When does political hyperbole rise to the level of treason? That is my question for today.
First, it started with the Birthers, those who sought to undermine the legitimacy of a newly elected President with fabricated conspiracy theories about the authenticity of his birth certificate and the legality of his presidency.
Next came the Tea Baggers, followed by the town hall hooligans, followed by gun-toting thugs at presidential rallies, followed by GOP Congressman Joe Wilson’s outburst of “Liar!” before a special session of Congress, followed by GOP Congresswomen Michelle Bachmann calling for armed resistance against Obama’s legislative agenda, followed by GOP Congressman Trent Franks threatening a Birther lawsuit against Obama and calling him an “enemy of humanity,” followed by GOP Governor Rick Perry calling for Texas to secede from the union, followed by Newsmax columnist John Perry dreaming of a military coup against President Obama, followed by a FaceBook poll asking: “Should Obama be killed?” Get the picture! A daily diet of demonization and vituperation.
For months, we have heard the repeating rhythms of Obama the Communist, Obama the Socialist, Obama the Islamofascist, Obama the Jihadist … and the steady and relentless drumbeats of a GOP run amuck driving us towards civil disorder and insurrection.
There was a time when the party out of power was termed the Loyal Opposition. We called them “loyal” because there was always a tacit assumption that the losing party would accept the results of a fair and decisive election, would always accede to the will of the people, would recognize traditional standards of civility and protocol, and always play by the rules. No longer.
The party out of power has devolved from the Loyal Opposition Party to the "Grand Obstructionist Party" to the "Oppositional-Defiant Party,” and now the “Grand Insurrection Party.” The time-honored art of political compromise and consensus is dead. The GOP has opted out of participatory democracy.
Samuel Johnson once said: “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” Your humble Octopus disagrees. The U.S. Constitution affords plenty of mud-wiggle room for scoundrels. If patriotism is the first refuge, the First Amendment is the next, where cowards assert their bigotry and stupidity by saying anything they want under Constitutional protection, or so they think. The Second Amendment offers yet another refuge: When reason and civil discourse fail, the malcontents and misfits of the GOP invoke this Amendment to incite others to violence by proxy, or so they think. The fear-mongering, hate-mongering scoundrels of the GOP overlook a fundamental point.
We have the same rights. We won the last two elections. We have a mandate to reverse the failed policies of the GOP whether they like it or not. With each passing day, the GOP has pushed political discourse beyond the fringes of civilization, and the time is long overdue to hold them accountable before more people get killed. I will defend my politics, my principles, and my person with words as I must and with arms (all 8 of them) if necessary. Octopus hath spoken.