June 29th, 2009

Honduras and democracy

Fausta’s been on top of the situation in Honduras as news breaks. And here’s a big article on the subject in the WSJ.

A couple of things become clear on reading the WSJ article. The first is that the reason for the coup was to stop deposed President Zelaya from accomplishing an unconstitutional usurption of power:

Mr. Zelaya, a frequent critic of the U.S., has been locked in a growing confrontation with his country’s Congress, courts, and military over his plans for the referendum — planned for Sunday — that would have asked voters whether they want to scrap the constitution, which the president says benefits the country’s elites.

The Supreme Court had ruled the vote was illegal because it flouted the constitution’s own ban on such referendums within six months of elections. The military had refused to take its usual role of distributing ballots. But Mr. Zelaya fired the chief of the army last week and pledged to press ahead.

The second is that our own president, despite his original refusal to “meddle” in the affairs of Iran, has attempted to meddle mightily in Honduran affairs in order to save Zelaya. The manner in which Obama tried to interfere highlights both his own hubris and his misplaced faith in the power of “dialogue”:

The Obama administration and members of the Organization of American States had worked for weeks to try to avert any moves to overthrow President Zelaya, said senior U.S. officials. Washington’s ambassador to Honduras, Hugo Llorens, sought to facilitate a dialogue between the president’s office, the Honduran parliament and the military.

The efforts accelerated over the weekend, as Washington grew increasingly alarmed. “The players decided, in the end, not to listen to our message,” said one U.S. official involved in the diplomacy. On Sunday, the U.S. embassy here tried repeatedly to contact the Honduran military directly, but was rebuffed. Washington called the removal of President Zelaya a coup and said it wouldn’t recognize any other leader.

And then there’s the following [emphasis mine]:

The U.S. stand was unpopular with Honduran deputies. One congressman, Toribio Aguilera, got prolonged applause from his colleagues when he urged the U.S. ambassador to reconsider. Mr. Aguilera said the U.S. didn’t understand the danger that Mr. Zelaya and his friendships with Mr. Chavez and Cuba’s Fidel Castro posed.

Retired Honduran Gen. Daniel López Carballo justified the move against the president, telling CNN that if the military hadn’t acted, Mr. Chávez would eventually be running Honduras by proxy.

A year ago I might have considered the statement I’m about to make to be a slide into tinfoil hat territory. But now I believe that Mr. Aguilera may be giving Obama way too much credit. I suspect that Obama understands exactly what dangers Chavez and Castro pose, and that he either doesn’t care or that he actually approves.

Obama has said that he is “deeply concerned” by the news of the removal of Zelaya and that he calls on “all political and social actors in Honduras to respect democratic norms, the rule of law and the tenets of the Inter-American Democratic Charter.” So far it seems, however, that it was actually Zelaya who was violating those rules of law. It also sounds as though Obama’s definition of “democratic norms” might include “one person, one vote, one time.”

Zelaya was determined that Honduras follow in the footsteps of that stellar democracy, Venezuela, which not long ago (see this) paved the way, in a similar referendum, for Hugo Chavez to become president for life.

A democracy can vote for tyranny—but that’s what constitutions are designed to prevent. As I wrote back then:

…[O]ur government is “of the people, by the people, for the people.” But the overwhelming power the people would wield in a pure democracy is limited by the powers and balances among the three branches, the fact that we have a representative republican form of government rather than a pure democracy, and by the aforementioned difficulty of amending the constitution.

Without these guarantees, democracy can mean “one person, one vote, one time.” The Ayatollah Khomeini was given dictatorial powers in a process that began, after the fall of the Shah and the Ayatollah’s triumphant return, with a nationwide referendum that was passed with an extraordinary 92.8% percent of the vote. This established the theocratic dictatorship that exists to this day, with the constitution of Iran being totally rewritten shortly afterwards.

Hitler came to power without ever winning a majority vote for his party, but the German government had another weakness—under its constitution, it was relatively easy to suspend civil liberties and establish a dictatorship. This did not even require the vote of its people, merely a two-thirds majority of its legislature. Therefore it was done by republican means; the Reichstag obligingly voted to abolish itself, although not without the “persuasion” of Hitler’s storm troopers surrounding the building with cries of ““Full powers—or else! We want the bill—or fire and murder!”

And recent less dramatic, but similar and still worrisome, events by which Venezuelan dictator Chavez has seized power with the full cooperation of the Venezuelan legislature—which, as in Germany of old, can amend the constitution by a mere 2/3 vote—demonstrate once again that there are not only “democratic” ways to seize power, but “republican” ones as well (and please note the small “d” and the small “r”).

One has only to look at the makeup of our own Congress, with its power-hungry politics-playing on both sides, to understand that we would by no means be immune from such a vulnerability if our own Constitution were similarly written.

Perhaps Honduran Congressman Toribio Aguilera, the man who said Obama doesn’t understand the danger of Chavez and Castro, could patiently explain all of this to our current president. But my guess is that Obama already knows these things. And if Obama is defending the sort of “democracy” practiced by Zelaya, it’s a very ominous sign indeed.

[ADDENDUM: And note what the once-reputable news organization (and now usefully idiotic Leftist tool) Reuters has to say about the whole thing. In an article showcasing the ranting of Chavez and his accusations that the whole thing was a US plot (as well as Obama's hasty reassurances that it was not, and that he supports Zelaya), all Reuters can manage to write about the motivation for Zelaya's removal was the following single sentence: "The Honduran army ousted Zelaya and exiled him in Central America's first military coup since the Cold War, after he upset the army by trying to win re-election."]

43 Responses to “Honduras and democracy”

  1. rickl Says:

    I guess Obama was understandably upset at the prospect of a Marxist thug/dictator wannabe being removed by the military which was loyal to the Constitution.

  2. Nolanimrod Says:

    Dear Neo,

    Our Prez doesn’t just approve of Zelaya. He admires him and has probably sent him a friendship anklet and asked for his reading list.

    Aristide redux.

  3. vanderleun Says:

    I love the part about “The players decided, in the end, not to listen to our message,” said one U.S. official involved in the diplomacy.

    I mean who in their right mind would listen to, as the poet has it, “An old bitch gone in the teeth.”

  4. vanderleun Says:

    You toss away your big stick you won’t be able to talk softly enough.

  5. br549 Says:

    I am happy, and relieved, you see it as you do.
    It is my belief, unless we are careful and all come to our senses, we are headed for this same strange territory. I see Obama as wanting the same as Zelaya wanted for himself. At this time, I see our own military responding as Honduras’ military has, should it occur. I know half the people would.

    That’s why we have to look out for the hate speech and gun control bills over the horizon. Like you, neo, I thought at first I was in tinfoil hat territory. I no longer believe that, and have not for quite some time. The way the bailout and now cap and trade have come down, are way more than enough proof for me.

  6. Richard Aubrey Says:

    I imagine O sees this as a threat.
    Between ACORN, bought votes, and a corrupt Dem party in Congress, things could get nasty at the end of his administration.
    And, having spent a weekend with some of his worshippers…. Jeez. What a place to come to for folks previously presumed to have a brain.

  7. Logern Says:

    Well this is from our State Dept.


    [b]QUESTION:…So did you think that what he (Zelaya) was doing was in line with the constitution?

    SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL ONE: No, but there’s a big distinction here because, on the one instance, we’re conducting about conducting a survey, a nonbinding survey; in the other instance, we’re talking about the forcible removal of a president from a country. So I think we can distinguish between those terms – those two in terms of what’s constitutional and what might be left to institutions.

    But I think what’s important to remember about the survey is that it was just that. It wasn’t even a formal vote. It was a nonbinding survey. And the issue of whether it was legitimate or illegal did not revolve around the survey itself. It revolved around who conducted it and whether or not this could be conducted by the government and which institution in the government could conduct it, and whether or not as it’s being conducted state security forces could be used to both manage and secure the equipment that was being used for the survey and provide security. And that’s where the divide occurred within Honduras. It was about who conducted this survey, with several institutions in Honduras insisting that the Honduran Government could not conduct it, at least not in the way that President Zelaya had suggested.

    And from our point of view, what was important was not inserting ourselves and trying to make a determination of what was legal or illegal, but trying to insist that the Hondurans find a way to resolve this in a way that was in accord with their constitution.

    I guess you’ve got Obama by the short hairs again, Neo. Or not. Heh.

    However if the removal is mostly popular among the Hondurans, you’ll score a lot of points anyway.

  8. Scottie Says:

    The fact that the Big O doesn’t see a problem with a president flouting his own constitution in a naked power grab I think is the most troublesome aspect of this whole business.

    The fact the military is the force that put it down may be sending chills up The Won’s spine.

    I expect him to take quiet measures to neuter our own military, or any entity in a similar position to the Honduran military regarding distribution of ballots that could threaten him in a similar manner if he tries the same thing here.

    The man has absolutely no respect for the rules society agrees to live within – it’s all about winning at any cost, and then holding on to power by any means necessary once power is obtained.

    And we’re not even 6 months into the Obonga era….

  9. J. L. Says:

    Neo said:
    A year ago I might have considered the statement I’m about to make to be a slide into tinfoil hat territory. But now I believe that Mr. Aguilera may be giving Obama way too much credit. I suspect that Obama understands exactly what dangers Chavez and Castro pose, and that he either doesn’t care or that he actually approves.

    My mindset has been evolving in the same direction. I’m trying to avoid Obama Derangement Syndrome, but I’m becoming increasingly concerned that what looks like Obama’s fumbling may actually be either intentional or done with a willfully careless abandon. It becomes that much more evident when you compare the situations where Obama has been oddly silent, and when he has chosen to speak up. For example:

    Neo said: “our own president, despite his original refusal to “meddle” in the affairs of Iran, has attempted to meddle mightily in Honduran affairs in order to save Zelaya.”

    Yes, and he has also, despite his reluctance to criticise Iran, been all too willing to criticize Israel for its West Bank settlements.

    I have been slow to move in this direction, but I am incresingly concerned with Obama’s motives, and where this will lead us in the remainder of his term.

  10. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    Logern, you are surprised that tyrants offer a plausible denial? They say it is just a non-binding survey, and that this is a mere procedural matter about who is authorised to do same. A lot of people in Honduras, including the military and the Supreme Court, apparently think this is untrue.

    What reasons do you have for believing that this is just an innocent survey? I’d love to hear.

  11. Tatyana Says:

    ranting of Chavez and his accusations that the whole thing was a US plot (as well as Obama’s hasty reassurances that it was not, and that he supports Zelaya

    Chavez can’t believe his luck! He is still afraid of US power and what we used to represent, of our prestige earned by a century of US dominance in the world politics. Right, it is impossible to believe that we ourselves, with our own hands, undermined our position by letting – bloodlessly – an ideological fellow of his in the post prominent office in the entire world. It seems so incredible to him – he suspects a trap and decides to play it safe, by singing the old song of “US meddling”. The new reality of US only meddling in world affairs on his side didn’t yet set in.
    But I don’t think Obama is that smart; a real politician, one for whom politics is profession learned, not just means to glorifying oneself, would at this moment act differently. He would keep his mouth shut on public, to not compromise himself and his own standing in the eyes of his electorate – and send his assurances to his new allies behind the scenes. Obama is so gullible…he believes in what he hears from his courtesans – that he is, in fact, so awesome, that he can afford open incouragement of tyrants!

    If this all didn’t concern our country, what a funny spectacle it would be…

  12. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    I am also glad that I am not alone in my estimation of our “Dear Leader” and his dictatorial aspirations.

    As I wrote in a post several weeks ago that you, Neo, were kind enough to pick up on, we need to evaluate what Obama & Co. is doing using a whole new and unfamiliar set of standards; not the standards and spectrum of normal Presidential ideas and actions in a democracy that we, up until now, have been so fortunate to be able to routinely use, but by the unfamiliar spectrum and standards of tyranny and dictatorship, which Obama & Co.’s actions fit much more closely; true “tinfoil hat territory” when this “dictator” template of reality was used to make sense of Bush’s presidency, all too appropriate and necessary when trying to understand what is going on in the Obama presidency.

    As I pointed out then and reemphasize now, the key action by Obama & Co. that invoked the dictator template for me was Obama’s very early, intense—and still continuing– interest in taking control of the Census; a move that made absolutely no sense in terms of priorities and importance, if we were, indeed, in the throes of an all consuming economic crises that needed all the President’s attention, but which made absolute sense if our new “Dear Leader” was doing some long term planning about how to fix the vote, in order to stay in power indefinitely, especially when his promises proved false, his policies started to have a whole host of negative effects on our economy, our foreign policy and national defense and, more particularly, on voter’s freedoms and their ability to carry on with their normal activities and meet their household budgets, and they, naturally, wanted to vote him out.

    Thus, I can very easily understand why the military removing the leftist President of Honduras—who was following in Hugo Chavez of Venezuela’s footsteps in trying to bypass/modify the Constitution and set up a “people’s state,” a dictatorship—would be of such concern to Obama, since one of the possible scenarios—ending his attempts to imitate Chavez, too—again, territory that we have, very fortunately, not had to visit before–might be the similar march of a high ranking military delegation up to the White House to invite him into a similar exile.

    In all this, I find it extremely curious that the issue of Obama’s legitimacy to be President in the first place, the issue of his place of birth, original birth certificate, and whether or not he can provide documentation proving that he met the Constitution’s requirement that he be a “natural born citizen,” has just been ignored by the MSM, the Courts and the democratic process. Those citizens who have asked the very reasonable question of “is he eligible to be President under our Constitution” have been shoved into that same “tinfoil hat territory,” and mocked by the new pejorative term “Birthers,” as a way to shut down any inquiry at all. And all during the campaign and to this day, several lower courts and the U.S. Supreme Court have refused to examine this issue by ruling on the threshold issue of “standing,” ruling that ordinary U.S. citizens do not have the “standing” to ask the courts to examine this question. The entities whose duty it apparently was to verify that Obama did meet the Constitutional test, and who would have standing, the officers of the DNC and the Federal Elections Commission,
    have said in their briefs, briefs supporting Obama and the DNC’s efforts–court battles that have cost them an estimated million dollars so far to make sure that Obama did not have to produce his original birth certificate for examination–have disclaimed any responsibility for having to vet Obama. So, they haven’t vetted him at all and, thus, no one has vetted him, letting them off the hook—they obviously think–if it later turns out later Obama did not meet the Constitution’s requirement.

    I believe as things worsen under Obama–as they will, and his propensity for riding rough shod over the Constitution and our freedoms and democracy, towards a Tyranny that, action by action, is looking like more of a possibility each day becomes apparent to more and more citizens, this Constitutional eligibility issue will assume critical importance, and be another way out of the tyranny that our Dear Leader is trying to construct.

  13. Artfldgr Says:

    A year ago I might have considered the statement I’m about to make to be a slide into tinfoil hat territory.

    You have perfectly illustrated the basic situation I described in that the tin foil hat situation was a block. That is, if you could shift dialogue to be accepted as in that realm, you shut down that dialogue amount “reasonable” people (ie people that always take the positive excuse when presented with evil in ambiguity – perpetual benefit of the doubt people).

    So for me it’s a more interesting thing that if one maintains a cadre of people who are fed some information against their own state, and show it as a means of making a living, you can move whole swaths of dialogue into the area or presumptive lunacy.

    However, before the internet the only people that wold know the same truth as we are finding are the tin hatters. The people who would collect strings of articles and speeches and put the hints together. I am not referring to the ones that make a living selling what is state information provided to them, but the others. who may have picked up a copy of Margaret sangers autobiography and would be shocked at the truth in history vs the image we are presented.

    Another way to look at the internet and all the open doorways into histories and information as a very very large tin hatters file cabinet.

    And so now, the information that you get that you would, as you say, push off into tin hat land, can be confirmed, and without the kind of heroic effort to dig into dirt and waste life energy doing.

    Does it make you wonder what else is in that area that shouldn’t be?

  14. Tom Says:

    Wonder if I was marked a tin hatter when I first posted “Obama=Chavez” here last year?

    As to the IQs of the Baddies, I doubt they’re all that intelligent. They just have no self-doubts. They are folks of action. They seize the moment. It is we who are indecisive, tantalized by hope, hesitant to soil our hands, who permit their power grabs.

  15. Gringo Says:

    Regarding the bias of Reuters in this case, it was interesting to go to Google News several hours ago with “kirchner” regarding the recent elections in Argentina. The Kirchners lost decisively. When I checked several hours ago, all of the articles posted said that the Kirchners had lost decisively- except for Reuters. Example: at a time when other news services stated that the Kirchners had lost both houses, Reuters was stating that only one house had been lost. Get it into your head, Al-Reuters: Evita III and lover boy lost.

  16. Assistant Village Idiot Says:

    Wolla Dalbo, you wanted the word “courtiers,” not “courtesans,” but y’know, maybe your slip was more accurate.

  17. armchair pessimist Says:

    His frame of reality might not be that of a tinpot Dear Leader but that of an old fashioned machine boss. In this case we’re in store for an enlightened crookocracy that delivers enough goodies and services, along with smooze, to bribe the masses and to stay in power indefinitely. This is time honored tradition in the Dem Party, but it has never been applied so blatantly nationwide.

  18. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    Artfldgr—maybe a trip down a wrong turning, maybe right on target. Your post referencing “tin hat territory” brought to mind the concept of “consensus reality,” the notion that humanity in general, and each society/culture in particular ha—both consciously and explicitly and unconsciously–established and teaches, in all sorts of ways, a delimited reality, a comforting box within which things are believed–sometimes passionately and with grave consequences—to be true, possible, probable and real, and outside of which dwell illusory things that are improbable, false, impossible and cannot be. In each society and each age these boxes have distinctive volumes and borders—they change shape and enlarge or contract as time goes by but, they always have outside limits and borders.

    I suspect that for most citizens in the U.S. right now, the idea of a tyranny taking shape here America (as in the title of Sinclair Lewis’ pre-WWII book, “It Can’t Happen Here”), and the idea of Obama—behind a smokescreen of emergency measures, flimsy, unquestioned justifications, acquisition of unprecedented power, gigantic expenditures and frantic actions taken, supposedly, to deal with our grave economic crisis–very deliberately laying the foundation and building the structure necessary to make such lawless, dictatorial control over America increasingly possible, is across the border, in “unthinkable” and “impossible” territory; our survival as a free and prosperous democracy depends on just how many people and how fast they can cross that border into what they thought was the territory of the “impossible,” and what actions they take once they have crossed.

  19. eNews Reference Says:

    periodicos de honduras en español http://www.enewsreference.com/newspaper/hondues.htm

  20. Maurice Says:

    Obama is a MARXIST MUSLIM, and why any of this comes as a shock is beyond me. He almost permanently creased his face in that Mad Magazine-Alfred E. Neuman grin when he met with Chavez. He grew up with Marxists and Communists, he sat in that hater’s church for 20 years…WHAT IS THE BIG SURPRISE HERE? That Obama is nakedly doing what some of us felt we “knew” he would do if he followed his ideology? That he has done it so quickly and so obviously…but then, that must be the plan, to hit us before we can figure it all out or do anything besides our dainty “tea parties”.

    This man and his hench-morons are trying to bring down the US. I can’t think of one single thing he has done that can be construed as good for our country. Even those things which people are saying are the same policies as Bush’s…I don’t trust Obama to use them in a way that helps us, but to somehow subvert them to his own ends.

    Obama Derangement syndrome? No. I really don’t think so. I wanted this man to succeed, I didn’t WANT to be right about what I guessed..and I take no pleasure in being right with what I told friends. But Obama is what he seems…a clear and present danger to anyone interested in freedom and the preservation of all that has made this country great and decent.

  21. Fausta Says:

    Thanks for your kind words, Neo.
    One thing I didn’t mention yesterday since I didn’t have a primary-source confirmation (but now I do) is that Zelaya couldn’t get the ballots printed in Honduras since the referendum had been pronounced illegal by the country’s supreme court AND the electoral board. Therefore, the government coudlnt print them. No private printer was willing to break the law, either.

    So Zelaya had the ballots printed in Venezuela and flown in.

  22. nyomythus Says:

    To be honest, my first thought was “If Obama doesn’t like it, then it must be good” — hmmm

  23. Scottie Says:


    Since the ballots were printed in Venezuela, did they go ahead and make it even easier and pre-print the check or X marks next to the appropriate box?

    Then all they’d have to do is just check the purchase receipt for the ballots to know how many ballots they had, and hence how many votes in favor of what that petty tyrant wanted to do.

  24. Thomass Says:

    This is why I can’t say people buying ammo are wrong… or crazy….

  25. Tatyana Says:

    Wolla Dalbo: S. Lewis’ book had been on my mind for some times now, too; come to think I can’t remember when I started to make mental referral to it – a week, a month? It’s been a fairly graduated progress along the described path.

    AVI: you meant me, not WD; sorry for the “courtesan” typo, sometimes the correct word just slips my memory.

  26. grackle Says:

    Honduras and democracy

    I don’t believe that America could elevate Obama(or anyone else) to the President-for-life status that Chavez enjoys and that Zelaya sought. The danger seems to come to us in a more subtle form.

    Totalitarianism has usually been brought about with a single individual as its driving force. While Obama’s admirers certainly exhibit cult-like behavior and I can easily imagine them wanting to make him President-for-life there is still that little matter of the US Constitution.

    But Progressivism may be an historical first as a movement toward totalitarianism that is not invested so much in a single strong person but as a truly hydra-headed system of repression. With the media, the intellectuals and the academics all forsaking their roles and becoming enthusiastic apologists for Progressivism the scene is set for a succession of like-minded Progressive politicians. While these leaders would have a very difficult time establishing a true system of totalitarianism in the US, their policies, both foreign and domestic, could so weaken the US and strengthen our enemies that an outside force could destroy us.

    All that is needed is to favor our enemies abroad and to weaken and oppose their enemies: Israel, the West in general and of course ourselves.

    So what would I do if I were Iran? Just what Iran has been doing. I would recognize that the US and the Western nations, even though they have the means to destroy me, have become so decadent that they are unable to wage real war, are only capable of taking half-measures and those only under extreme provocation, such as a classic attack by uniformed forces. I would recognize that I could easily make war on these nations without fear of retribution by making use of irregular proxies, known as terrorists.

    I would know that any attempt to oppose my perfidy would be met with stiff resistance from strong societal elements within all the nations of the Western world. I would know that key groups within the Western nations(the media, the intellectuals and the academics) would be assisting me toward my goal while rationalizing their behavior under various guises.

    I would conduct a smokescreen of conventional nuclear arms development, which takes a fair amount of money, time and technology, while secretly developing a low-tech, inexpensive, yet devastating weapon. I would realize that I could stall and bait Western leaders who are eager to negotiate for all the time I needed. After I had enough fissionable material I would launch my weapon off the 3 coasts of America and over Israel.

    I would know that the remaining Western nations would quickly capitulate on any terms I dictated after observing the fate of America and Israel. I would immediately set about the task of eliminating the Western media, intellectuals and academics and I would know that after I took control that any effective resistance would take generations to manifest itself – plenty of time for me to rewrite history and thus destroy the cultural values that made the West, with its detestable freedom, dominant, a task already well underway by these pawns, these useful idiots.

    Decadence is our true enemy, not Obama.

  27. Gringo Says:

    Here is former Honduran President Zelaya talking about the recent OAS decision about Cuba.

    “The Cold War ended today. Fidel Castro said more than 40 years ago that history would absolve him, and history absolved him,” said Honduran President Manuel Zelaya.

    Here is what Fidel Castro said at his trial for his 1953 coup attempt. From Guerrilla Prince, page 125.

    Condemn me, it does not matter! History will absolve me!

    Also from Guerrilla Prince, page 127, here is what Adolf Hitler said at his 1924 trial for his unsuccessful putsch attempt.

    “You may pronounce us guilty a thousand times over, but the goddess of the eternal court of history will smile and tear to tatters the brief of the state prosecutor and the sentence of this court. For she acquits us.”

    President Zelaya is not the only student of history. For an indication of President Zelaya’s democratic bonifides, see with whom he lines up. I doubt that those who support democracy will absolve him.

  28. Amused Cynic » Blog Archive » Walking clichés and the liberals next door… Says:

    [...] Neo goes tinfoil, and I say “welcome to the club.” …our own president, despite his original [...]

  29. Thomass Says:

    grackle Says:

    “But Progressivism may be an historical first as a movement toward totalitarianism that is not invested so much in a single strong person but as a truly hydra-headed system of repression.”

    I’ll pick the nit and say I think you have the formulation backwards. AFTER the movement destroys society’s pluralistic and democratic foundations a leader rises up and and kills off opponents (often in his own faction / party) and becomes dictator / dear leader.

    Once classical liberal values are gone… it becomes easier for it to happen.

  30. Cap'n Rusty Says:

    All during Obama’s campaign, there was a line out there, which if crossed, placed one in “tin foil hat” territory. Like a lot of you, among my very closest companions, I aired my serious concerns about all the troubling and un-answered questions that Obama’s gaffes raised. The only efficacious thing any of us could do was to try to get McCain elected, and I threw myself into that heart-breaking effort. Being Minnesotan, I also participated in the recount, and I now hope and pray that Gov. Pawlenty, who has said he will not run for governor again, can summon the political courage to find a procedural move to block the seating of Franken in the Senate, should the Minnesota S. Ct. decide in Franken’s favor.

    When Obama was inaugurated, I felt a brief moment of “hope,” even a bit of pride, in and for the people of this country. We proved that we are a tolerant, non-racist and optimistic people.

    But then, a day later, in a White House meeting with Congressional leaders, Erik Cantor made some suggestions regarding tax policy, and Obama responded with “I won.” Suddenly, the border of reality moved decisively into what had theretofore been tin foil hat land.

    A few months later, Obama summoned the CEOs of the bailed-out banks to the White House. He said to them “I am the only thing standing between you and the pitchforks.” That single statement unequivocally revealed that Obama considers himself superior to the Constitution . . . the hallmark of all dictators.

    It’s not Tin Foil Hat Land anymore folks, it’s America . . . the last best hope of mankind.

  31. Scottie Says:

    Kind of reminds me of the old saying “You’re not paranoid if they REALLY are out to get you!”

    (now if you all will excuse me I have more canned meat and ammo to go stack in the back room….)

  32. Perfected democrat Says:

    Obama, with the sanction of the Democrats, campaigned for Odinga, and Odinga’s people chased women and children into a church where they burned them alive, and now they finance the murderer Mugabe in Zimbabwe as Odinga meets with the poison dwarf in Iran…
    Obama as a congressman, and the Democrats, did everything possible to undermine the Iraq war effort, deliberately fueling the aspirations of the Saddam-Sunni inspired & Iranian regime supported “insurgency”, as they murdered thousands of innocent Iraqis and American soldiers during that noble endeavor…
    Obama and the Democrats today brazenly betray Israel, placing them in greater mortal danger of another holocaust of the Jews in our lifetimes, as well as so many other innocents, like those who died in equal and greater numbers as the Jews during WWII, though (perhaps it could be said) only in a lesser percentage of their ethnic group identity…
    Obama and the Democrats are taking every conceivable step to erode the economic stability and financial security, as well as military security, of America, placing America everyday in a more precarious position…
    And now “Honduras and democracy” becomes yet another contentious issue, along with the security of free Columbia, as well as those now endangered under the left-wing yoke in Venezuela and Bolivia and Cuba, and where Obama and the Democrats take every possible opportunity to undermine the integrity of free people more and more in our hemisphere…
    For all the innocents involved, with so much at stake, I hope with all my heart that Obama fails, because his goals aren’t remotely the same as those of the naive idealists (who want to think their desire for his success is the same as their own interests), but who have been for so long in denial of the true nature of this obvious traitor, and the now Vichy like Democratic Party’s far far left-wing goals; With their dishonest, incompetent power craven blowhards at the top, and shallow left-wing fools enabling them at the grass roots level… What’s your threshold for anger? It usually has to become personal before it’s driven home, starting with your wallet, but ending with your personal safety.

  33. grackle Says:

    I’ll pick the nit and say I think you have the formulation backwards. AFTER the movement destroys society’s pluralistic and democratic foundations a leader rises up and and kills off opponents (often in his own faction / party) and becomes dictator / dear leader.

    Thomass, I’m going to have to nit-pick myself and ask you to give examples. We are on the same side so realize I do not mean to be antagonistic but if my reading of history is wrong, as well it could be, I need to know where.

  34. Kt D Says:

    Obama needs to pick a side. The longer he remains quiet on the issues in Iran and Honduras, the more it seems he sides with the leaders being pushed out of power. The people, or Congress and Supreme Court, removing (or at leas trying to) an unwanted leader from office is a Democratic movement. We, as America, should support the upcoming Democracies. At newsy.com, one source believes Obama should reject the overthrow in Honduras. http://www.newsy.com/videos/honduras_pajamas_and_a_coupHowever, I don’t believe this move is appropriate. He is then claiming he sides with a dictator more so than the people. In Iran, how can you support a leader who remains in his position after watching so many of you civilians get hurt or injured? Obviously he is power hungry and doesn’t want the best for his country.

  35. Artfldgr Says:

    I guess he picked a side. the side of castro and chavez…

    Obama says coup in Honduras is illegal

  36. JKB Says:

    Hey, have a little sympathy. Obama’s staff will be working all through the holiday. First, Iran holds an election that would embarrass the most corrupt Chicago Ward Captain. But it doesn’t go well, the population, young people no less, protest and the regime is force to send their axe-wielding community organizers to try to suppress them. Now, a fellow traveller hoping circumvent constitutional limitations on his continuation in power and is summarily removed by the other branches of government using a military loyal to the country, the constitution and the Supreme Court.

    Think of how many of Obama’s staff’s best laid plans have now gone awry? Recent example of resistance to a tyrannical takeover do not bode well for such acitons in the US. It’s back to the drawing board.

  37. Robohobo Says:

    This is funny to read all of you decrying that you have finally crossed into “tinfoil hat land”. That shows what you thought of those of us who were screaming and yelling all along that The 0bamanation was exactly as he said. He is a Marxist Muslim and has been and is acting to reduce the racist US (in his view) into it’s ‘place’.

    The only way that you can reasonably explain what The 0bamanation has and is doing is that he is acting to damage the Republic. THE ONLY WAY! There is no other reasonable explanation. Not that he is really well intentioned, not that he is just not experienced enough, blah, blah. The frakkin’ jug-eared freak wants you made into slaves with him as one of the masters.

    Just wait and watch. Now you know why us bitter clingers have been stockpiling ammo.

  38. Tatterdemalian Says:

    Robo, the difference between a tinfoil hatter and a researcher is that the researcher actually shows his work, while the tinfoil hatter just screams “You don’t TRUST me? THEN YOU’RE A PART OF THE CONSPIRACY!”

    This doesn’t make the tinfoil hatter wrong, necessarily, but it also doesn’t make him any more right than the WHARRGARBL about Obama being the “One and Only True Father of Our Country, George Washington is Just a Dead White Slaveholder.”

    Learn how to prove things, instead of just shrieking blind assertations from the pulpit, and you might get actual engineers capable of creating real-world solutions on your side (“I’ll shoot them feds if they step on my property!” isn’t a real-world solution, unless you’re trying to solve the fact that you continue to draw breath). I recommend reading Bill Whittle’s Seeing the Unseen essays. He gives the difference between conspiracy theories and scientific theories a far better treatment than I ever could.

  39. Thomass Says:

    grackle Says:

    “Thomass, I’m going to have to nit-pick myself and ask you to give examples. We are on the same side so realize I do not mean to be antagonistic but if my reading of history is wrong, as well it could be, I need to know where.”

    Sure but that’s the way I see it. Germany and Italy come to mind. They had parliaments but anti [classical] liberal ideologies flourished on both the left and right. Even the parlimartiarns made it worse by adopting welfare statism to try to keep their enemies at bay. This weakening of the memes regarding the proper role of the state (night watchman / liberal ideal) simply paved the way for the anti liberal movements. Later Hitler had messy purges [of his own people] while Mussolini only killed a few political opponents. Russia and those communist countries that had actual internal revolutions tended to not have liberal foundations to begin with (while others had socialism imposed from outside)… so they don’t tend to make great examples.. but they did experience the later internal purges and were inclined to strong leaders even though philosophically they didn’t claim to promote one. There was supposed to be a vanguard party, not one person.. but that doesn’t work. So, skipping one step, the end result is the same for the same reason (lack of liberal notions about the state eventually equals dictator).

    In the US, we will have a dictator if most people buy the race, class, gender narrative (which at its base argues politics is just about power anyway). The irony being, the people in question may not want a dictator but they’ll have no means (including philosophical, moral, or intellectual) to fight one who rises… in their name… promoting their collectivist program.

  40. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    As an aside, has anyone seen the HGTV series about International Real Estate, in which well off Americans go looking for a vacation home or even their new permanent home in places like Mexico, Nicaragua, Belize, Curacao, and, yes, on a very recent show, Honduras.

    Such new homebuyers always airily say that the place is great and the people friendly and they love the slower pace of life, even though the pictures they show of the local downtown often show what I would call the usual impoverished third world dump.

    I wonder how those happy new homeowners in Honduras are doing right about now?

  41. grackle Says:

    Thanks Thomass for your answer. I have carefully read your reply and I do not see anything there to refute my original statement which you challenged, which is quoted below:

    But Progressivism may be an historical first as a movement toward totalitarianism that is not invested so much in a single strong person but as a truly hydra-headed system of repression.

    In order to refute the above sentence you would have to provide an historical example of a “movement toward totalitarianism” that was NOT much invested “in a single strong person.”

    In regards to your challenge, which I thought at the time seemed to have little to do with my comment: My comment, even in toto, did not address any sequence regarding the destruction of “foundations” or whether such destruction has occurred before or after totalitarian leaders may have assumed power.

    I will agree with the assumption within your challenge that the absence of “classical liberal values” in a nation would no doubt give a potential totalitarian-minded despot a much easier task.

  42. Artfldgr Says:

    i like what one of the founders of intel said.

    only the paranoid survive.

  43. Cylar Says:

    While these leaders would have a very difficult time establishing a true system of totalitarianism in the US, their policies, both foreign and domestic, could so weaken the US and strengthen our enemies that an outside force could destroy us.

    Maybe I play too much World in Conflict or Fallout 3: Operation Anchorage, or have seen “Red Dawn” too many times, but…

    THAT’s one thing I worry about from time to time…that we’ll become so weak that some enemy will take advantage of the situation. One day in 2077, we wake up to Chinese warships shelling our coastal cities, millions of their troops making amphibious landings and pouring into the heart of the North American landmass.

    Irony of ironies. After spending centuries funding our military which in turn has valiantly defended freedom around the globe…

    …our citizens are reduced to the role of partisans, hiding in the mountains and using hunting rifles to launch ambushes on occupying foreign troops. What a nightmare scenario. To become in US what the mujahadeen were in Afghanistan when the Soviets invaded, only without military aid pouring in from some third party.

    All thanks to our President Obama in our own time, mollycoddling communist and communist-lite dictators and slashing defense spending.

    It’s a good thing I’ve spent the last year buying sealed tins of military surplus ammunition. If I’m not firing those rounds at some occupier, my children or grandchildren might be.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.


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