Friday, April 16, 2010

Release the Crazies

Today, some Republicans have become what many of the South’s confederates became after their defeat in the Civil War. They, too, could not accept defeat, and the changes defeat wrought. They turned to terrorism.

Led by one of the great cavalry officers of the Confederacy, Nathan Bedford Forrest, they donned masks and terrorized the most vulnerable of Americans—the former slaves.

These people who vandalize Democratic offices today and threaten the families of congressmen and senators are no less criminal than were Bedford’s hooded Klan. Just because they are not blowing up churches and killing little black girls does not exempt their acts from being called “terrorism.” Terrorists sow fear. That is precisely what these people hope to wreak upon those who have defeated them.

So, who is leading them today?—The likes of Neugebauer who screamed “baby killer” on the House floor, and Minority Leader Boehner who declared Congressman Driehaus “ a dead man” for voting in favor of the health-care bill.

Then there is Rush Limbaugh who, the day after the health-care bill passed, told his listeners, “It is your turn to do whatever it takes to defend your freedom and your country.”

These messages are cloaked in double entendre to mask culpability, much like the Klan were cloaked in white to mask their dark intentions. Yet, they are clearly martial, these missives, designed to rally—not the entire body politic, but enough “crazies” to get at the fabric that is the bedrock of this nation’s tranquility.

These people remind us that our history with terrorism did not begin in the deserts of Arabia. It was birthed in America—nourished by the refusal of the vanquished to accept the terms of defeat.

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