(noon. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
The GOP use angry mob rule to thwart & impede town hall meetings for health care & climate change. These are not isolated events. Since the Clinton years, the GOP has used thuggery to castrate a President, derail election recounts, succeed in midterm elections and impede legislative reforms.
In intimidation thuggery, the GOP encourage blindfaithers to disrupt democratic processes by intimidation & threatened violence. The current town hall thuggery is based on the Gore recount riots as precedent. Instead of public debate whether thuggery is a crime that should be investigated, the GOP win “immunity” by successfully framing thuggery as political rhetoric. Democrats are then forced to extinguish sham fires rather than move the debate forward.
In political thuggery, the GOP promote conspiracy theories used to pummel & weaken Clinton and now Obama is their target. This strategy was also effective for significant GOP success in the 1994 midterms, and may be the GOP’s desperate roadmap again.
If the rule of law is not enforced, thuggery can impede any legislative measures regardless of how many more and better Democrats sit in Congress or the White House.
The GOP use two primary tools to implement thuggery. One, the GOP have cultivated an “army” of “blindfaithers,” or the teabaggers, birthers, and deathers who accept on “political faith” any lies that fit their extremist worldview even when the policy is against their own interests. Spiritual or religious faith may play a role. But, “political faith” is the strong belief, trust or conviction in GOP wacko memes for which there is no proof and can be no proof because the memes are lies or deceptions. Thus, it is pointless for Democrats to even try to educate the blindfaithers with the facts.
Frank Schaeffer describes what I mean by “political faith”:
[There is a ] Large group of people that are not well informed, who listen to only their own sources, who buy the lies … and these people can be energized to go out and do really dreadful things.
Two, the GOP change the meaning of the rule of law to enable thuggery by blindfaithers. An Orwellian up-is-down tactic is used to redefine the facts and law that are the heart of the rule of law. Crimes are redefined as policy to preclude prosecution. Thus, intimidation is no longer a crime, but protected political speech and debate. Facts are spun in the most absurd manner to provide cover of reasonableness. The GOP predictably grab a Democrat’s correct statement of the facts in a mimicking parrot move, which then dilutes the egregious facts in the public mind. For example, the Democrats can correctly argue that the facts show that blindfaithers’ mob rule may lead to violence. So, after acts of anger, violence, intimidation and fear-mongering at town hall meetings, Dobbs claims that it is Obama “leading us to …direct confrontation, a physical confrontation.”
In intimidation thuggery, GOP operatives, allies or blindfaithers yell, scream and threaten violence to thwart public debate in order to extort Democrats to change or weaken their substantive positions on legislative measures. Our government did not invoke the rule of law when the Brooks Brothers Riots impeded the 2000 Gore election recounts. When there is no accountability, there is no deterrence to prevent the GOP from using thuggery again, as we have seen in the health care reform town hall meetings and now also the climate change debate.
As we say in the law when the facts and legal issues are identical, the 2000 riot is “on all fours” with the current intimidation thuggery.
GOP leaders instigated the riots, complete with “marching orders” and directives to “Shut [the recount] down.” Intimidation, anger, fear and violence was used to scare Democrats and canvassers. In response to the riot of angry yelling to stop the vote counting, “door-kicking, window-banging,” and having chased away Democratic observers, the panel of judge canvassers asked for a police escort to return to the recount room where they “voted unanimously to stop the count.”
There were clear links between the thugs and GOP. The next day, the rioters were treated to a celebratory dinner, complete with Wayne Newton singing “Danke Schoen” and a conference call from Bush and Cheney that included “joking references by both running mates to the incident in Miami.”
A number of laws may have been violated, but there were no investigations. Gore’s lawyers argued that “intimidation influenced the canvassing board’s decision to stop the hand recount and that it should be resumed.” One relevant federal crime is conspiracy against rights:
If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same… .
Health Care Townhall Thuggery Similar to Brooks Riots
The similarities to the Brooks rioters are clear.
The GOP invite disruptive and uncivil actions to kill health care reform. Further provocation is provided by right-wing “talk show hosts, Internet rumor-mongerers…and insurance rackets.” Some even call for “politically motivated violence,” including calls for armed conflict with SEIU and ACORN.
There are now two precedents for the proposition that the GOP may “oppress, threaten or intimidate” lawmakers and voters in order to extort or compel GOP policies in legislative proposals.
Type 2 Political Thuggery
Once the GOP has achieved success with the use of intimidation thuggery to accomplish political objectives without facing legal sanctions, then there is every reason for thuggery to be used again and again. Moreover, physical intimidation thuggery can be used sparingly. The poisonous fruit of extortion is that, for example, once a shopkeeper has been beaten up or threatened for objecting to mob racket thuggery, he or she may simply comply next time to avoid physical intimidation or threats.
Just going back to the Clinton White House years, there is a pattern of GOP thuggery to change the meaning of the rule of law to avoid legal accountability. The rule of law now means that speculations and conspiracy theories are sufficient to trigger investigations and prosecutions of Democrats, but facts, evidence and admissions are not sufficient to trigger investigations of the GOP. Up is down.
In order to render President Clinton politically impotent, the GOP manipulated facts to allege numerous scandals based on blowjobs and conspiracy theories (e.g., suicide death of Vince Foster) that were deemed sufficient “valid evidence” to trigger investigations costing millions of dollars over the course of years. However, in order to protect the GOP, the rule of law now means that crimes for an illegal war, torture, war crimes, FISA illegal wiretapping, defrauding Congress and the American people with lies and deceptions, and political corruption at the Interior and Justice Departments are simply political policy differences.
Defining the rule of law based on whether the investigatory target is a Democrat or GOP is part of the GOP electoral strategy. Ron Elving, senior editor for NPR News, describes how the GOP uses this political thuggery to prevail in midterms in GOP Welcomes Return of The Angry White Male.
Elving discusses how during the past 60 years, the GOP obtained “huge gains in the congressional midterms” in 1966 and 1994:
The Republican charge in 1994 added 52 seats net in the House and a dozen in the Senate. It was led by Southerners such as Newt Gingrich of Georgia, Dick Armey and Tom DeLay of Texas and Trent Lott of Mississippi. A longstanding dam of Democratic sentiment had given way in Dixie.
On a single day in November 1994,the GOP won its first majority of Southern governorships, Senate seats and House seats since Reconstruction. It has held those majorities since.
The angry-white-man “strategy” is just another phrase for the political thuggery used by the GOP to prevail in 1994. It is the GOP constantly attacking a Democratic President with rumors, speculation and conspiracy theories that challenge his right to be President and attack his legislative reforms as harmful or undemocratic:
Much of the emotional fire for that resurgence came from a deep-seated animosity against the person of the president himself. The first two years of Bill Clinton’s presidency had been a rocky affair, and many conservatives openly challenged his right to be president.
Rumors linked Clinton to various marital infidelities and more. He was not just a draft dodger but a Soviet collaborator, not just related to a cocaine dealer (his brother Roger) but linked to the traffic of the drug — and a murder suspect as well. Even without today’s World Wide Web, these tall tales were widely told and often believed — undermining Clinton’s legitimacy years before his impeachment by Republicans in the House.
After succeeding with Clinton, the GOP is now using this same crap with Obama, who they claim does not have a right to be President because he is not an American citizen, or he is a Muslim who will betray us with the terrorists. Conspiracy theories also abound that Obama plans to kill older Americans, he will institute martial law or he is a socialist. If the political thuggery continues at this pace, then Obama may have to spend more time debunking crap than moving forward with real change.
Sometimes we laugh at the insaneness of the lies and conspiracy theories voiced by the wackos. But, there is a successful method to their madness.
When Obama talks about how he can’t do what needs to be done within the current political forces, that context includes thuggery used to extort legislative reforms. The White House sent a clear message to environmental advocate Bill McKibben: WE need to build the movement that gives Obama the room to do what needs to be done.