of the Southern Baptist Convention that turned it from being a leading supporter of separation of church and state into a major component of the theocratic wing of the Repugnant Party. I don't know about you, but to me, taking a loaded gun to a political meeting is an open act of intimidation. These people are extremists of the most intolerant variety. They now have an unwanted (by them) and frightening (to them), dark-skinned (that's not the way they would put it) President, so I guess it has got to be lock and load time for them. Are we willing to let them murder an elected official when things get out of hand at their manipulated meetings?

Posted by: Temple Houston on August 27, 2009 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK

This government conservatives want to overthrow was democratically elected by a fairly substantial majority.

Quite a sound plan, it is.

Most countries where a minority suppresses a majority have been shining examples of civilization in the past and elevating America to such a glorious state is worthy of Ihofe and Bachmann's efforts.

I have some historical figures they may wish to take notes from as they begin their conquest.

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on August 27, 2009 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans appear to have lost any sense of community and common endeavor -- that is, a community consisting of people who both agree and disagree, a community of caucasians and people of color, a community of rich and poor, a community of all faiths.

Sitting through Rep. Moran's and Howard Dean's District 8 Health Care Reform town hall "discussion" here in North Jesusland Tuesday night, I was dismayed by the incredible intolerance of the anti-reformers. Moran and Dean weren't experts or government officials, they were "liars." Health care reform wasn't a proposal, it was "a hoax." Over and over the anti reformers shouted, "Leave us alone, leave us alone," as if 45 million uninsured people desperately resorting to expensive, emergency-room crisis treatment didn't already impact everyone.

Republicans appear to be going through a phase where they reject debate as the best process to lead to a more robust democracy. Their intolerance is the handmaiden of authoritarianism, which of course is the pretext for violence and suppression.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on August 27, 2009 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

Responsible citizens of this country, no matter their views on health care reform, climate change or any other major policy debate, and no matter their party registration, should be able to recognize Inhofe's extreme right wing and red neck pandering and inciting to violence against the duly elected leadership of the Federal government for what it is: Un-American and treason. He should be loudly and consistently denounced and elected Democrats in the Congress should denounce this lunatic on the floor of the Senate, shun him and refuse to shake his hand or have a drink with him.

But, the truth is we have survived his ilk before and we will survive him. Georgia elected Jimmy Carter, a good man and a very good Governor, in the same decade that it elected Lester Maddox; an axe handle wielding, ignorant and unrepenatent racist. Sonny Perdue, while certainly not my favorite southern governor, is no Lester Maddox. Given some time Oklahoma may yet send real leaders to the US Senate.

Posted by: robert on August 27, 2009 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

Then the birther nonsense.

Overtaken by events.

According to the Onion, they're afterbirthers now, and they want to see Obama's placenta.

Posted by: Davis X. Machina on August 27, 2009 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

As I have repeatedly said. The next major terrorist attack on US soil will come from domestic sources claiming to be 'Christian' not from foreign sources claiming to be 'Muslim'.

We will see another Oklahoma before we see another 9/11.

Posted by: thorin-1 on August 27, 2009 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

ckelly: Republicans compromised? I must have missed that day.

to them...

when the black guy beat their candidate...

that was compromise...

Posted by: mr. irony on August 27, 2009 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

Terraformer- Let them secede? Great- then we end up living next to a crazed theocracy with nukes.

Posted by: Kevin Ray on August 27, 2009 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

They're reenacting the election, I guess.

Reminds me of a comment I once read, concerning the South's penchant for reenacting Civil War battles. An African American woman commented: They can reenact as much as they want, as long as they remember who won.

Posted by: SteinL on August 27, 2009 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

On the personal level, when you see people you know joining the tea parties and following Beck, and talking about going to tea party events to learn about using guns, and talking about THIS administration, and needing to find a leader to fight the growing "communism", then it does get particularly alarming. I am really saddened by this turn of events. But I am not surprised because I have seen this conflict in worldviews developing for many years. I am not sure that they are reconcilable.

Posted by: lou on August 27, 2009 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

When the Senate reconvenes, it needs to give Inhofe an ultimatum of retracting and repudiating his comments or being expelled from the Senate. The Senate historian should be able to provide them with plenty of precedent from the Civil War era on the need for the members of that body to live up to their oaths to support and defend the Constitution, not engage in unlawful rebellion.

But then again, Democrats are too wimpy for this.

Posted by: Jimo on August 27, 2009 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

Didn't Rush Limbaugh also say something along the lines of "We're THIS close -- I'm holding my fingers about a quarter inch apart, folks -- to another American Revolution" a day or two before McVeigh blew up the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City?

Posted by: T-Rex on August 27, 2009 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

It is a disgrace and perhaps treasonous for a US Senator like Inhofe to talk of revolution. Remember when conservatives said, it was traitorous to even criticize GW Bush "in time of war"? And the lefties who said "Bushitler" etc. were fringe, "rabble" types (going too far IMHO, and not helpful) and not officers of the US Government.

Time to consider, maybe we should let them go after all. Read or re-read the classic "Dear Red States..." A Letter From The Blue! (Date: 2005-06-24 on Best of Craigslist, and found her and there - anyone know who wrote it? It's a bit dated, since maybe we don't want Spitzer anymore but he's still better than Sanford etc.)

BTW, lately their side has another counter offer to divorce the rest of us (more about hype than the mostly fact-based DRS proposal), written by “John J. Wall”: Letter From a Law Student. Some say he is pseudonymous.

Posted by: Neil B ♪ on August 27, 2009 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

I think letting the states opt out of the healthcare system is a fine idea. Let them see exactly how stupid their antics are to their wallets. That will shut them up really, really quick.

Also, as an Okie, I have to say that Inhofe is representing his constituents for sure. There are some great, progressive people in OK. Unfortunately, the majority are ignorant, bible thumping nutcases who don't have the common sense God gave a brick, as my Dad love to say.

Posted by: rottenart on August 27, 2009 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

Dear Oklahoma Democrats,

Between Coburn and Inhofe, you've had an extremely rough time of it lately. Sending you a little love today on behalf of the rest of the country's progressives. Keep pushing back.


Posted by: shortstop on August 27, 2009 at 6:28 PM | PERMALINK

i like the fact that jimmy admits that he doesn't think reading a bill before voting matters..

Posted by: dj spellchecka on August 27, 2009 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

I guess I am impressed that no-one in Oklahoma is without good healthcare, they must know something the rest of the country does not know.

Posted by: JS on August 27, 2009 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

This isn't about healthcare, this is about a bunch of mad-as-hell-and-not-going-to-accept-the-results-of-last-fall's-election RightWing nutballs.

Posted by: Joe Friday on August 27, 2009 at 8:17 PM | PERMALINK

Let's start calling this what it is: conservative supremacism.

The belief that only "conservatives" can legitimately be elected. This form of supremacism has a strong overlap with Christian Nationalism (witness Inhofe's associations with The Family) but is not limited to it.

Conservative supremacists are willing to wage "revolution" over routine policy matters like a top tax rate change of a few percentage points or expanded health care coverage, yet are perfectly willing to invest their Leaders with the power to inprison persons without charge and torture them, to void the 4th amendment and to generally trample the Constitution.

As a society we need to recognize that an ability to beleive that Democrats want to kill old people and babies reflects a prejudice on the part of the believer comparable to other forms of prejudice, e.g believing Jews want to control the world or blacks are dumber than whites. It is a bigotry that is fomented not just by fringe extremists like Steve Anderson or Terry Randall, but at a mainstream level by Sean Hannity, Limbaugh, Beck, Coulter and the rest of their ilk.

Posted by: Hume's Ghost on August 27, 2009 at 8:30 PM | PERMALINK

NO CO-OP'S! A Little History Lesson

Young People. America needs your help.

More than two thirds of the American people want a single payer health care system. And if they cant have a single payer system 77% of all Americans want a strong government-run public option on day one (86% of democrats, 75% of independents, and 72% of republicans). Basically everyone.

According to a new AARP POLL: 86 percent of seniors want universal healthcare security for All, including 93% of Democrats, 87% of Independents, and 78% of Republicans. And 79% of seniors support creating a new strong Government-run public option plan, available immediately. Including 89% of Democrats, 80% of Independents, and 61% of Republicans, STUNNING!! Senator Max Baucus, You better come out of committee with a strong government-run public option available on day one.

The History:

Our last great economic catastrophe was called the Great Depression. Then as now it was caused by a reckless, and corrupt Republican administration and republican congress. FDR a Democrat, was then elected to save the nation and the American people from the unbridled GREED and profiteering, of the unregulated predatory self-interest of the banking industry and Wallstreet. Just like now.

FDR proposed a Government-run health insurance plan to go with Social Security. To assure all Americans high quality, easily accessible, affordable, National Healthcare security. Regardless of where you lived, worked, or your ability to pay. But the AMA riled against it. Using all manor of scare tactics, like Calling it SOCIALIZED MEDICINE!! :-0

So FDR established thousands of co-op's around the country in rural America. And all of them failed. The biggest of these co-op organizations would become the grandfather of the predatory monster that all of you know today as the DISGRACEFUL GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT health insurance industry. And the DISGRACEFUL GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT healthcare industry.

This former co-op would grow so powerful that it would corrupt every aspect of healthcare delivery in America. Even corrupting the Government of the United States.

This former co-op's name is BLUE CROSS/BLUE SHIELD.

Do you see now why even the suggestion of co-op's is ridiculous. It makes me so ANGRY! Co-op's are not a substitute for a government-run public option.

They are trying to pull the wool over our eye's again. Senators, if you don't have the votes now, GET THEM! Or turn them over to us. WE WILL! DEAL WITH THEM. Why do you think we gave your party Control of the House, Control of the Senate, Control of the Whitehouse. The only option on the table that has any chance of fixing our healthcare crisis is a STRONG GOVERNMENT-RUN PUBLIC OPTION.

An insurance mandate and subsidies without a strong government-run public option choice available on day one, would be worse than the healthcare catastrophe we have now. The insurance, and healthcare industry have been very successful at exploiting the good hearts of the American people. But Congress and the president must not let that happen this time. House Progressives and members of the Tri-caucus must continue to hold firm on their demand for a strong Government-run public option.

A healthcare reform bill with mandates and subsidies but without a STRONG government-run public option choice on day one, would be much worse than NO healthcare reform at all. So you must be strong and KILL IT! if you have too. And let the chips fall where they may. You can do insurance reform without mandates, subsidies, or taxpayer expense.

Actually, no tax payer funds should be use to subsidize any private for profit insurance plans. So, NO TAX PAYER SUBSIDIES TO PRIVATE FOR PROFIT PLANS. Tax payer funds should only be used to subsidize the public plans. Healthcare reform should be 100% for the American people. Not another taxpayer bailout of the private for profit insurance industry, disguised as healthcare reform for the people.

God Bless You

Jacksmith � Working Class

Twitter search #welovetheNHS #NHS Check it out


Senator Bernie Sanders on healthcare (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSM8t_cLZgk&feature=player_embedded)

American HEROES!! :-) Click replay to play http://bit.ly/j31oU

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbWw23XwO5o) CYBER WARRIORS!! - TAKE THIS VIRAL

Posted by: jacksmith on August 27, 2009 at 8:42 PM | PERMALINK

When you are an employee of the US Federal Government as all in Congress are, you have to sign a loyalty statement. I know, I was an employee for 31 years; and, I had to sign a loyalty oath on several different occasions. I always found it amusing because I am an American Indian and occasionally make remarks about taking my land back. If these statements by the Repugs violate the loyalty oath these guys have signed, would that be reason to impeach, get rid of, etc.? Huh, huh, huh . . . . . .

Posted by: Bonnie on August 27, 2009 at 9:00 PM | PERMALINK

Really, this is all that need be said:

"It's quite simple. Republicans believe that they are entitled to rule. If elections go the other way, the other side must have cheated, and while Democrats are required to submit to Republican authority whenever Republicans are in office, non-Republicans are illegitimate and must be opposed by all means necessary. Any tactic -- intimidation, lies, you name it -- is allowed, and since Democrats are evil, any reluctance to employ any tactic is a sign of weakness."

Asked and answered. And they will NEVER give up, as long as the juvenile American Constitution allows their behavior. Perhaps the decline of Empire, with concomitant economic leveling, necessary social democratic policies, and mature assessment and adjustment of the U.S. Constitution and structure of government will eventually maneuver these folks to where they belong - the margins. Can the U.S., like older societies which have experienced firsthand the destructive power of mainstreamed radical behavior and speech, find a way to legally connect inflammatory speech to destructive behavior? Can we restructure both chambers of Congress to make them at least somewhat more responsive and responsible? Other societies have found ways to functionally marginalize the nutjobs to a point analogous to your crazy uncle - he's whacked, he can be a little scary, but everyone openly acknowledges his instability and knows how to keep him in check, i.e., with consequences. Random thoughts.....

Posted by: Conrads Ghost on August 27, 2009 at 9:53 PM | PERMALINK

It's getting worse, the perverse nonsense feedback loop is getting louder, and elected members of Congress are dues-paying members the Palin/Limbaugh crowd.

so, okay, it's true. So why isn't the media calling them on it? Why are they letting this kind of thing pass? Why aren't they putting them on the spot about what they're saying?

I know you'll never shut up the Limbaughs and Palins, but the senior Republican leadership should be called on this kind of thing - (and I don't mean Michael Steele, who'd just come up with some word salad like he did this morning on NPR).

Posted by: g on August 27, 2009 at 10:11 PM | PERMALINK

I can't begin to understand why Inhofe and his like-minded extremists are so angry.

Did you miss the part where a black democrat was elected president?

Posted by: IMUnaware on August 27, 2009 at 10:46 PM | PERMALINK

Expect to see more of this type of behavior from
both sides. That's not a guess. That's a bar bet. People are people. If one side brings boots, fists and clubs to an event, don't be real surprised when the other team brings guns to the next such event. Talk of escalation by both sides has become commonplace.

In a recent incident in Denver, it was vandalism to a Democrat Party office by a Democrat funded activist. The local Democrat Party chairwoman immediately blamed the destruction on TEA Party activists. In Mr. Gladney's case, it was Democrat-paid SEIU thugs ...who assaulted Mr. Gladney and then blamed the victim for the crime. Incidents of simple assault by Democrat and left-wing activists against their ideological opponents have already been reported at a number of Town Hall meetings around the nation. A person could be led to believe that the left-wing and the Democrat Party are trying to create their own version of a Reichstag incident. A domestic 'false flag' event, if you will.

The problem is, sooner or later, someone on the right will, in Jim Messina's words, “...punch back twice as hard."

As for a revolution? Gerald Celente has a clue. Hell, even Thomas Chittum, Igor Panarin, Cliff High and George Ure have a better clue than most Americans.

Posted by: Warren Bonesteel on August 27, 2009 at 11:07 PM | PERMALINK

Steve, one reason they may be so vehement is because they're not getting lots of people? It seems like there have been two different polls recently showing support for a public insurance choice or option at 70-80%. If Inhofe's side was ahead, they wouldn't be spending this much energy on it.

Posted by: Lee A. Arnold on August 27, 2009 at 11:21 PM | PERMALINK

MSNBC cable hosts like Chris Matthews show clips of gun toting protesters almost nightly. The right might be nuts, but some on the left are exploiting the crazy for the sake of ratings.

@Ron Byers: it sounds like you're assuming Matthews is somewhere "on the left". Matthews would probably be insulted at the thought. So would the actual Left.

Posted by: Fleas correct the era on August 28, 2009 at 12:28 AM | PERMALINK

A link to a different description about what went on at Inhofe's "revolution" meeting is at the end of this post. Based on this description, the condemnation of Inhofe is unwarranted (in this instance).

Is Inhofe lamenting a revolution that's occurring because he believes government is too big and overeaching its boundaries" or is he calling for a revolution in response to the government's handling of programs like healthcare and the stimulus funding and other examples of the democrats exercising their power to run the governemnt?

To me, it's pretty clear from the context of the revoution quote, he's lamenting about bigger government being a revolution and not calling for a revolution.


Posted by: gone_west on August 28, 2009 at 4:34 AM | PERMALINK

It is quite interesting to see how extremists on both sides of the political spectrum can view any policies in such a harsh manner. How far Inhofe might go with the so called "revolution" is a scary prospect and I can't quite fathom what would happen if such extremists were to be successful. Moreover, the drastic changes in the views of conservatism-and liberalism-proves to be alarming. I often wonder how the political system would function a few years down the road.

Posted by: kasper k on August 28, 2009 at 6:10 AM | PERMALINK

Conrad's Ghost

You've captured the central problem exactly. We find ourselves in 2008 -- after nearly a generation of Republican political domination of our federal government and a political culture that has been saturated with far right messages and themes via an alternatiave conservative media that dates back to about the mid-90s -- with a major political party that has repudiated democratic values and discourse and is now an anti-democratic extremist fringe. Like all far right movements it treats its political adversaries as "enemies" who must be destroyed, never negotiated with, and seeks to regain power at all cost -- whether this means flooding the airwaves with progaganda and nonsense to make democratic deliberation impossible, or engaging in stonewalling obstruction to make our democracy ungovernable. The goal by this newly emergent far right GOP is to make it impossible for Obama to govern in the hope that the public will turn from this chaos -- as public's have always done in the past -- and empower dictatorial strongmen who have the power to get things done, even if it means disenfrancising millions of citizens.

The only reason we have been unaware of the changes that have come over the Republican Party in the past two decades -- it's radicalization -- is that this radical right movement had no need to show its fangs since the conservative movement has been in control of the government since about 1994. But just like the Southern plantation elite of the 1860s who saw the writing on the wall and sensed their power slipping away after the election of Lincoln, today's conservatives have already launched the anti-democratic "revolution" that Senator Inhofe only hinted at.

Posted by: Ted Frier on August 28, 2009 at 6:38 AM | PERMALINK

One final point on the Right Wing mindset and worldview that we are wrestling with today. Professor Robert Altemeyer knows his stuff. Altermeyer has been studying the authoritarian personality -- what he calls Right Wing Authoritarians -- for much of his life. His research formed the basis of John Dean's book Conservatives Without a Conscience.

Here is what Altemeyer wrote the day after Obama's election, in what has turned out to be a pretty accurate prediction of how America's conservatives would deport themselves with a progressive black man in the White House:

Unfortunately, the wretchedly divisive 2008 GOP campaign will, I fear, poison the
country for some time. High Right Wing Authoritarians (RWAs) have been told over and over again by their trusted sources that Barack Obama is a Muslim socialist/Communist America-hating dictatorial terrorist intent on destroying the country. They have been led to intensely dislike, if not hate the president-elect, and it’s no accident, I submit, that the Secret Service noted a sharp increase in the number of threats to the Democratic standard-bearer as Palin’s crowds became more rabid.

Furthermore the Republican National Committee, Fox News, and so on have
sold authoritarian followers the myth that the Democrats won through massive voter fraud,
because the media conspired to keep Americans from discovering “the truth” about Obama,
and that the Democrats caused all the problems that have occurred over the past eight years.
You could easily find postings on various blogs in the last weeks of the campaign saying
people should be ready to “take up arms” against an “illegal Obama tyranny” to “preserve
20 democracy and the Constitution.”

Thus while Barack Obama may genuinely seek a more inclusive, consensual approach to the country’s dire problems, many high RWAs may say “Count me out.” Their leaders--social dominators pursuing their own agendas--will instead stoke the often racist dislike for Obama that was so evident at Republican rallies in the closing days of the

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