In Bureaucracy, History, Law, Politics, Social commentary on May 10, 2011 at 3:50 pm

For more than a half-century, the bureaucrats of the Republican Party have accused their Democratic opponents of treason to gain and retain political power in America. And it has proven a potent, vote-getting weapon.

On March 9, 1954, Edward R. Murrow, the most respected broadcast journalist in America, assailed the “smear-and-fear” tactics of Wisconsin Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy.

The forum was Murrow’s highly-rated documentary series, “See It Now.” The truth of Murrow’s remarks has outlasted the briefness of that 30-minute program.

They could have been applied to the “lie and deny” methods of the Presidency of Richard M. Nixon.

And to the Red-baiting attacks made by Republicans against President Bill Clinton.

And to the ongoing character assaults made by right-wingers against President Barack Obama.

“We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty,” warned Murrow in that broadcast. “We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law.

“We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men–not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular….

“We can deny our heritage and our history, but we cannot escape responsibility for the result. There is no way for a citizen of a republic to abdicate his responsibilities….

“We proclaim ourselves, as indeed we are, the defenders of freedom, wherever it continues to exist in the world. But we cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home….

“Cassius was right. ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.'”

Fast forward 57 years, to April 27, 2011. Murrow has been dead since 1965. Yet an echo of his words hung in the air as President Barack Obama addressed a hastily-called press conference.

The reason: To release the long-form of his Hawaiian birth certificate–and to hopefully lay to rest the Republican slander that he was not an American citizen, thus making him ineligible to hold office as President.

“I know that there is going to be a segment of people for which no matter what we put out, this issue will not be put to rest,” Obama said. “But I am speaking for the vast majority of the American people as well as for the press.

“We do not have time for this kind of silliness. We have better stuff to do. I have got better stuff to do. We have got big problems to solve.”

“We are not going to be able to do it if we are distracted, we are not going to be able to do it if we spend time vilifying each other … if we just make stuff up and pretend that facts are not facts, we are not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by side shows and carnival barkers.”

Chief among the “carnival barkers” Obama was referring to was Donald Trump, the endlessly self-promoting business tycoon.

Declaring himself a possible candidate for President in 2012, Trump had latched onto the “birther” issue as a guaranteed way to capture the attention–and votes–of the radical right.

For everyone but the most extremist right-wingers, Obama’s dramatic performance laid to rest the “birther” issue.

But the President had another–and far more important–surprise to unveil: His answer to those rightists who accused him of being a secret Muslim, intent on “selling out” America’s security to his Islamic “masters.”

And on May 1, he announced the solving of one of those “big problems”: Osama bin Laden, mastermind of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, had been tracked down and shot dead by elite U.S. Navy SEALS in Pakistan.

For the moment, most of the slander-peddlers in the Republican Party bureaucracy fell silent. This was especially after Obama announced the death of Bin Laden.

Still, the legacy of hate and fear-mongering goes on. There is a good reason for this: Republicans have found, repeatedly, that attacking the patriotism of their opponents is an effective vote-getter.

• It hurtled Dwight Eisenhower into the White House and Republicans into Congress in 1952 and 1956 and
• elected Richard Nixon in 1968 and 1972 .
• It gave control of the White House to Ronald Reagan in 1980 and 1984 and
• gave it to George H.W. Bush in 1988.
• And even though Bill Clinton won the Presidency in 1992, it gave Republicans control of the Congress in 1994.
• It gave them the White House to George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004.
• It gave control of the House to Republicans in 2010, thus undermining the financial and healthcare reforms planned by Obama.

And, coming this July, the bureaucracy of the Republican Party will expand its “Treason!” accusation even further. No longer will only Democratic candidates for office and their supporters be targets for such slander.

Now the victims will include the tens of thousands of police, firefighters, construction workers and others who risked their lives to save their fellow Americans on 9/11.

They will soon be informed that their names must be run through the FBI’s terrorism watch list. Any of the responders who are notcompared to the database of suspected terrorists will be barred from getting treatment for their numerous, worsening ailments.

It’s a “gift” that comes to them courtesy of Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) and the Republican Party.

In 2010, Congress passed the Democratically-sponsored James Zadroga 9/11 Health And Compensation Law to address those ailments.

But to win passage of the legislation, Democrats were forced to accept an amendment that deliberately casts a slur on the men and women who had answered their country’s call in its supreme moment of agony.

Thus, self-righteous right-wing legislators, who never lifted a beam from a trapped 9/11 survivor or inhaled toxic fumes that spewed from the crater that was once the World Trade Center, will be standing in judgment over those who did.

  1. This is treasonous talk and could be grudnos for a charge of sedition. But I will go along with your traitorous right wing premise for snits and giggles.The Republican states couldn’t afford to secede. Most red states are net receivers of federal money which means they get more in aid than they pay into federal coffers. Also states like Alaska, Texas, Louisiana, would have to pay back the money the federal government paid out to purchase the land and any improvements made by the US taxpayers before they should be allowed to secede.The red states couldn’t survive without the blue ones. But you guys are welcome to try, just pay back all the money you owe the blue states first and you’re free to go.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: