Thursday, May 27, 2010

Michael Scheuer's case for armed rebellion

Outraged at Rand Paul's poor performance on the Rachel Maddow program last week, during which Paul came out against the Civil Rights Act's ban on racist discrimination by public facilities, Ron Paul advisor Michael Scheuer has written a bizarre screed which actually goes so far as to make the case for armed rebellion against the U.S. government. (Read here: Maddow and the Obamas: Killers of hope, spurs of rebellion | Michael Scheuer's Scheuer writes that Maddow's interview of Paul was an "attack", then goes on to describe Maddow as an "extremist" and an advocate of "a warmed over version of the 1920s’ Bloomsbury ideology: effete, secular, socialist, pacifistic, elitist, and libertine." He writes that "(a)nyone disagreeing with her ... is not just wrong but perverse, racist, badly educated, antiquarian, and could only come from the scum of the earth". (I suppose he means that these anti-Maddow anti-elitists are regarded or portrayed in this manner, not that he believes this to be true.) He also writes that Maddow advocates that the U.S. "lap up humiliation from Israel and Mexico".

Scheuer goes on to oddly single out Michelle Obama for condemnation as an "elitist", citing as evidence only Mrs. Obama's statement that she was proud of her country for nominating a black candidate and the fact that she attended ivy league universities.

Typical of the tea party right and Ron Paul supporters, Scheuer goes on to make much of the fact that some presidential appointees are referred to as "czars", although Scheuer seems to mistakenly believe that this is an innovation of the Obama administration. In fact, this harmless term of art for an appointee who heads some significant office but does not require congressional approval, was an innovation of the FDR administration. It doesn't refer in any way to elitism, arbitrary exercise of power, socialism (!), or any of the other absurd imputations made by the teabag right. In fact, the George W. Bush administration had far more "czars" than the Obama administration does. (Read here.)

Scheuer then runs through a laundry list of far-right talking points, along the way calling the American Medical Association "murderers for hire" because its members "have murdered... more than 47 million unborn Americans".

He calls upon private citizens along the border with Mexico to take up arms, writing that they should

arm themselves to protect their kith and kin against the brigands flowing across the southern border and the federal officials eager to prosecute U.S. citizens and defend the brigands.

Don't be distracted by Scheuer's antique vocabulary. He's saying that private citizens should take military action against people they believe to be illegal immigrants, and, astoundingly, against federal officials! How Scheuer expects federal authorities to protect the border while under attack from his band of amateur border agents, he doesn't bother to explain.

After running through his extremist bill of particulars against the "elitists" he thinks are ruining this country, singling out both the federal government and "Hollywood" for particularly strong approbation, Scheuer offers a modest proposal for a solution. Revolution. He recruits two of America's greatest revolutionaries as posthumous (and therefor involutary) supporters for his cause: Thomas Jefferson and John Dickinson.

So what can Americans do when words, appeals, patience, demonstrations, elections, and petitions have long lacked impact; have no current impact; and appear to have no chance of future impact? That question is yet to be decided. But in thinking about such things, one can fruitfully turn to the Founders. In the great stock of wise guidance they left for posterity, for example, one finds powerful and sobering words written by John Dickinson and Thomas Jefferson in 1775. After describing Britain’s flagrant violation of the colonists’ rights, and recounting the King’s refusal to hear and rectify the colonists’ repeated and peacefully presented grievances, Dickinson and Jefferson wrote a paper that, in part, said:

“We are reduced to the alternative of choosing an unconditional submission to the tyranny of [the king's] irritated ministers, or resistance by force. The latter is our choice. We have counted the cost of this contest, and find nothing so dreadful as voluntary slavery. Honor, justice, and humanity, forbid us tamely to surrender that freedom which we have received from our gallant ancestors, and which our innocent posterity have a right to receive from us. We cannot endure the infamy and guilt of resigning succeeding generations to that wretchedness that inevitably awaits them, if we basely entail hereditary bondage upon them. …

With hearts fortified with these animating reflections, we most solemnly, before God and the world, declare, that, exerting the utmost energy of those powers, which our beneficent Creator hath graciously bestowed upon us, [and] the arms we have been compelled by our enemies to assume, we will, in defiance of every hazard, with unabating firmness and perseverance, employ [them] for the preservation of our liberties; being with one mind resolved to die Free-men rather than live Slaves.”

As Americans move forward, then, their heritage as free men; the responsibilities imposed by their duty to posterity and the Declaration of Independence (1776); and the Founders’ wisdom together constitute a formidable arsenal for fueling a campaign that seeks peaceful political change by any and all possible means, or – as a very last resort — armed redress of grievances. It also is an arsenal that is timeless and indestructible; it cannot be invalidated by the words or actions of our coercive political elites and their media and academic apologists. Whether and when Americans draw on this repository of sanity, self-reliance, courage, and liberty to restore the constitution is up to them.

And, by the way, Dickinson and Jefferson entitled their paper “A Declaration of the Causes and Necessity of Taking Up Arms.” And far from being the conclusion of just the two men, the paper was published by the Continental Congress on 6 July 1775 — in the name of all Americans.

I guess that Scheuer was pretty upset by Rachel Maddow's interview of Rand Paul if he resorts to calling for the armed overthrow of the government in reaction.

Interestingly, this extreme, irrational reaction has garnered support among a certain sector of the electorate who are more comfortable with doctrinaire explosions such as this than they are with rational political discourse. I refer of course to Ron Paul supporters. At the official forum of the Ron Paul presidential campaign in exile, known alternately as the "Ron Paul Forums" or "Liberty Forest", Scheuer's column has gotten raves. (Read here.) It's a special breed of patriot and "Constitutionalist" who calls for the overthrow of the government when their candidate performs badly on television.

1 comment:

RichardKanePA said...

What about since May 27, 2010? How about a little more of that Michael Scheuer says about other matters?

The following might be too low key for your tastes. I wasn't involved until, in Philadelphia, Michael Scheuer was treated as a coming to Philly celebrity, on Radio Time and in the Philadelphia Metro and the Philadelphia Inquirer,


adamhollandblog [AT] gmail [DOT] com