First, NewsMax ran an article by a John L. Perry titled “Obama Risks a Domestic Military ‘Intervention.’” It has apparently been removed from the site (it’s now directing to the home page and isn’t showing along with the author’s other pieces) but the excerpt says “There is a remote, although gaining, possibility America’s military will intervene as a last resort to resolve the ‘Obama problem.’ Don’t dismiss it as unrealistic. — America isn’t the Third World. If a military coup does occur here it will be civilized.” TPM has the full text. Here’s a further taste:
Imagine a bloodless coup to restore and defend the Constitution through an interim administration that would do the serious business of governing and defending the nation. Skilled, military-trained, nation-builders would replace accountability-challenged, radical-left commissars. Having bonded with his twin teleprompters, the president would be detailed for ceremonial speech-making.
Military intervention is what Obama’s exponentially accelerating agenda for “fundamental change” toward a Marxist state is inviting upon America. A coup is not an ideal option, but Obama’s radical ideal is not acceptable or reversible.
Then, a Times of London editorial by Gore Vidal predicts “We’ll have a dictatorship soon in the US.”
Vidal originally became pro-Obama because he grew up in “a black city” (meaning Washington), as well as being impressed by Obama’s intelligence. “But he believes the generals. Even Bush knew the way to win a general was to give him another star. Obama believes the Republican Party is a party when in fact it’s a mindset, like Hitler Youth, based on hatred — religious hatred, racial hatred. When you foreigners hear the word ‘conservative’ you think of kindly old men hunting foxes. They’re not, they’re fascists.”
Another notable Obama mis-step has been on healthcare reform. “He f***ed it up. I don’t know how because the country wanted it. We’ll never see it happen.” As for his wider vision: “Maybe he doesn’t have one, not to imply he is a fraud. He loves quoting Lincoln and there’s a great Lincoln quote from a letter he wrote to one of his generals in the South after the Civil War. ‘I am President of the United States. I have full overall power and never forget it, because I will exercise it’. That’s what Obama needs — a bit of Lincoln’s chill.” Has he met Obama? “No,” he says quietly, “I’ve had my time with presidents.” Vidal raises his fingers to signify a gun and mutters: “Bang bang.” He is referring to the possibility of Obama being assassinated. “Just a mysterious lone gunman lurking in the shadows of the capital,” he says in a wry, dreamy way.
Finally, Thomas Friedman points to a Facebook poll that asked, “Should Obama be killed?” The choices were: “No, Maybe, Yes, and Yes if he cuts my health care.” Says Friedman:
The Secret Service is now investigating. I hope they put the jerk in jail and throw away the key because this is exactly what was being done to Rabin.
Even if you are not worried that someone might draw from these vitriolic attacks a license to try to hurt the president, you have to be worried about what is happening to American politics more broadly.
Our leaders, even the president, can no longer utter the word “we” with a straight face. There is no more “we” in American politics at a time when “we” have these huge problems — the deficit, the recession, health care, climate change and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — that “we” can only manage, let alone fix, if there is a collective “we” at work.
Sometimes I wonder whether George H.W. Bush, president “41,” will be remembered as our last “legitimate” president. The right impeached Bill Clinton and hounded him from Day 1 with the bogus Whitewater “scandal.” George W. Bush was elected under a cloud because of the Florida voting mess, and his critics on the left never let him forget it.
Now, Friedman is overreacting a touch here to a poll on an Internet site with millions of members who are pretty much free to post anything they want. Then again, seeing broad trends in a single anecdote is what he does.
But his larger point nonetheless has merit. The mass political debate, as evidenced by the blogs, talk radio, talk TV, townhall meetings, and various other venues certainly seems to be increasingly vitriolic, ill tempered, and divided. Gone are the days when those on the other side of a given political dispute were honorable fellow countrymen with different priorities; there are only those who agree and selfish, unpatriotic, evil people.