Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Waiter, there's a terrorist in my tea

"In a free society we're supposed to know the truth. In a society where truth becomes treason, then we're in big trouble. And now, people who are revealing the truth are getting into trouble for it."

What is it about Florida? Is it as Frank Lloyd Wright once said, that since it's the lowest point on the map of the U.S., everything loose wound up down here?

We may be no more fatuous than the rest of the country in blabbering about our "freedom" and how everyone in the world is jealous of it and how every military exploit is about freedom and every casualty is a sacrifice for freedom and that this freedom is the result of our foreign wars rather than our constitutional law, but we sure look strange to that supposedly jealous planet when we agitate that more and more of it be taken away from us -- in the name of freedom.

Speaking of loose things floating around in the bilges of America, Florida Representative-elect Allen West, soon to represent the 22nd district, who identifies with that nebulous assemblage of misfits and nitwits called the Tea Party, seems to be all in favor of censoring the press despite all his tea soaked and treacly rhetoric about constitutional restraints on government power:

I think that we also should be censoring the American news agencies which enabled him to do this and also supported him and applauding him [Julian Assenge] for the efforts. So that's kind of aiding and abetting of a serious crime.

No, he's not talking about reporting troop positions or exposing covert agents, he's talking about embarrassing the administration as "a serious crime." That's the same administration Tea Party folks have been waving guns at and making threats at and calling tyrannical, Marxist, and illegal.

Yes, it's been all too hard for most of us to tell exactly what message the Tea Party people are bringing to the party, and this message of government for government's sake; government by, for and of the Executive Branch and military authority and damn the Constitution, smells more like plain old exaggerated nationalism and authoritarianism than tea.

One of the ways "the terrorists" won is that domestic authoritarians posing as libertarians can simply identify anything that threatens them: things like the truth, for instance, as "terrorism" and make it a crime. Things like identifying high crimes and high criminals and the kind of lies and manipulations of truth that get people killed and bankrupt economies. Revealing a crime -- a politically motivated burglary, for example -- becomes, by the Logic of Tea, "aiding and abetting a serious crime" and "terrorism," while actually aiding and abetting by hiding it or obstructing justice becomes... what, freedom?

Is West a moderate compared to Uncle Mike Huckabee, who demands summary execution for Assenge? Palin, Gingrich, Mitch McConnell, and even CNN are calling him a "terrorist" and telling us not only that we can't handle the truth but that we don't deserve it and the government doesn't owe it to us. It's all about freedom, of course, and all of this from people calling Obama a "tyrant." So whatever the Tea party is selling, I think we can dispense with the idea that it has anything to do with less powerful government, a government restrained by lawm anything to do with a government of the people, responsible to the people and most of all, anything to do with freedom other than to garble its meaning.

(Cross-posted from Human Voices.)

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