Friday, May 3, 2013

Conservative Treason!

We ended our post yesterday, "Guns: Conservative Rhetoric Gone Bad," with a few questions: "Are the Conservative leaders and their propagandists and Sheeplets preparing for an armed revolution? Should the Left arm themselves (," which brings us to today's seemingly surrealistic topic, "Conservative Treason."

Sahil Kapur at Talking Points Memo wrote about the poll we're about to unveil, and made a curious discovery, that "Americans’ deeply held beliefs about gun rights have a tendency to cross over into outright conspiracy theories about a nefarious government seeking to trample their constitutional rights — paranoia that pro-gun groups like the National Rifle Association have at times helped stoke. The data help explain why even the most modest gun safety laws face tremendous, intense opposition."

And the poll that Kapur referred to showed that 44% of Republicans say "armed revolution to protect liberties" may soon be necessary, as a Fairleigh Dickinson University poll found nearly half of Republican respondents believe a gun-fueled rebellion may soon be a reality. David Sirota's take on the poll:  "Rise of the conservative revolutionaries.  Almost half of Republicans think an armed revolution may be needed soon. What does it mean for guns and democracy?"

Tea Party supporter William Temple of Brunswick, Ga. (Credit: AP/David Goldman)

"There’s plenty of proof of an authoritarian streak and animus toward democratic ideals in today’s conservative movement. There was the movement’s use of its judicial power to halt a vote recount and instead install a president who had lost the popular vote. There is the ongoing GOP effort to make it more difficult for people to cast a vote in an election. There is the GOP’srecord use of the Senate filibuster to kill legislation that the vast majority of the country supports. There is a GOP leader’s declaration that what the American people want from their government simply “doesn’t matter.”

"Up until today, you might have been able to write all that anti-democratic pathology off as one infecting only the Republican Party’s politicians and institutional leadership, but not its rank-and-file voters. But then this morning Fairleigh Dickinson University released this gun control-related poll showing that authoritarianism runs throughout the the entire party.

"Take a look at the cross-tabs on page 3 of the national survey. That’s right, you are reading it correctly: Almost half (44 percent) of all self-described Republican voters say they believe 'an armed revolution might be necessary to protect our liberties.' Just as bad, more Republicans believe an armed revolution might be necessary than believe one isn’t necessary.

"This poll raises two obvious questions, each more disturbing than the next.

"The first question is about gun control and gun ownership, and more specifically, what the latter is all about.

"Typically, GOP leaders say that their opposition to minimal gun regulations has nothing to do with helping arm those who want to commit acts of violence, and everything to do with wanting to make sure people can defend themselves. Based on the poll, of course, it is certainly likely that many are buying such weapons in an effort to defend themselves, both for day-to-day life and in the event of a sudden armed revolution. But here’s the scary part: How many are buying weapons to arm themselves in order to foment an armed revolution? Maybe none, but maybe a lot. I don’t have an answer, but this poll suggests the question should at least be aired.

"The other question is about republican democracy: Can it survive in an age when almost one-half of one of the major parties seems to support the concept of violently thwarting it?

“'Politics is war by other means': That aphorism sums up the democratic theory undergirding the American idea for two centuries. Though we haven’t always lived up to that ideal, it is a pretty simple one: A civilized society should solve disputes through a democratic process and democratic institutions, rather than through the barrel of a gun. And while our democracy has been corrupted by Big Money, it still functions better than autocracy. In that sense, Churchill had it right when he said 'democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.'

"Incredibly, though, almost half of Republicans don’t seem to necessarily see it that way. According to the Fairleigh Dickinson poll, 44 percent of rank-and-file Republicans seem to believe that because they aren’t getting their way through the ballot box, bloodshed may be justified to impose their will on everyone else. Think of it as sore loser-ism juiced by violence.

"Of course, GOP apologists will say that the poll just asked specifically about armed revolution 'to protect liberties,' the idea being that almost half of Republican voters don’t support using violence to advance their own political agenda, they only support it in the face of a future dystopian nightmare whereby the population is terrorized by police-administered drone bombings and Waco-esque invasions of private homes.

"But that’s the thing: We can’t be so sure that’s really true when conservative media voices and politicians are using the broad and incendiary language they now regularly employ. Today, those voices often claim that almost everything in the Democratic/liberal agenda — from Obamacareto taxes to environmental regulations to contraception policy — is an assault on “liberty.”

"That means the poll might indicate something much more significant than understandable opposition to Big Brother turning our country into Oceania. It might show us that all the vitriolic language employed by the right is undermining the most basic nonviolent democratic ideals that are supposed to define America."
And that "vitriolic language employed by the right" is treasonous and seditious.  Conservatives have relentlessly tried to impose their will on the American populace - and the rest of the World - even if it means the destruction of the Constitution and all the democratic institutions that go along with it.
Several discussions on this site regarding treason and sedition can be boiled down to the following section from our Page, "Punishments (":

"Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

"The Congress shall have power to declare the punishment of treason, but no attainder of treason shall work corruption of blood, or forfeiture except during the life of the person attainted."

(from The Constitution, Section 3.)

If treason is associated with levying war against the United States, then the GOP through its spokesman Grover Norville has treasonously declared war on his own country when he says, "My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub."

From the Wiktionary: "Formerly, the punishment for high treason was of a most barbarous character…. Women were burnt. A male traitor was dragged or drawn to the place of execution and hanged; but while still alive, he was cut down and disembowelled. His head was then severed from his body which was quartered. The head and quarters, which were at the Kings disposal, were usually exposed in some conspicuous place—the Temple Bar being a favourite spot—after being boiled in salt to prevent putrification and in cumin seed to prevent birds feasting on them." A televised reality show featuring Grover Norville being disembowelled might be incentive to cease and desist for many of the others.

"If a subversive act has any tendency to weaken the power of the United States to attack or resist its enemies, aid and comfort has been given.

"The Treason Clause applies only to disloyal acts committed during times of war. (And since pundits from both sides have maintained that we've been at war since the Iraq invasion, this could be interpreted by a non-impartial judge to apply Conservative "evildoers.")

"Under Article III a person can levy war against the United States without the use of arms, weapons, or military equipment. Persons who play only a peripheral role in a conspiracy to levy war are still considered traitors under the Constitution if an armed rebellion against the United States results. After the U.S. Civil War, for example, all Confederate soldiers were vulnerable to charges of treason, regardless of their role in the secession or insurrection of the Southern

"Treason is punishable by death. If a death sentence is not imposed, defendants face a minimum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine (18 U.S.C.A. § 2381). A person who is convicted of treason may not hold federal office at any time thereafter." http://legal-dictionary.
A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.” -- Cicero.
Sedition may be the more proper definition of Norquist's action than treason, but sedition is a also a crime.

Under 18 U.S.C.A. § 2384 (2000), a federal statute punishes seditious conspiracy, and 18 U.S.C.A. § 2385 (2000), outlaws advocating the overthrow of the federal government by force and a person may be punished for sedition when he or she makes statements that create a Clear and Present Danger to rights that the government may lawfully protect (Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47, 39 S. Ct. 247, 63 L. Ed. 470 [1919]).

"Congress enacted the Smith Act (18 U.S.C.A. §§ 2385, 2387), which outlawed sedition and seditious conspiracy. The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the act in Dennis v. United States, 341 U.S. 494, 71 S. Ct. 857, 95 L. Ed. 1137 (1951)."

"Sedition prosecutions are extremely rare, but they do occur. Shortly after the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City, the federal government prosecuted Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, a blind Egyptian cleric living in New Jersey, and nine co-defendants on charges of seditious conspiracy. Rahman and the other defendants were convicted of violating the seditious conspiracy statute by engaging in an extensive plot to wage a war of Terrorism against the United States. With the exception of Rahman, they all were arrested while mixing explosives in a garage in Queens, New York, on June 24, 1993.

"The defendants committed no overt acts of war, but all were found to have taken substantial steps toward carrying out a plot to levy war against the United States. The government did not have sufficient evidence that Rahman participated in the actual plotting against the government or any other activities to prepare for terrorism. He was instead prosecuted for providing religious encouragement to his co-conspirators. Rahman, like Limbaugh who argues that he is "only an entertainer," argued that he only performed the function of a cleric and advised followers about the rules of Islam. He and the others were convicted, and on January 17, 1996, Rahman was sentenced to life imprisonment by Judge Michael Mukasey.

"Following the September 11th Attacks of 2001, the federal government feared that terrorist networks were very real threats, and that if left unchecked, would lead to further insurrection. As a result, Congress enacted the Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act (USA PATRIOT) Act of 2001, Pub. L. No. 107-56, 115 Stat. 272. Among other things, the act increases the president's authority to seize the property of individuals and organizations that the president determines have planned, authorized, aided, or engaged in hostilities or attacks against the United States.

"The events of September 11 also led to the conviction of at least one American. In 2001, U.S. officials captured John Philip Walker Lindh, a U.S. citizen who had trained with terrorist organizations in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Lindh, who became known as the "American Taliban," was indicted on ten counts, including conspiracy to murder U.S. nationals. In October 2002, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison." (

Our Conservatives fall under the umbrella of the "American Taliban" and the sentence of John Philip Walker Lindh of 20 years in prison is an interesting precedent considering the depredations of the Conservative leadership upon this country for scores of decades.

The important questions are 1.)   Is Conservatism really a vast, right-wing criminal conspiracy, and 2.)  Can we see a link between the Conservative's move towards treason and sedition and their uncompromising rhetoric and actions that have caused massive deaths, destruction, and massive theft under the mask of Conservative theology?  The answers are a resounding "Yes!"

Only the criminalization of Conservatism can stop the Conservative behemoth in its tracks.


"A conservative is someone who believes in reform. But not now."

Mort Sahl