Psst, brother! Are you down with the revolution? No, we don’t mean the revolution of the Sixties — though some of the star players in this one do dress like Paul Revere and the Raiders (and most of them are old enough that — who knows? — they may have have gotten stoned and marched on the Pentagon back in the day).
We’re talking about the new revolution, man. In this one, the Tea Party people rouse the populace to revolt against “America’s Ruling Class” — which includes both parties but mostly means the Democrats and their Kenyan pretender Obama.
The latest Spurt of ’76 began with a shot heard ’round the world — a hallucinogenic rant at Investor’s Business Daily called “Will Washington’s Failures Lead To Second American Revolution?”
Its authors, Ernest S. Christian and Gary A. Robbins, labored in pre-revolutionary times for the Treasury Department under Republican Presidents, then wrote for rightwing thinktanks like the Heritage Foundation and papers like the Wall Street Journal. Their rhetoric in those days was partisan in the ordinary manner (“‘There he goes again, folks,’ Ronald Reagan might say, shaking his head ruefully, as Barack Obama goes charging off on that same spavined old big-spending government horse…”).
It may be that Christian and Robbins tired of recycling such cliches, and saw opportunity in the exciting retro-Revo style of the New New Right: Tea Partiers are marching around in tricorners and knee-breeches; Glenn Beck exhorts his listeners to read the Constitution and guides them to right-wing interpretations.
This has led to a wave of conservative interest in the Constitution — often expressed in drives to repeal its Amendments, which they seem to think spoil the crinkly-parchment gift-shop appeal of the original.
Take the 17th Amendment, which provides for direct election of Senators by voters instead of appointment by state legislatures. If it seems odd that conservatives would want to take rights away from the citizens, consider that the 17th, as Thomas Brewton put it, was “one of many initiatives championed by liberal-progressives” in the early 20th Century, back when commies agitated to let everyone vote on any damn thing, leading to the rise of “special interest groups such as public employees labor unions or ‘green’ fanatics.” (Also the 17th was “a key piece in the push to neuter states’ rights.” And didn’t we fight a war over that?)
Also, repeal “would give state legislatures direct influence over the selection of federal judges,” says John MacMullin. How great will it be when the Nebraska statehouse sends Senator Prolife McTaxcut straight to Washington, rather than having an election in which sheeple voters might judge him crazy — as has sometimes seemed a danger to Rand Paul’s Senatorial campaign — where he can block liberal judges till the cows come home?
Other conservatives have suggested fixing the 14th Amendment so it doesn’t let just any old Mexican make her babies American. And you may have seen that the Iowa GOP wants to replace the current 13th Amendment with the original director’s-cut 13th Amendment, which supposedly has language that will allow them to strip Obama of his citizenship for accepting the Nobel Peace Prize.
In this era of deep seriousness on Constitutional issues, Christian and Robbins may have felt that the time was right for fightin’ in the streets — or at least alluding heavily to it, and thus stirring their constituents’ inner Minuteman.
“The Internet,” they began, “is a large-scale version of the ‘Committees of Correspondence’ that led to the first American Revolution — and with Washington’s failings now so obvious and awful, it may lead to another.”
If you can accept the idea that people like Sarah Palin and Jonah Goldberg are the modern equivalent of Sam Adams and Patrick Henry, you may also accept Christian’s and Robbins’ argument that, even if Congress goes Republican, a “wounded rampaging” Obama may, by “executive orders, regulations and Obama-made fiats,” thwart the will of the People, and even steal the 2012 Presidential election. The authors cleverly avoided prescribing a remedy for this anticipated tyranny, but it clearly involves muskets, fifes and drums.
Like Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride,the notion of groovy revolution galloped across the internet. Rightbloggers were generally warm to the idea of at least an imaginary Bunker Hill. Some were more hilariously serious than others.
“That opinion is also my long-held belief,” enthusiastically concurred Maggie Thornton of Maggie’s Notebook — referring specifically to the authors’ brief section about the sex life of Bill Clinton.
“Once a State head could be kept cooling his heels in the White House Rose Garden while Monica Lewinsky tended to the President’s urges,” Thornton said, “the image of the Oval Office was forever tainted. Even if the leader was Palestinian Yasser Arafat, who shouldn’t have been invited to the White House anyway, Clinton’s behavior was atrocious.”
After a little more attention to Clinton’s penis, Thornton got around to Obama: Though, she said, Obama’s wife was “charmless,” she admitted Obama himself was charming — leading naturally to her next thought: “Perhaps Democrats live vicariously through their pitiful leaders.” We like to think she meant that Obama, too, is getting his cock sucked by interns, and that Democrats conspire to elect such perverts solely for the masturbatory fantasy potential, and perhaps fanfic.
Thornton was clearly just along for the ride, but Gay Patriot fell to musing “whether or not the United States is in a ‘low grade civil war’… and whether it will become a ‘hot’ one.” He eventually resorted to revolutionary code: “I certainly am not advocating armed revolution,” he wrote. “But I also know that we have the right to it under the Declaration of Indepedence…” You know what those bold-italics mean, fellow patriots!
“I’ll lay it out bluntly for you,” Confederate Yankee told readers. “Either the American people–not extremists, but good and decent patriots like your neighbors and yourselves–will revolt and destroy the ruling class and reform our government based upon first principles, or the United States we know as our forefather conceived it is dead.”
Confederate Yankee knew not what course others might take, but as for him, bring out the shootin’ ahrns! “Revolution is a brutish, nasty business,” he warned. “Innocents will fall along with patriots and the corrupt, and success is not assured… I pray for peace. But I prepare for war.” Time for the big bag of Army Men!
Few rightbloggers were willing to get that close to an overt call to arms, preferring to just speed ahead to the revolutionary after-party (“Our time is end-game for the old order… we can do this, with God’s help, without firing a shot” — Si Vis Pacem).
Some felt obliged to educate the sheeple to their Constitutional duty with a little history lesson. At The Freedomist, a cowboy named William R. Collier Jr. kicked off his essay with this epic sentence:
“From the begining of our Republic the American Civilization has struggled against those foreign influenced intelectual midgets from within who make up for their lack of wisdom in the sheer persistance of their deviant subversiveness.”
“Sheer persistence of their deviant subversiveness” is so awesome, readers may be dazzled into forgetting to ask what kind of foreign intellectuals, dwarf or otherwise, our Founding Fathers were fighting against. Monarchists, perhaps? No, Collier was talking about “Jacobins.” He did not tarry to explain what form these took during “the beginning of our Republic,” well before the French Revolution made them famous, but we’re sure they wanted to raise taxes and make abortion legal.
Steve McCann of American Thinker agreed that “the people have awakened, and revolution, albeit peaceful, is in the air,” and explained the tyranny that led to this state of affairs: “The 20% of the population who consider themselves Liberal or Progressive,” he calculated, “have succeeded in dominating not only government, but most of our institutions.”
We looked forward to McCann’s explanation as to how this coup was effected — especially regarding the elections that appeared to give Democrats the White House and Congressional majorities. Alas, McCann put it all down to bored pseuds looking to kill time:
“The current manifestation of the American Left,” he explained, “was incubated in a petri dish of overwhelming prosperity and freedom from any significant national hardship. They were free to sit about coffee houses and faculty lounges engaging in games of one-upmanship, trying to impress each other with their mental acumen and unquestioned intellect.”
In addition to toughening up their sneering muscles, these coffee-house debates led the American Left unto socialism, as well as to the conviction that “they were preordained to rule.” Next thing McCann’s readers know, the Left is “busy infiltrating the education and media establishments,” while decent Americans, “thanks to unparalleled prosperity, slept.”
How this conviction alone gave a miniscule group of chatterers control of several American institutions is left a mystery. We wonder if McCann considered the notion that power is usually bought with money — but no, that’s too close to socialism; more sensible to put it down to bull sessions at Starbucks.
Heady stuff, but some of the brethren approached the idea of revolution with palpable despair. “…the ‘mainstream media’ have conspired to fool the masses into believing that Obama is doing good for America,” groused Virginia Right. “…there are those who would approve of his actions even if he were to set off nuclear bombs in American cities, because of his skin color. It is amazing that people are unable to ignore the color of this president’s skin and look at the disastrous presidency in it’s merits alone.” Once again, as with the Shirley Sherrod case, American progress is stymied by racism against white people.
But they shall overcome! Because this revolutionary talk, like the yap with which hippies warmed themselves in the 60s, will play out as marketing for something much less ambitious.
In hippie times, ardor for revolution devolved to an interest in consciousness raising: Organic food, yoga, Eastern religions, and all that. If you couldn’t change the world, you could at least change your relationship to it. The new revolutionaries also offer a lifestyle enhancement: Try the new, improved Republican product, now with revolutionary cachet!
It’s worth a try. Your vote, after all, doesn’t seem to change much of anything no matter which party you give it to; you may as well give it to the one with the most edifying fantasy. But have rightbloggers picked a winner with this one? Here’s an ominous sign: Paid attendance at Colonial Williamsburg is at a 40-year low. Maybe they should take a tip from the 60s revolutionaries, and build support by adding sex and drugs. We think there’s something in Rules for Radicals about it.