We’re nowhere near a violent revolutionPolicy

Doug Mataconis wrote about this post yesterday and I re-tweeted it this morning saying, “Amen. Now let’s get to work.”

The post, at United Liberty, states unequivocally that now is not the time for revolution and lays out four key points:

1) All political and legal options have not been exhausted. There are Congressional elections in November 2010 and Presidential elections in November 2012. Use this anger and energy to donate money and support candidates who support liberty and who will fix/repeal Obamacare. In addition, many states have filed lawsuits challenging Obamacare and those lawsuits need time to work their way through the courts.

2) The right to free speech and to petition grievances is still in effect. Obamacare opponents can still express their opposition views to the public. Such views are common place on talk radio, the Internet, the newspapers, and as a matter all over the place. Obamacare opponents are not being thrown in jail or being silenced by the state.

3) Obama and the Democrats did win the past two elections and have a mandate. Obama’s election victory in 2008 and the Democratic control of Congress by definition gives them the mandate to pass whatever legislation they want, as long as it is upheld as legal. That mandate can only be revoked by their electoral defeat in 2010 and 2012.

4) The Founders did not intend for revolution over trivial matters. Before the Founders declared independence, there were numerous attempts at resolving the crisis with the British peacefully. Make no mistake, Obamacare is a trivial matter in the scheme of things and does not rise to the matter of “taxation without representation”. The major reason why some Americans threaten revolution over trivial matters is the fact that after the last Civil War, the Union was far too kind to the former Confederates. By all rights, the Union should have executed the remnants of the Confederate government and the Confederate general staff for treason. Maybe this would have deterred the trivialization of revolution that we see in this country.

I agree with these points and find all acts of political violence in today’s current political environment unacceptable.

I was asked by several people today to clarify what I meant at the 3:30 mark of our most recent podcast, where I said that now is not the time for violence, since healthcare still has to go through the judicial process, and we have free speech, the vote, and opportunities for redress of grievances.

Some are perpetuating a fallacy regarding my words by saying that if I believe “A” (the judiciary striking down Obamacare) doesn’t happen, then “B” (violence) is acceptable.

That doesn’t make any logical sense. And, quite frankly, it’s quite a leap.

In the end, my remarks have been twisted and corrupted by those who only wish to inflame things for the sake of a few more pathetic hits and to score political points. It’s exactly what’s wrong with our Virginia blogosphere and an insult to everyone’s intelligence.

So – do I advocate violence if health care is upheld as the law of the land by the judiciary?

No. No. Hell, no.

My point is that violence is never appropriate in our current Republic to make political points.

Just as President Obama’s political mentor Bill Ayers and his Weather Underground learned, America is not ready for a revolution. Not the least a violent plan that advocated for the extermination of 25 million people and “re-education” of the populace.

So, Ayers, and his protégés, left the violence aside and have been planning for the long term; they have been fighting the political battles necessary to take over the country and enact their far left agenda using the democratic process.

Those on the right need to pay attention.

The public has no appetite for violence. It is unacceptable and worthy of condemnation. It shouldn’t even be considered as a course of action given our political climate.

Conservatives need to not worry about the 55 acts of violence by the left on the military alone from 2003-2008, they need to not worry about threats to kill Rep. Eric Cantor and his family, they need to ignore the “hate-filled rants” that are being directed at members of Congress – both Republican and Democrat, they need not to worry about the leftist rantings of the IRS plane bomber, and, most importantly, conservatives need to not perpetuate any hostile acts against anyone.

Von Clausewitz said that “war is a continuation of politics by other means”, and, so, violence is, in the end, the last, desperate measure to preserve ones country from tyranny.

We’re not there. No one is desperate.

Conservatives need to harness their anger and get to work. Write letters to the editor. Write and call your legislators. Read up on issues. Talk to your neighbors, Put a bumper sticker on your car. Give some money to a candidate who has your values. Volunteer and participate in the political process. And, most importantly, VOTE!

If it weren’t for Jim Webb and Mark Warner, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.

  • http://jsnotes.com Jason

    Well put, Jim.

  • http://www.i-bmw.com James "turbo" Cohen

    Great journalism JR. You are a class act my friend.
    Our constitution has been challenged before but never so severely as in our time. The opportunistic embrace of social reforms away from traditional American values ramped up at the ballot box november 2008.. It is up to the comman man and woman embracing the restoration and preservation of the moral foundations of our forefathers and their ideals to end the nightmare we are living through via the same ballot box. We narrowed the GOP welcome mat, we lost. Republican values that can will and should prevail are right of center, not narrow and hyphenated into oblivion as the press paints them.. It is incumbent upon us to either spread that message or bear another 2 years of change we can’t believe in.

  • Conservativa

    The bad news is, the left has for years set the rules of conversation (and we let them). The good news is, when people pay attention, their common sense sees through this. The bad news is, people haven’t been paying much attention. The good news is, the left has apparently decided to drive their rhetoric right over the red line, and that will make people pay attention more. I look forward to the day when people point at the left and say, “The emperor has no clothes.” (Actually it’s starting. CNN’s ratings, anyone?)

  • Jerry Z

    I agree with the 4 points mentioned above, and would include the fact that conditions do not meet the definition of tyranny that Madison provided for our form of government: “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether one, a few, or many, whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.”
    Although Democrats have a majority control in Congress they have shown thus far that they can’t pass everything the far left desires, so I don’t think we are all that close. There are certainly tyranical (and socialist) elements in what many of them desire, but I think we are far from needing or being duty bound for violent action. In fact, violence is completely the wrong approach right now and in the forseeable future.

  • SuperChicken1

    AMEN. I’ve been waiting for someone to say it as well, and of course no one else could, J.R. Kudos.

  • Govgirl

    Let me state at the outset that I agree – now let me play devils advocate. While this is hypothetical to a degree, I have actually been asked this questiong by several people. How bad do things have to get before there is armed revolt againg? At what point does it cross the line into tyranny? JR has rightly pointed out that we have elections still – but what if our elections become like those in Venezuela – rigged from the outset to guarantee results? Could we then say that we are being governed by a tyrant or group of despots whose authority we have not concented to? What if the courts refuse to act on these issues? Let me state again, that I do not believe we are anywhere near this, but they are hypotheticals that not so long ago would have seemed unthinkable and are now getting serious discussion. At what point is revolution (or separation, because that is what the Founders did) justified?

  • Darrell — Chesapeake

    Meanwhile 2009 was a banner year for guns and ammo sales, continuing into this year. People seem to be gearing up not for revolution, but for survival when crap hits the fan. The antics of the Dems and Republicans merely amplify a collective feeling of things being out of control, especially then the government isn’t being forthright with its citizens.

    Despite all the money flying off the presses, the financial future of civilization is in dire straits. And the politicians are powerless to stop it. Watch Greece, Iceland and the other EU countries closely, because what happens there will eventually make its way here.

    You know things are looking grim when 80 something year old WWII/Korean vets are taking target practice. At least FDR told them the truth.

  • Lifelongelephant

    I was gone over the weekend and missed the plagiarism brouhaha and fallout. Would first like to comment on this thread and then address the other nonsense. Clearly this issue deserves primacy.

    Wise words, JR, and I couldn’t agree more, but have one minor exception:

    It could be that von Clausewitz has been reversed.

    You are 100% correct: There is NO legitimate and certainly NO justifiable reason for any act of violence in response to what is unfolding in Washington. The only appropriate response is through the ballot box. Conservative complacency and apathy have gotten us to this point. Conservative activism and participation will correct the course.

    As a retired military officer, I found it interesting JR invoked von Clausewitz in his comments. It’s appropriate in the context, but demands reflection. America and our allies have been under assault for more than two decades by fundamentalist thugs who would like nothing more than to end our influence and our way of life. When we consider the Beirut barracks bombing, the embassy losses in Sudan and elsewhere, the attack on the USS Cole, the attacks of 9-11, etc. ad nauseum, it’s clear that Clinton’s limp-wristed response to increasing threats (two examples: sending inadequate, insufficiently equipped forces to Somalia and launching 14 Tomahawks in a futile exercise to take out bin Laden at his camps when we knew he was there) had several very undesirable outcomes:

    1. Bin Laden was put on notice that we were on to him. He went into hiding.

    2. All radical and fundamentalist Islamic thugs interpreted the weak-kneed American response as a green light to pursue their schemes to destabilize nascent democracies and to attack us and governments friendly to us.

    3. It was tantamount to stomping a US military boot in a small radical, fundamentalist puddle and splashing it all over the Middle East and the Horn of Africa. Instead of attacking the bees in the beehive, we poked the hive and still find ourselves trying to kill individual bees all over the place while we get stung in the process.

    There is no doubt that “W” did the right thing by invoking a doctrine to seek and destroy those same thugs where they hide rather than let them continue to wreak havoc here and elsewhere. Still, it has also expended precious American blood and treasure and could have been avoided had Clinton actually attacked the bin Laden camps rather than doing a $14 million high-tech drive-by shooting. Clinton was sooo gangsta.

    Americans have a limited threshhold for war. We have the finest military in the world, but can’t (and shouldn’t) go it alone unless there is a compelling American security interest at stake. And we tire of war:

    Could it be that Dubya and the Republican Party were taught a new lesson? At the risk of being too simplistic (and while I do not wish away the iconic charisma that Obama exerts, the 8-year failure of the Republican-dominated Congress to live up to RP planks, the lackluster performance of McCain and Palin [wink wink]), it seems that the left has used the worst aspects of exceedingly well-fought wars to drive their domestic take-over. Certainly, the media is largely complicit and co-opted. The nonsense of Abu Ghraib, the lunacy of Jessica Lynch’s “heroics” and other disinformation, coupled with a failure to cover the long list of good deeds, military victories, and success stories in Iraq and Afghanistan played a key role in the power grab.

    Today, in America, there is a new twist that has von Clausewitz turning in his European grave.

    Politics in America is an extension of war by other means.

    We don’t need a violent revolt, but we do, as JR advocates, need to find leaders we can trust to do the right thing and make the hard choices. That compels me to address the “Plagiar-gate” flap.

    It’s about character.

    After reading the Pilot article, I called the reporter to discuss it with him. I was left with a bad taste in my mouth. The reporter claimed that the Rigell camp had “plenty more evidence that they wanted to share”, Scott Taylor was “practically mum”, and Ben Loyola gave an official statement that inferred that he and Scott Taylor had been collaborating for a while on their points but he didn’t want to affix dates.

    Can we just have some transparency please?

    I submit the following:

    1. Rigell, by virtue of his deep pocketed donations to his own campaign bought admission to the RNCC “Young Guns” program. The privileged membership to that club got him into the room where Contract on Congress Version 1 was being formulated.

    Scott Rigell — Help us out, here. Please identify the specific Contract ideas you claim were plagiarized that were actually your own original ideas and not ideas handed to you on an RNCC silver platter to memorize and parrot. I’ve met you and heard you speak and don’t think this is all your work. I actually think very little of it is your original work. Please prove me wrong.

    2. It’s hugely disappointing — practically “John Edwardian” that Scott Taylor and Ben Loyola believe that voters give any creedence to their claim that they were working — make that “collaborating together” — and didn’t somehow gain access to the Young Guns effort. The ideas are exactly the same. The sequence is exactly the same. The timing of the announcement was in the same 24 hour window as the planned joint release by the Young Guns. It begs a couple of questions:

    a. Taylor and Loyola are such good buddies, might it be possible to have them listed as one entry on the ballot so we can vote for BOTH of them?
    b. Are there any other matters of import that the two close buddies are working on together they would like to share with us?
    c. Ben Loyola, while a midshipman, had an honor concept by which he was supposed to guide his daily life. The third tenet of that honor concept reads:

    “[Midshipmen] embrace fairness in all actions. They ensure that work submitted as their own is their own, and that assistance received from any source is authorized and properly documented. They do not cheat.”

    Ben, I’m a fellow 2d District Voter, also an Academy grad, and am a retired officer. Can you look me and other voters in the eye and tell me you have lived up to the ideals of the honor concept in this matter?

    I didn’t think so.

    3. Scott Taylor, I couldn’t find the Navy Seal Honor Code, but I know a heckuva lot of seals and have always admired them, their selflessness, and their commitment. Up until this moment, I never met a Seal I felt was NOT an an ethical, principled man. Where did you lose your way?

    I have no qualms connecting that Scott Rigell’s money got him into the RNCC Young Guns program. By virtue of that fact, he likely got a seat at the table of new faces and old guard establishement guys who were drafting this “contract”. (Scott R: It’s worth remembering that those same Old Guard guys haven’t done a real good job reforming Congress in a couple of hundred years.) Loyola and Taylor likely got wind of the effort and revised their back-door copy and then tried to upstage Mr. Moneybags.

    In a field of eight candidates, I can say that I have definitely ruled out these three contenders. None of these three candidates has demonstrated the capacity for values or character that this Contract for Congress would require. Talking, narcissistic heads with questionable character. So John Edwards . . .

    Bearing Drift remains one of the very few places I can go to get the unfettered, unbiased information I need to help make my decision this June and this fall. I’ll do my best to ignore the ads and stick to the script and comments. You keep it real and deserve tremendous credit for remaining above the antics.

    Kudos, JR. Don’t know you. Haven’t met you. Keep the pressure and the spotlight on. Give us more coverage on the other candidates. I hope that one day I’ll have the chance to exchange some thoughts over a cold one.

  • Tim J

    LLE, you have given us another stellar example of circumstantial evidence and hearsay gone wild, where a story on alleged plagiarism which the VP plagiarized became a story only because one of the campaigns started whining about it. There is nothing on Rigell’s campaign web site about it, there is nothing on his Facebook about it, and there is nothing on Twitter about it except from the Rigell faithful. No more facts, no more information, no more allegations except the shotgun blast from last week. Even Va. Beach Republican Chairman won’t admit that the charges are valid. It was like this was a “fire and forget, effects based operation” by one campaign against several others.

    You presume guilt based on all of this, and start demanding “Loyola re-swear the Midshipmen” Honor Code and Taylor the “Navy Seal Honor Code” which says a lot about you, when you, as a self proclaimed Academy grad, throw your shipmates under the bus.

    You are also guilty of breaking Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.” because all there is about this allegation is hearsay, partisan opinion, lots and lots of blog posts and circumstantial evidence on who did what to who, how, when, where and why. Any response from these campaigns that dignifies these allegations is a bad strategy and you, along with others, are trying to bait them into a response which is good for other candidates. The only response they should make is to legal charges which I hope are forth coming from the Rigell campaign, and then we will have some facts.

    Why do you seem to want to assert yourself in an inter-campaign squabble unless you have some interest in three of the candidates going away? Unless you have some real facts that can be injected into the discussion, then all you are is a closet partisan masquerading as a self proclaimed voter who is heaping more elephant dung on this situation.

  • Kathy Mateer

    Tim J., at this point the right thing to do is an investigation from an outside party not affiliated with any of the campaigns. The upstaging from all three is sad but the whistle has been blown now that VP copied BD’s story. I wish this could have been handled internally with all 2nd district chairpersons meeting with the candidates before it got into the paper. Since so many have already chosen who they will support in their campaign, it needs to be done fairly.

  • http://www.littledavidobermark.blogspot.com/ LittleDavid

    The first point gives me pause, it starts out with:

    “All political and legal options have not been exhausted.”

    I will accept the explanation given for the sentence, but the sentence seems to communicate something more to me then the explanation I received.

    Taken at face value: “Put away your guns, boys, for now.”

    My own personal judgment is that this is an attempt to keep some of the most extreme under control while trying not to alienate them. We still have the next election to win the day, but if we lose that then….?

    I am taking it that there is an implied threat in the statement and that even with the explanation given, the threat remains. What happens if the election goes against you and the Supreme Court does the same? I feel there is a threat involved and I am uncomfortable with that.

  • http://bearingdrift.com J.R. Hoeft

    I think that tension exists perpetually between those who believe in freedom and those who believe in government control. I’m not writing anything that hasn’t been underneath the surface for as long as man has had government.

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  • http://www.littledavidobermark.blogspot.com/ LittleDavid

    Yeah J.R., but can you imagine that if something like what happened in our recent past happens again with the current environment?

    Like me draw a scenario. The 2010 elections come and go. Republicans win enough seats in the House to regain control there and manage a few gains in the Senate but Democrats remain in majority. Along comes the 2012 elections; the Republican candidate for President wins a majority of the votes but the victory hinges on electoral votes with the final victory unclear (there are allegations of vote tampering with electronic voting machines in one close state). The Supreme Court gets involved and in finality Obama is handed the victory, even though the Republican candidate won the popular vote.

    Now, this is hypothetical and I know many people hate this type of argument. But what happened after the controversy in Florida in 2000? Did Democratic leaning militias march on Washington to correct the injustice of it all? Nope. I think what I was hearing from those most upset (and they truly believed the election was stolen) was how they were planning on packing up and moving to Canada!

    I am not saying that under no circumstances should militias be raised and action taken. However I think many have a lower threshold for when action should be taken then I will agree to.

    As long as free and fair elections are held, there is no reason to take up arms. I just hope we do not have to resort to raising militias to restore order and defend our government if some elements of our society go off half cocked just because they do not like the results.

    Now, some of the above dips into the realm of possibilities, and some might even describe it as fantasy. However it is FACT that currently some right wing candidates will campaign on the possibility of secession at large public campaign rallies. That’s not fantasy, that is reality. (Happened in Texas in the primary campaign for Governor.)

  • Salt Lick
  • Britt Howard

    I’m sure we all are as concerned with the Left Wing extreme nutballs as well.

    Like……John Patrick Bedell, the registered Democrat and “Truther” aka the Pentagon Shooter. He must have REALLY hated Bush to think the Bush Admin. planned 9/11.

    Like the guy shooting randomly up in the air and coincidently downward arced into an office of Eric Cantor. That followed by another coincidence where a youtube Left Wing nutjob was arrested for threats to Eric Cantor and his family.

    I blame frustrated socialists in the Democrat party for stoking the fires of hatred and thereby contributing to these crazed left wingers going off the deep end. Democrats should condemn these people and ask them to stop. Can’t they just go back to vandalizing SUVs and other gas guzzlers? At least then, that didn’t endanger lives. There is just too much hate coming from the Left! Someone should let them know that violence is not the answer and that there are political solutions. Solutions like electing a Democratically controlled House & Senate and then also a Democrat president. Then maybe there will be real change we can believe in and the Left Kook violence can end.

    …..oh, we do have a Democrat controlled presidency and Congress?……..well…….there are still better things to do besides threatening the life of a congressman and his family. All we are saying is “give peace a chance”.

    I sure would hope Democrat bloggers have never said anything that could be used against them.

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  • http://www.i-bmw.com James “turbo” Cohen
  • Skyler

    The revolution is coming. Whether you believe it or not. I will be one of the many brothers and sister fighting to take back our country from the wall street oligarchs that have hijacked it. You people sit here and argue back and forth about petty bullshit, when the time to rise up is now. Every minute you waste is more time for them to prepare to throw your asses into a work camp. Believe what you want, but when the blood begins to flow through your own streets, maybe then you’ll all wake up.