Friday, April 17, 2009

the reactionary right?

Janet Napolitano's apology over that Department of Homeland Security report notwithstanding, it is fair to be concerned about elements of the violent, armed extreme right. Egged on by Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and the rest of the right wing noise machine, they are potentially dangerous. They are also badly misinformed, in large part because of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and the rest of the right wing noise machine.

As New York Times columnist Charles Blow noted in a recent blog entry aptly entitled Dangerous Talk, there is a group called the Oath Keepers - military (active and retired) and cops who say they will keep their oath by refusing to follow unconstitutional orders. Naturally, Oath Keepers has been founded since Barack Obama was elected President. After all, they didn't have to worry about de facto President George W. Bush doing anything unconstitutional did they?

The gist of this movement of white guys is their proclamation that they will refuse to carry out ten specific orders that apparently they think are likely to be issued by the Obama Administration. Let's look at and discuss these ten orders, shall we? Drawn from a page on the Oath Keepers web site, they are (in short form without the long explanation about 1775 and all that) (comments in italics):

1. We will NOT obey orders to disarm the American people.

Well, since no such orders have been issued nor are likely to be issued, they should be OK on that one.

2. We will NOT obey orders to conduct warrantless searches of the American people.

How many warrantless searches do you think were conducted under the Bush Administration? In any case, warrantless searches are wrong. I don't see this coming, but the Oath Keepers "expect that warrantless searches of homes and vehicles, under some pretext, will be the means used to attempt to disarm the people."

And who would be warning them of this alleged imminent action? Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, and some of the more irresponsible Republican politicians.

3. We will NOT obey orders to detain American citizens as “unlawful enemy combatants” or to subject them to military tribunal.

Good they shouldn't. But hey didn't the Bush Administration do just this with John Walker Lindh? And that guy who tried to blow up a plane, you remember him the one whose arrest John Ashcroft announced while on a trip to Moscow? All well and good to pledge to oppose possible unconstitutional orders - but you don't get to pick and choose when to do that based on whether you agree with the ideology of the person occupying the White House at the time. The Constitution is the Constitution, whether Barack Obama or Dick Cheney is in charge.

4. We will NOT obey orders to impose martial law or a “state of emergency” on a state.

They are referring to the Federal government doing so. So presumably it is OK if a state did that. Last time that sort of thing happened was during the Civil War, so assuming no states try to secede, this shouldn't be an issue. Oh, wait - I forgot their fellow wingnuts are talking secession...

5. We will NOT obey orders to invade and subjugate any state that asserts its sovereignty.

Exanding on this, our friends at Oath Keepers explain "the people of each state reserved to themselves the right to judge when the national government they created has voided the compact between the states by asserting powers never granted." Ooh, the Nullification Principle revived for the 21st century! Maybe South Caroline Governor Mark Sanford can follow in the footsteps of his illustrious predecessors and provoke another nullification crisis by trying to nullify a Federal law he doesn't agree with! Hey wait, isn't he already talking about doing that by refusing to accept money from the Federal government?

Wow, why do I feel like we are in the run up to the Civil War again? This shit is scary.

6. We will NOT obey any order to blockade American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps.

Actually I'd think the Oath Keepers would like this, since liberal voters tend to be concentrated in cities. Surprisingly, the Oath Keepers cite the Nazi blockade of the Warsaw Ghetto. I'm surprised to find anything critical of the Nazis in this document. In any case, if ANY administration were ever to issue such an order, it would be wrong and should be opposed.

BUT IT ISN'T GOING TO HAPPEN!!!! Sorry for shouting, I get emotional when faced with willful ignorance and sheer stupidity. Why not say you will refuse to implement an order to shoot all old people in the head with a staple gun? That is just as likely to happen.

7. We will NOT obey any order to force American citizens into any form of detention camps under any pretext.

See above. Sheesh.

8. We will NOT obey orders to assist or support the use of any foreign troops on U.S. soil against the American people to “keep the peace” or to “maintain control.”

To expand, they said "the use of foreign troops and mercenaries against the people is wildly unconstitutional, egregious, and an act of war."

Ah, another element of their wingnuttery is revealed. Clearly a reference to the Black Helicopter concept. You know, the idea that the Democratic President and Democratic Congress have invited foreign troops from enemy states like Russia and France and China and Nigeria into America under UN control and are hiding them in some place (Where would so many troops hide ESPECIALLY with so many so-called patriots specifically on the look-out for them? Don't ask impertinent questions.) to impose some sort of foreign government - often described as Zionist although not on this particular web site - on America.

Why precisely the Democrats would work so hard to win an election in order to hand power over to a foreign coalition is not explained. Because it is pure lunatic fantasy. This is the sort of thing these wingnuts imagine as they fondly stroke their guns, inventory their bullets, and masturbate to photos of Sarah Palin.

9. We will NOT obey any orders to confiscate the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies.

Well that is good. Luckily, they won't have to make the difficult decision whether to follow such orders, because such orders simply will not be coming. Really.

10.We will NOT obey any orders which infringe on the right of the people to free speech, to peaceably assemble, and to petition their government for a redress of grievances.

They say further, "Tyrants know that the pen of a man such as Thomas Paine can cause them more damage than entire armies, and thus they always seek to suppress the natural rights of speech, association, and assembly. Without freedom of speech, the people will have no recourse but to arms. Without freedom of speech and conscience, there is no freedom.

Therefore, we will not obey or support any orders to suppress or violate the right of the people to speak, associate, worship, assemble, communicate, or petition government for the redress of grievances."

I fully support the right to freedom of speech, association, assembly, worship, etc. But riddle me this: where were these people when the Bush Administration was infringing such rights with the USA PATRIOT act and nasty warnings that people better watch what they say?


If you feel up to it you could watch some of the videos at their web site, with various white cops and troops (and retirees) going on about how they will protect America against the godless Obama regime that is going to trample their rights any day now.

DHS, personally I think it is wise to keep an eye on these guys. After all conditions ARE right for a possible resurgence of right-wing violence. Part of it is poor economic times. But let's be honest, the real reasons to be afraid are the fact that the Democrats are in power and the President is black. Coincidence that the militia movement was active in 1993-2001, and then quiet in 2001-2009? Of course not.

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Blogger ThatGirlTasha said...

Where were Oath Keepers for the last 8 years?

Publishing more scathing articles against Bush ans his policies than you've ever dreamed of publishing.

When there is boot on the back of your neck; Oath Keepers do not care whether it's a left boot or right.

Stewart Rhodes personal blog

where during Bush's term he was linked to many times in a very favorable way from Crook'n'liars the Democratic Underground and DailyKos even referenced in Wikipedia as being one the vigilant bloggers who nailed Family Security Matters in the Philip Atkinson scandal, no surprise it all changes now. The same people who praised him for eight years are now attacking him and vice versa.

But oh well, I guess everything is just left and right to you too.

-Tasha Rhodes

1:58 PM  
Blogger ThatGirlTasha said...

"The gist of this movement of white guys"

I just caught that part- so now you're calling my half Mexican husband a racist?

I guess that makes his a sadist and a masochist?

For lack of a better word un-fucking-believable.

Alright I'm done here -don't know why I wasted my time with such a reactionary assumptive person.

2:11 PM  

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