Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Definition of subversion:

the act of subverting : the state of being subverted; especially : a systematic attempt to overthrow or undermine a government or political system by persons working secretly from within.

I would like very much to label the Tea Party members of the House of Representatives in particular, and Republicans in general, as subversives, which I believe they are. They have been clearly out to subvert the government of the United States, represented by our President Barack Obama, at apparently any cost to the nation or its citizens. But according to the above definition I guess I cannot so label them because they have not been working “secretly from within.” In fact, they have blatantly been working publicly ever since Obama was elected President and Rush Limbaugh, unacknowledged leader of the Republican Party, announced he wanted him to fail. This was followed by Mitch McConnell, leader of the Senate Republicans, announcing that their (the Republicans) number one priority would be to see to it that Obama would be a one term President. Not only did they make these claims, they have faithfully done everything within their power to make it come true, opposing virtually everything Obama has attempted to do, even in cases where they themselves had first suggested it should be done. It is clear they have resisted all of the attempts by Obama to create jobs and improve conditions for our citizens for no reason other than the fact that Obama has wanted them. If this is not subversive I don’t know what is. I suppose that technically, because they have not done it secretly from within, you might say it is not subversive, but it seems to me that is basically mincing words.

There are other definitions of subversion as well. But they almost invariably define the act as having to involve physical or violent means, planning to overthrow the government by force. So here again, what the Republicans have done over the past three years is, strictly speaking, not subversion (although there have been random threats against the President, suggestions that he should be assassinated and so on). As these do not seem to be organized or necessarily involve the Republican Party as such, they, too, don’t count as subversion by the party. I’m pretty sure there must be laws against subversives, but they would never be applied to this situation. This Department of Justice (and Administration) has proven to be useless when it comes to prosecuting war criminals or fraudulent bankers. In any case they would no doubt say they haven’t done anything illegal. I guess subversion in the pursuit of politics is no vice.

There is clearly a bit of a problem here when it comes to behavior and language. Mitch McConnell, leader of the Senate Republicans, once said of their plans to bring down Obama, “Isn’t that always the case, the party out of power always tries to defeat the incumbent,” or words to that effect. As there is a bit of truth to this it might seem reasonable. However, I think you would have to suggest that while it is true, it has never before implied the party out of power would, in effect, simply stop governing for three years. There is no precedent for such a move on the part of a political party. The idea, at least as I would understand it, is that both parties have to be involved in conducting the nation’s business, looking after the welfare of the citizens as well as the welfare of the nation. You don’t just refuse to participate in government while trying to unseat the incumbent, at least as far as I know or can remember. This is genuinely subversive and makes a mockery of government.

There seems to be an example of this kind of subversion going on at the moment. The House of Representatives is apparently reneging on an understanding they had with the Senate, by refusing to agree to the compromise worked out in the Senate between Democrats and Republicans having to do with extending the payroll tax cuts. Someone pointed out that the Senate would not have gone home if they had known the House was not going to approve their bill. This makes sense to me. It makes me believe that Boehner had assured them the House would go along, but then when he was confronted by the Tea Party wing he had to renege. Knowing that if he brought it up for a House vote it would pass, and knowing the Tea Party did not want it to pass, he came up with the rather preposterous claim that he had not known it was only for two months, and that was not satisfactory for the House. This of course is utter nonsense and is nothing but an attempt to force the Senate to return to Washington to consider further the matter they had already settled on a bipartisan basis. It is a bluff to try to force President Obama into ordering the Senate back in session for a completely unnecessary reconciliation session. Reid and Obama have refused to do so, leaving the House Republicans in an extremely awkward situation. If they don’t back down and pass the bill, as of January first 160,000,000 million ordinary working Americans will see their taxes increase substantially. As Republicans are always opposed to any increase in taxes they will have egg all over their faces (or blueberry juice, according to the Reverend Al Sharpton). Boehner was apparently in favor of passing this bill and is being prevented by the Tea Party members of the House. You almost have to feel sorry for him. But Rachel Maddow suggested very early that Boehner may not be up to the job, and it seems to me that might well be the case. So what is likely to happen? Will the more traditional Republicans allow the Tea Party to lead them all to almost certain defeat in the coming elections? Will they cave in and finally pass the bill, however embarrassing it may be? Will they succeed in once more blaming Obama? Will Obama cave once more? Isn’t politics fun? Watch our country dissolve into a failed helpless giant begging in the streets while international corporations continue to slop their obscenely wealthy hogs.

Mighty hard to tell the people you love you’re a failure.

Laura Moncur

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