Thursday, January 07, 2016

The GOP’s Sympathy for Sedition

When Republican politicians constantly attack the government - and other citizens - to pander to ugly elements in their party base, they are setting the stage for and building a mindset that accepts armed revolt against the government and the larger society.  This is especially true when portions of that base are pathological in their hatred towards others and view themselves literally above the law.  A column in the Washington Post looks at how today's Republican Party encourages sedition, a/k/a treason.  Note how GOP House members try to conflate armed bands with "peaceful civil disobedience."  It is laughable or insane, take your pick. Here are excerpts:

Republican lawmakers began the new year in Washington with new ideas about how to undermine the government in which they serve. 

On Wednesday, the first legislative day of the year, House conservatives gathered with reporters for their monthly “Conversations with Conservatives.” When the questioning turned to the armed rebellion in Oregon against the authority of the federal government, these representatives of the United States stood with the rebels. 

No, Congressman. Civil disobedience is when people break laws they think unjust and then peacefully face the legal consequences. The takeover of a federal wildlife facility in Oregon by armed men is sedition.

Yet not one of the 10 or so Republican House members on the panel criticized the takeover, and one, Rep. Steve Pearce (N.M.), announced his refusal to pass judgment.

It was an inauspicious start to this election year and to the second session of the 114th Congress. The Republican majority began the year not by governing but with an ostentatious show of its hostility toward government.

The House’s first substantive piece of business for the new year: another attempt to repeal Obamacare (the 62nd, by the Democrats’ tally) coupled with another stab at cutting off Planned Parenthood, one of a dozen such efforts recently to scale back abortion rights and women’s health care.

[T]here was, purely as a matter of doggedness, something impressive about the New Year’s Obamacare vote. North Korea is testing nukes, Saudi Arabia and Iran are plunging the Middle East deeper into conflict — but congressional Republicans will not be distracted from their agenda.  

[I]t’s hard to govern when your caucus is so hostile to government that it has sympathy for seditionists. Asked about the Oregon situation, Ryan deferred to Rep. Greg Walden, a member of GOP leadership who represents the area — and, as The Post’s Mike DeBonis noted, Ryan nodded agreement as Walden spoke. Walden made clear that “an armed takeover is not the way to go about it,” but he had sympathy for the rebels.  . . . . lawmakers sworn to uphold the Constitution applaud those who take up arms against the government.

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