GOP & Tea Partiers: "Let's Beat That Other Side to a Pulp!"

By Dennis Loo

 
On March 21, 2010, the day that the health care bill passed Congress, Republican Representative Steve King of Iowa shouted to a Capitol gathering of Tea Partiers, "If I could start a country with a bunch of people, they'd be the folks who were standing with us the last few days. Let's hope we don't have to do that! Let's beat that other side to a pulp! Let's take them out. Let's chase them down. There's going to be a reckoning!"
The RNC put out a fundraising appeal featuring a picture of Speaker Nancy Pelosi surrounded by flames. The RNC's finance chairman stated that it was time to put Pelosi "on the firing line." Sarah Palin on her Facebook page called for her followers to "RELOAD" and posted a picture of the 48 states with a riflescope targeting each district of Democrats who voted for the health care bill.
 
Several Democrats who backed the bill had their offices vandalized, one was told that a sniper would take out his kids, and a gas line was cut at a home that Tea Partiers mistook for Rep. Tom Perriello’s home. Before the vote Tea Partiers called Rep. John Lewis a “nigger,’ openly gay Congressman Barney Frank a “faggot” and “homo,” and spat on black Rep. Emanuel Cleaver.
 
Some people have called for the GOP to distance themselves from these acts of violence and unbridled hatred. Instead of distancing themselves, the GOP has waxed indignant and raised the level of their rhetoric. Palin is accusing the “liberal” (sic) media of passing on lies and denies that the GOP is fomenting violence: “We’re not inciting violence. Don’t get sucked into the lame-stream media lies.” Talk show host Mark Williams, who was speaking on the same platform with Palin before a crowd of 20,000 supporters declared: “Thuggery is a left-wing tactic,” he declared. “We denounce it. We will not stand for it.”
 
In other words, the GOP and their shock troops among the Tea Partiers are spewing the most vile racist and homophobic insults, spreading literal and metaphorical death threats, and then turning around and claiming that they aren’t doing these things, No, No, it’s the other side that’s doing it, and “We will not stand for it.”
 
WTF?
 
The radicals of the right are on a mission. They want to recast the social compact in America that dates from the country’s founding. God and guns is their cry. And they mean this. This is not metaphorical violence they are advocating. This is literal violence, like the murder of Dr. George Tiller in his church during church services that these same fascist forces fomented. Doing God’s work in his House by assassination, are thee? 
 
Meanwhile, Pelosi initially declared alarm at some of these eruptions, declaring before the vote, “'I believe words have power, they weigh a ton,' said Pelosi when asked to compare the current threats to those levied against famed San Francisco politician Harvey Milk during the 1970’s."
 
Then, the next week, she backed off, stating "I don't subscribe that these acts sprang from any words of my colleagues," Pelosi stated during a Thursday press conference as she called upon leaders of both parties "to clearly state this is inappropriate."
 
Words like Rep. King’s above? Words like House Minority Leader John Boehner’s statement before the bill: “It’s Armageddon”?
 
***
 
In the months, weeks, days, and hours before he was overthrown and murdered, along with 5,000 of his fellow Chileans, on September 11, 1973, by a fascist coup led by Gen. Augusto Pinochet, with the full backing of the U.S. government and the CIA in particular, President Salvador Allende, the first elected socialist president in the Americas, continued to fend off those of his supporters who were demanding to be armed so that they could fight against those plotting the fascist coup.
 
Dr. Allende continued to tell the nation that the Chilean military was a "patriotic" military and wouldn't participate in any illegal and unconstitutional coup. The peasants, workers, students, intellectuals, artists, and others who wanted to defend their elected president and his government knew otherwise. But Allende wouldn't be dissuaded and refused to arm the people against the coup that everyone could see coming and which the Chilean military played a prominent role in.
 
We are in an analogous kind of moment. Whether the coming storm takes the form of a fascist coup d'etat and/or provokes a civil war and/or some other variant, including assassinations of public officials, is impossible to know at this point. But what we can say for certain is that violence will come and blood will be shed. The GOP is stoking these fires and fully intend for the violence to happen. 
 
*** 
 
Why did Allende continue to shield the fascist plotters in this way and disarm the people, politically and literally? Why, when his very own neck was on the line, did he act in this foolish fashion?  
 
The short answer to this question is that the Soviet Union was backing Allende and did not wish for there to be a full-fledged popular uprising. Such a truly popular movement/uprising would have interfered with their plans for what Jorge Palacios analyzes as the "historic compromise" strategy of the state capitalist/imperialist Soviet Union: a sharing of power with the U.S. in the western hemisphere. (See, Palacios, Chile: An Attempt at "Historic Compromise:" The Real Story of the Allende Years, Banner Press).
 
It is for these same sort of reasons that the U.S. Democratic Party refuses to call out the GOP for its true agenda, continues to downplay what is going on (and what was going on under Bush/Cheney), continues to shield the torturers of the Bush Regime and attempt to prevent a full disclosure and airing of the atrocities and explicitly illegal and unconstitutional behavior of the Bush Regime, and will not mobilize the people to oppose these fascist leaders and their fascist movement. 
 
If Obama had called for a mass demonstration in favor of a health care plan (that contained, at the minimum, a public option), they could have overwhelmed the Tea Partiers. If Obama had not bailed out Wall Street and had protected home owners from the ravages of big capital, the Tea Party would have been split and certainly not had developed as much of a head of steam.
 
If the Democrats had called for the impeachment of Bush and Cheney during Bush's term, the mass support for this would have been immense.
 
If John Kerry had not immediately caved in 2004 but insisted that the widespread fraud during the election be investigated, the election would have not been stolen once again.
 
If Al Gore had called for his supporters to march on the Supreme Court before the Supremes fixed the election for Bush in 2000, hundreds of thousands would have turned out, demanding that the votes be counted and the Bush years would never have happened.
 
But the Democrats did not do any of these things. 
 
Why?
 
Why don't they do the obvious? Why don't they call out the GOP for their transparent lies and egregious actions? Why don't they use their majority in Congress and the White House that they hold and simply roll over these reactionaries?  Why do they continue to seek and occupy common ground with fascists? 
 
The answer is that the Democrats, just like Allende and his Soviet backers, do not want to unleash the people, even if it helps them in the short run, and even if the consequences of not unleashing the masses might result in the Democrats' own deaths (I am not speaking figuratively here).
 
They don't want to unleash the people because if they do then the forces unleashed will in all likelihood not only sweep away the GOP reactionaries but it would also sweep aside the Democrats. The Democrats are sharing power with the GOP - they call it "bipartisanship." Both major parties depend upon the domination and systematic manipulation of the people.  
 
The 1973 Chilean fascist coup was the end of the 1960s' movements. It represented the rise of the neoliberals. Pinochet invited Milton Friedman and his mentees, the so-called "Chicago Boys," to restructure the Chilean economy. It was the first nationwide attempt to institute the "free market" policies of the neoliberals. As a result the Chilean masses suffered immensely, unions were banned and union leaders jailed or murdered, free speech was eliminated and dissenters were disappeared, but the already rich became exceedingly rich.
 
We are living with the consequences of this today as the neoliberals are in charge. The wreckage of their policies litter the landscape. Will they continue to reign over us all? Or will the people seize the time and wrest a dramatically different future from all of this? The GOP and its minions have their plans. The Democrats have their plans. The people must have their own plans.