Monday, March 2, 2009

If this ain’t treason…

If I had ever uttered some of the epithets against Presidents Ronald Reagan or George W. (for worst in history) Bush, which are being sworn loudly, by the hour by some of these right-wing radio talk show hosts against Pres. Barack Obama, then I would have surely ended up in a stockade somewhere.
The well known, corpulent talker with the drug addiction problem famously proclaimed that he did not need a 400-word essay to say what he felt about the President of the United States, less than a week after Mr. Obama took office. “I can say it in four words,” he brayed from his stable. “I hope he fails!”
The way I see it, to announce one’s desire that the leader of his or her country “fail,” in any dangerous endeavor is tantamount to wishing for the victory of the enemy of that person’s country.
That’s not like declaring that you think the President is wrong. That’s also different from observing, after the fact, what the effect of a dismal policy may be. That is a wish for the defeat of one’s own country’s leader, and all the patriots who follow that leader. Now, if that ain’t treason, then I don’t know what is.
Recall that Cindy Sheehan and all the Gold Star Mothers for Peace were unforgiving critics of former Pres. Bush. But Ms. Sheehan earned her Gold Star after her son was killed in the reckless, needless, immoral, and illegal war and occupation of Iraq, declared by Mr. Bush. Many other critics still hope to see him, former Vice President Dick Cheney, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and other members of that administration investigated and brought up on war crimes charges, either in this country or in the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
But not even the Iraq war’s harshest critics publicly hoped for Mr. Bush’s defeat in Baghdad, or Fallujah, or Ballad, or Anbar. Not even when they declared the war hopeless, and victory unattainable, none of the critics publicly wished for the death of another U.S. soldier, as hopeless as each lost life was seen by them to be.
Back in 1765, Virginia Delegate Patrick Henry railed against a Stamp Act proposed against the American colonies by Britain’s King George III. In his first speech before the House of Burgess, Mr. Henry offered King George a bit of advice. “Caesar had his Brutus, Charles the First his Cromwell and George the Third...may profit by their example,” Mr. Henry said after being interrupted by shouts of “Treason.” He had been making reference to two of Western history’s most famous victims of assassination.
“If this be treason, make the most of it,” Mr. Henry said calmly, in response to the taunts. Patrick Henry later apologized to the assembly and expressed his loyalty to the king.
But today, even as the Neo-con posse which led the country into that un-winnable war, fade off into the sunset—for a while even holding up the confirmation of Attorney General-nominee Eric Holder because some were concerned he might prosecute CIA agents for illegally torturing Iraqi prisoners and other atrocities against captured war prisoners—their acolytes in the Fourth Estate and the Talk Radio chattering class, continue to repeat their discredited policies.
The U.S. economy is in the worst shape it’s been in since The Great Depression. The official unemployment rate is hovering just below double digits. Tens of thousands of new layoffs are announce every week. The number of first-time unemployment claims is at a 26-year high. The wave of home foreclosures has become a flood and the robber bankers have pocketed hundreds of billions of dollars thrown to them to fix the problem, and have done nothing to make loans and credit available for destitute homeowners and business persons.
Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress are still singing their same old tired, worn-out mantra: Yes! More tax cuts for the rich. No! Spending to repair the country’s dilapidated infrastructure, putting needy people back to work!
And some fat-mouthed prognosticators even have the nerve to publicly wish that Pres. Obama, elected with the widest electoral mandate for a Democrat since Lyndon Johnson in 1964, they publicly wish that the new President fails.
If that ain’t treason…then make the most of it.

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