National Commentary

Tea Party Patrons Push Coup D’Etat

nfbentonpicMake no mistake, what’s going on in Washington, D.C. now involves a batch of right-wing elected officials who are refusing to accept the outcome of the 2012 presidential election, and are doing everything in their power to overthrow it.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is nothing less than a total disrespect for the rules of law and democracy. We are witnessing, in fact, a coup d’etat.

These Tea Party radicals are the slash and burn forward phalanx of their Wall Street and military-industrial complex masters. In the heart-felt assessment of this citizen, even more despicable than the extent to which they are willing to go to bring this once-great nation to its knees is their contempt for basic truth and honesty and their cowardly refusal to accept responsibility for their actions.

To anarchists, and their backers and apologists in the media, such as Fox News, notions of truth, honesty and integrity are scoffed at and relegated to their spam folders. All they care about is “winning,” and that’s what they keep telling each other.

It is doubly sad to see older politicians, who many of us felt at least stood for some moral principle and backbone, caving into their radical right flank to parrot its contemptuous lies.

Let’s start with John Boehner. This duplicitous excuse for a human being admitted to George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week” that he’d agreed to a “clean continuing resolution” to keep the government open and increase its debt ceiling on numerous occasions over the summer. But then, he added, he and his GOP colleagues suddenly decided to “take a stand” against Obamacare.

So, he admitted on national TV that responsibility for the current stalemate falls directly into the laps of he and his GOP. But what are we now hearing from all these Republicans? They’re blaming Obama and the Democrats, hoping to persuade an increasingly angry general public that Democrats, and not themselves, are culpable for what’s going on.

As John Stewart on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” observed so deftly Tuesday, the Republicans are like someone who’s farted and then blames the dog for it.

In life, it is often difficult to navigate one’s way when there is so much fraud and ill will intermixed with decency and good will. Most of us develop some guidelines we use to separate, as they say, the wheat from the chaff. One of the most effective is to basically discern between honesty and dishonesty, plain and simple.

If someone is caught lying, then they are to be avoided and considered dangerous not only to one’s self, but to society in general. Oh, we can be convinced that someone caught in a lie maybe did it under special circumstances, that it was just a little white one, and with assurances it won’t happen again, the perpetrator can qualify for a second chance.

But when lying is the very modus operandi of a person’s behavior, and if it is done in witting collaboration with others, then one can draw no other conclusion than that this magnitude of lying is serious, and must not be allowed to go unchallenged.

(How many people knew Bernie Madoff was a liar, but let him slide?)

Far too many in the media are not willing to use even this measure to judge who’s right and who’s wrong in the current situation. In fact, one side is lying and the other is not. The Republicans are lying through their teeth.

And to those who protest this claim on partisan grounds, I challenge them to put the interests of truth and the protection of American democracy ahead of knee-jerk partisanship. Just this once.

Andrew Sullivan in his The Dish blog this week has hit the nail on the head:

“There is effectively no Republican party any more. There is a radical movement to destroy the modern American state and eviscerate its institutions. … A cold civil war has broken out between those properly called conservatives, defending the credit of the government, empirical reality, and adjustments to modern life and those properly called radical reactionaries declaring our current elected president and Senate as illegitimate actors, bent on the destruction of America.”