Thursday, March 12, 2009

Winger Cells

CNN gives it the aww cute treatment but maybe we should start taking statements like these a more seriously, at least when we're talking about what the conservative base is and the GOP's loyalty to it.

“I may run for president of Texas,” Norris wrote Monday in a column posted at WorldNetDaily. “That need may be a reality sooner than we think. If not me, someone someday may again be running for president of the Lone Star state, if the state of the union continues to turn into the enemy of the state.”

The actor claimed “thousands of cell groups will be united around the country in solidarity over the concerns for our nation” and said that if states decide to secede from the union, that Texas would lead the way.

Jokes aside, Chuck Norris is now a pretty heavily involved right wing nutcase. You may recall the ads he shot on behalf of Mike Huckabee's Presidential campaign. Lately he's been pimping Glenn Beck's "We Surround Them" campaign in which tons of other seriously disturbed people will gather at house parties together to watch Glenn Beck ratchet up the paramilitary rhetoric.

It's not enough to say that the consistent and increasing use of this kind of violent, insurgent language is over the top. I mean the way gun sales went up around the Inauguration, I really do worry about the manipulative power of some of these guys like Beck. There are a lot of crazy people out there. I'm not suggesting any real armed resistance but a bunch of Waco-style tragedies seem all too plausible.

That the elite GOP leadership chooses to embrace, let alone publicly denounce this kind of rhetoric just goes to show how out of touch the whole Party is with mainstream human reality.


DAMIAN said...

Fact: Chuck Norris is a right wing wacko. No dispute there.

But I don't think the idea of succession, as such, should be grouped in the right wing category.

If Massachusetts or Maine, for example, floated the idea of declaring independence during the torture-war-eavesdropping-bubble inflating Bush years, would you be criticizing them, as such?

I would argue that the most fundamental liberty is the freedom to say "I don't want any part of this," and it's sad that the one case of states exercising this claim in American history was the catastrophic Civil War. It seems to have led to EVERY secessionist movement having--or being perceived to have had--right-wing connotations, just like workers' movements and antiwar protests are always presumed to be left-wing.

Anyway, that doesn't do anything to strengthen Norris' "argument"; I'm just pointing out that criticizing a secessionist movement for challenging federal power and criticizing it for adopting an immoral platform are really two separate cases and shouldn't be conflated.

DAMIAN said...

Oops, looks like the spell checker turned "secession" into "succession" in the second graph. Apologies.

MAD said...

I don't recall either party ever denouncing empty-headed rhetoric from within its ranks.

publiucious said...

Oh, people in both parties have had "Sister Souljah moments," a la Clinton.

Pistolette said...

I mean the way gun sales went up around the Inauguration, I really do worry about the manipulative power of some of these guys like Beck.

Gun sales went up around the inauguration because gun enthusiasts think Obama is going to put heavy legal restrictions on guns. It was strictly market driven. No one I know who bought guns around that time was thinking 'lets overthrow the commies'. You are way off base here.

And Glenn Beck is crazy - like a fox. He is pitching to a huge market; the over 40% of people who did NOT vote for Obama. You say he uses 'violent insurgent language'? Wow. Want to erase the 1st *and* the 2nd amendment now do you?

E said...

No I don't want to do either of those things Pistolette.

I don't wish to silence men like Beck and Norris or folks like Rush or Hannity.

What I find disturbing is not just that the views of these men have been embraced by the leadership of the Republican Party but that these views have now come to represent something of a litmus test. This is what I object to.

And as for the kind of paramilitary rhetoric they're using, I allude to the media double-standard for the other side. Democrats had to throw and Michael Moore under the bus when they came under attack from the right for 'unpatriotic' language. Same for Obama and Jeremiah Wright. That none of what guys like Beck and Norris are alluding to is being called unpatriotic seems bizarre to me given the precedent under Bush.