BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS
by Meg White
Ordinarily, angry people threatening to leave the U.S. over political matters rethink their dramatic plans. I know; I was one of them.
I was disappointed by the first nation-wide electoral "victory" handed to George W. Bush. But, especially after his first year or two in office, I knew he couldn't get reelected. I was so certain of this that I vowed to leave the country if he did.
Guess what? I'm still here!
Being in the midst of writing my thesis was a sufficient excuse to remain. But deep down I knew that I wouldn't abandon my country in its hour of need, no matter how dumb it looked. My parents taught me that "love it or leave it" is as stupidly intolerant as it sounds.
"Oh, honey. I was around your age when Reagan was reelected, and we thought it was the end of the world too," my mom told me at the time. "But if all the people like you leave, this country will never be like you want it to be."
Little did she know, my mother planted the seed for the tumultuous times we're experiencing today. I was convinced that the only way to save my country was to elect a president that would drive out the crazy, racist conservatives. And I'm proud to report it's working.
Of course, my sinister plan finally took root in the only place it rightfully could: the Lone Star State.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been positioning himself as the new president of the secessionist state, which I like to call "Merica," ever since Barack Obama was elected president. Just calling him a founding father, thanks! Considering the fact that Texas isn't legally allowed to secede from the union (contrary to the beliefs of one-third of Texans), looks like Perry and his band of rebels will be taking off for Merica any day now.
Then came blowhard extraordinaire Rush Limbaugh who announced he'd be leaving (for Costa Rica..?) if healthcare passed. Buh bye, Rushie. We'll miss you. And hey, if all that socialism in Costa Rica gets to you, maybe Merica will have a nice fat time slot for you to put all your hot air in.
Of course, Rush isn't the first conservative making rebellious threats in advance of President Obama signing healthcare into law. In fact, there's been a fair amount of race baiting from the right on healthcare reform. Somehow by granting more citizens access to healthcare, doctors will all be slaves to Overload Obama. Oh, and those subsidies for low-income people to buy health insurance? Those are totally reparations for slavery. Now, the fact that those two arguments contradict each other in your mind is just evidence that you're an Obamatron.
Anyway, it's certainly not shocking that all this talk of healthcare slavery would eventually lead the right to compare our current political discourse with that of the Civil War. Or, as Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) called it on the House floor, "the Great War of Yankee Aggression" (emphasis mine):
If Obamacare passes, that free insurance card that's in people's pockets is going to be as worthless as a Confederate dollar after the war between the states -- the Great War of Yankee Aggression.
(Side note: When Broun referenced "that free insurance card," he must be talking about life in Merica, because I have never seen such a thing in ye olde U.S. of A.)
Of course, this Civil War comparison only works because the tea party movement is steeped in a colorful re-imagining of our founding fathers as God-fearing men who hated Obamacare. The many references to the Revolutionary War -- from "Don't Tread on Me" to lovingly misreading the Constitution to the ill-fated naming of the movement in the first place -- are clear attempts to align themselves simultaneously with patriotism and revolt. Without such a willingness to blend history with fantasy, they'd have to admit they're the losers advocating for slavery in their bizarre Civil War reenactment, or that they have more in common with British loyalists than Paul Revere.
No matter what chapter of twisted history you subscribe to, rebellion is the constant narrative. I mean really; these people embrace the term "angry mob" as a potent descriptor of their movement. It was only a matter of time before the secessionists latched on.
Broun and others invoking the Revolutionary and Civil Wars and the legally specious states' rights argument to "opt out of" the federal government's healthcare plan are simply making poorly-veiled references to their imminent departure. I was hoping by now they'd be gutsy enough to abandon their false sense of historicity and get down to actually planning their exodus. Finally, it looks like that's happening, thanks to the Aryan representing Iowa.
At a tea party rally against healthcare reform this past Sunday, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) suggested teabaggers are the "best" stock with which to make a new nation, if it, uh, should come to that. And he was sure to throw a whole mess of coded violence into his speech, so that we would all be aware that this will be no bloodless revolution (emphasis mine):
KING: I just came down here so I could say to you, God bless you. … You are the awesome American people. [...]
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!
So if Perry's the future president of Merica, will the Iowa congressman be the eventual King?
There's one part where I agree with King (other than the overarching notion that these people should just get the hell out of the U.S.): I also hope it doesn't have to come down to violence. I bet King and his self-styled "angry mob" fight dirty, and I have no doubt they could "beat" my wimpy liberal ass "to a pulp," as threatened.
So what if we just reminded these conservative rebels of what they've been telling us liberals for years? This country ain't no prison. You can leave any time you damn well please.
In fact, we'll even give 'em a few parting gifts as a reward for leaving quietly (that's more than they offered Eddie Vedder, after all). I'm sure we could cobble something together with stuff we've got lying around...
Ah, here we are! These intellectually-mangled Texas text books ought to be mighty handy in teaching the young citizens of Merica the "real" version of history, science and the one, true religion. Heck, Merica can even have that war-mongering national anthem of ours. We have plenty of other options. America the Beautiful has been suggested many times as a suitable replacement. Or how about this classic?
Na na na na,
Na na na na,
Hey hey hey,
BUZZFLASH NEWS ANALYSIS