A ‘Treason’ Trial for Barack Obama?

Exclusive: Right-wing propagandists have gulled many of their followers into accepting a false narrative of America’s Founding, a made-up history that now has become the basis for some extremists to call for President Obama’s trial for “treason,” an idea that Mitt Romney only belatedly rejected, reports Robert Parry.

By Robert Parry

A woman’s suggestion that President Barack Obama “should be tried for treason” for supposedly “operating outside the construction of our Constitution” has raised a stir because Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney initially chose not to challenge her. But the news media has ignored the substance or lack thereof of the woman’s accusation.

The woman’s “treason” charge at a town-hall meeting in Euclid, Ohio, on Monday fits with a right-wing disinformation campaign about what the Framers of the Constitution intended and what the Constitution actually says.

President Barack Obama as he was sworn in on Jan. 20, 2009, with an oath to defend the Constitution. (Defense Department photo by Master Sgt. Cecilio Ricardo, U.S. Air Force)

In recent years, as the vast reservoir of right-wing money-in-politics has overflowed its banks, some of that cash has sloshed down to propagandists who have worked hard at rewriting the nation’s founding narrative, to transform the Constitution’s Framers into anti-government zealots.

This false narrative with the Framers starring as Ayn Rands of the 18th Century has contributed to the modern Right’s extremism, since many of today’s Tea Partiers envision themselves as brave patriots ready to die for the nation’s founding principles. But they have only a distorted view of what those principles are.

Run-of-the-mill politicians like Romney then pander to this ignorance with talk about the Constitution as “inspired” or “sacred” as if this decidedly secular governing document with its sometimes unseemly compromises (such as tolerance of slavery) was the work of the Almighty.

But the Right’s anti-historical narrative of the Founding has a strong appeal to many ill-informed Americans, like those who dress up in Revolutionary War costumes, channel the anger of the original Tea Partiers and wave “Don’t Tread on Me” flags against their own government, apparently not realizing that the real Founders were directing their anger at the British Crown.

The Founders and especially the Framers of the Constitution were surely not anti-government extremists as the Right today presents them. They were intent upon creating an effective governing structure that could build a young nation and address its many challenges, especially confronting economic and political threats to its independence from European powers.

The key Framers, such as James Madison and George Washington, pressed for a vibrant central government to replace the weak version that existed under the Articles of Confederation, which made the states “sovereign” and “independent” language that was eliminated by the Constitutional Convention in 1787.

The new structure, devised primarily by Madison, made the laws of the federal government supreme and gave Congress broad powers to enact legislation “to promote the general Welfare.” Madison inserted the Commerce Clause so the central government could coordinate the nation’s economic strategies to thwart predatory practices of European rivals and to build a stronger country.

A fair reading of U.S. history reveals most Founders to be highly practical individuals, inspired by a mix of pragmatism and patriotism. From the start, they advocated a public-private partnership with government working collaboratively with businessmen to solve problems. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “America’s Founding Pragmatism.”]

Distorting the Framers

But today’s right-wing propagandists have worked diligently, scouring the historical record in search of quotes that can be plucked out of context and used to mislead gullible Americans into a false narrative.

Perhaps most bizarrely, the Right has sought to transform James Madison, the Constitution’s chief architect, into an early version of Rep. Paul Ryan by harping on comments that Madison made in Federalist Paper No. 45, in 1788 when he was trying to tamp down heated opposition to his new governing structure by playing down how radical the changes actually were.

Trying to finesse the opposition to his plan of enhanced federal powers, Madison wrote: “If the new Constitution be examined with accuracy, it will be found that the change which it proposes consists much less in the addition of NEW POWERS to the Union, than in the invigoration of its ORIGINAL POWERS.”

But even that was an admission from Madison that the Constitution added teeth to what had been toothless authorities theoretically granted to the central government under the Articles of Confederation. Making these powers meaningful was itself a significant change and Madison clearly was soft-pedaling some of the new powers.

Madison wrote: “The regulation of commerce, it is true, is a new power; but that seems to be an addition which few oppose, and from which no apprehensions are entertained.” In other words, the power to regulate interstate commerce, the bane of modern conservatism, was viewed by Madison (and other Framers) as a commonsensical and noncontroversial measure.

The Right’s propagandists never take note of that quote from Madison. Nor do they explain to their followers the broader context of the Constitutional Convention and why Madison and Washington were so determined to scrap the Articles of Confederation.

General Washington had strong personal reasons for hating the Articles of Confederation, which had allowed the 13 “independent” states to renege on their financial commitments to the Continental Army. Not only did Washington have to watch his troops suffer, but he put down an incipient mutiny against Congress which might have drastically changed the course of U.S. history.

After the war, Washington also was frustrated by the lack of national cooperation under the Articles, undermining economic reconstruction. Washington, like other Founders, had invested in undeveloped land to the west and recognized the necessity to build canals and roads for reaching this territory and making it more valuable.

In 1785, Washington established the Potowmack Company, which began digging canals to extend navigable waterways westward along the Potomac River. But these efforts were hampered by the national disorganization under the Articles of Confederation.

The Commerce Clause

At first, Madison sought to amend the Articles to give the central government power over national commerce. Washington strongly supported this move, writing:

“The proposition in my opinion is so self evident that I confess I am at a loss to discover wherein lies the weight of the objection to the measure. We are either a united people, or we are not. If the former, let us, in all matters of a general concern act as a nation, which have national objects to promote, and a national character to support. If we are not, let us no longer act a farce by pretending it to be.”

But Madison’s amendment failed, leading him to envision a more radical strategy for junking the Articles altogether. Again working with Washington, Madison put this new governing structure before the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.

Meeting in secret, supposedly just to consider amendments to the Articles, the delegates instead debated replacing the Articles with a new Constitution, a move that represented the most significant shift in authority from the states to the central government in U.S. history. Madison’s Commerce Clause also was back in play.

On May 29, 1787, the first day of the Convention’s substantive debate, Virginian Edmund Randolph presented Madison’s framework. Madison’s convention notes quote Randolph as saying “there were many advantages, which the U. S. might acquire, which were not attainable under the confederation such as a productive impost [or tax] counteraction of the commercial regulations of other nations pushing of commerce ad libitum &c &c.”

In other words, the Founders at their most “originalist” moment understood the value of the federal government taking action to negate the commercial advantages of other countries and to take steps for “pushing of [American] commerce.” The “ad libitum &c &c” notation suggests that Randolph provided other examples off the top of his head.

Historian Bill Chapman has summarized Randolph’s point as saying “we needed a government that could co-ordinate commerce in order to compete effectively with other nations.”

So, from the very start of the debate on a new Constitution, Madison and other key Framers recognized that a legitimate role of the central government was to ensure that the nation could match up against other countries economically and could address problems impeding the nation’s economic success.

The Framers also knew what they were doing. As historian Richard Labunski wrote in James Madison and the Struggle for the Bill of Rights, “no one knew better than the delegates that the proposed Constitution would drastically alter the structure of government. Much of the power of the states would be taken from them.”

The Anti-Federalists

The point also was not missed by the advocates of states’ rights. After the Constitutional Convention disclosed its new plan, Anti-Federalists, led by Virginia’s Patrick Henry, mounted a fierce campaign to defeat Madison’s scheme because they recognized that it concentrated power in the central government.

For instance, dissidents from Pennsylvania’s convention delegation wrote: “We dissent because the powers vested in Congress by this constitution, must necessarily annihilate and absorb the legislative, executive, and judicial powers of the several states, and produce from their ruins one consolidated government.” [See David Wootton, The Essential Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers.]

As resistance to Madison’s plan spread and as states elected delegates to ratifying conventions Madison feared that his constitutional plan would go down to defeat or be subjected to a second convention that might remove important federal powers like the Commerce Clause.

So, Madison along with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay wrote a series of essays, called the Federalist Papers to counter the fierce (though generally accurate) attacks by the Anti-Federalists against the Constitution’s broad assertion of federal power.

Madison’s strategy was essentially to insist that the drastic changes contained in the Constitution were not all that drastic, an approach he took both as a delegate to the Virginia ratifying convention and in the Federalist Papers.

However, Madison also made the case for the practical advantages of a stronger central government. In Federalist Paper No. 14 which today’s Right ignores Madison wrote about the advantages that would accrue from the Commerce Clause.

“[T]he union will be daily facilitated by new improvements,” Madison wrote. “Roads will everywhere be shortened, and kept in better order; accommodations for travelers will be multiplied and meliorated; an interior navigation on our eastern side will be opened throughout, or nearly throughout the whole extent of the Thirteen States.

“The communication between the western and Atlantic districts, and between different parts of each, will be rendered more and more easy by those numerous canals with which the beneficence of nature has intersected our country, and which art finds it so little difficult to connect and complete.”

In other words, Madison was selling the idea of a public-private partnership in which the central government would play a key role building an infrastructure for the new nation. Madison’s ideas are echoed today not by the Tea Partiers and the Right, but by Barack Obama.

Limited Government

Of course, the Founders did care about limited government and individual liberty (at least for white men). Many viewed a Republic under a Constitution as an important bulwark against the excesses of democracy, then a fairly untested system of governing.

That explains the Constitution’s intricate checks and balances and the six-year terms for senators, originally appointed by state legislatures. But today’s Right is wrong in interpreting those checks and balances as a desire among the Framers for a gridlocked system of government that allows a minority to block action on the nation’s challenges.

Nor did the Framers envision an ideologically driven Supreme Court majority altering the Constitution by fiat, as many analysts believe the current five Republican justices will do in overturning the Affordable Care Act on health-care reform.

Today’s Right loves to impress its ill-informed followers with fancy phrases like “enumerated powers of the Constitution” but ignores the fact that the Commerce Clause is an enumerated power of the Constitution, granting Congress unfettered authority to regulate interstate commerce.

The Right also keeps insisting that there must be a “limiting principle” in the Commerce Clause, but the Framers included none, except for the political need to pass legislation through the two chambers and get the President’s signature.

Even, thoughtful conservative jurists in lower courts have agreed that the Affordable Care Act does conform to the language of the Constitution. For instance, in a Nov. 8, 2011, ruling, U.S. Appeals Court senior judge Laurence Silberman, an appointee of Ronald Reagan, wrote a legal opinion affirming the law’s constitutionality.

“We look first to the text of the Constitution,” Silberman wrote in his opinion. “Article I, § 8, cl. 3, states: ‘The Congress shall have Power . . . To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.’” [Emphasis added by Silberman]

Silberman continued: “At the time the Constitution was fashioned, to ‘regulate’ meant, as it does now, ‘[t]o adjust by rule or method,’ as well as ‘[t]o direct.’ To ‘direct,’ in turn, included ‘[t]o prescribe certain measure[s]; to mark out a certain course,’ and ‘[t]o order; to command.’

“In other words, to ‘regulate’ can mean to require action, and nothing in the definition appears to limit that power only to those already active in relation to an interstate market. Nor was the term ‘commerce’ limited to only existing commerce. There is therefore no textual support for appellants’ argument” that mandating the purchase of health insurance is unconstitutional.

As Silberman noted, there is “no textual support” in the Constitution for people to challenge the individual mandate at the heart of the Affordable Care Act.

But the Right wants its followers to believe that despite the clear language of the Constitution and the intent of the Framers to give Congress broad powers to fashion policies to respond to the nation’s commercial needs the Affordable Care Act is “unconstitutional” and the Supreme Court’s GOP majority might agree.

High Court Hypocrisy

You might think that the Supreme Court justices, especially conservatives who call themselves “strict contructionists,” would honor the “originalist” intent of the Framers. But that was not the impression left by the five Republican justices when they heard arguments on the law.

Instead of a serious discussion of constitutional issues, the Republican justices peppered U.S. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. with silly what-if questions, like could the government require Americans to buy broccoli?

Strictly speaking, the constitutional answer to the broccoli question would be yes if those activities were deemed part of interstate commerce and if Congress and the President had the political will to do so. The practical answer, of course, would be no, since that idea would be nutty.

Dreaming up crazy hypothetical possibilities has become something of a cottage industry on Fox News and other right-wing talk shows, but it was still shocking for many to hear these talking points coming out of the mouths of Supreme Court justices.

Even more shocking in a way was a question posed by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who is often considered the most reasonable Republican on the High Court, though he has a troubling history of perverting the Constitution for partisan ends. He was the author of the Bush v. Gore decision that misused the 14th Amendment to put popular-vote loser George W. Bush in the White House. [For details, see Neck Deep.]

Kennedy told Solicitor General Verrilli that the government faced “a heavy burden of justification” for the individual mandate on Americans to buy insurance, the provision at the heart of the Affordable Care Act. Like his Republican cohorts, Kennedy insisted that Verrilli offer “some limits on the Commerce Clause.”

However, in his comments, Kennedy turned the actual “burden” on its head. It was the Framers of the Constitution who decided that the Commerce Clause should be open-ended, in part because they knew that the future challenges to the United States could not be fully anticipated. They left these future choices up to the democratic process and congressional debates.

It was not up to the Obama administration to revise the Constitution by saying what limits there should be in the Commerce Clause regarding legislation necessary for the country to compete economically or “to promote the general Welfare.”

And the Tenth Amendment, another favorite talking point of the Right, wouldn’t apply in this case either, since it only reserves for the states and the people “the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution” and the Commerce Clause is an enumerated power.

In her support of a “treason” trial, the woman in Ohio may have been referring to President Obama’s insistence that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional and urging the Supreme Court not to overstep its bounds by reinterpreting the Constitution in order to strike down a law enacted by the elected branches of government.

But it should come as no surprise that the President and the members of Congress who voted for the law believed it was constitutional, even if five Republicans on the Supreme Court might decide later to disagree.

Ironically, when past Supreme Courts have interpreted the Constitution to justify expanding individual liberties, like ending racial segregation or respecting personal privacy, the Right has railed against this “judicial activism” or what right-wing legal theorist Robert Bork called “judicial imperialism,” that is, justices going beyond a strict reading of the Constitution.

Now, it appears that some on the Right wish to follow up the expected decision by the Supreme Court’s five Republican justices to strike down the Affordable Care Act by holding a treason trial of Barack Obama.

After failing to speak out against this idea, which drew cheers at Monday’s Ohio town hall, Romney belatedly responded to questions from the news media, saying “obviously, I don’t agree that he should be tried.”

[To read more of Robert Parry’s writings, you can now order his last two books, Secrecy & Privilege and Neck Deep, at the discount price of only $16 for both. For details on the special offer, click here.]  

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat, and can be ordered at neckdeepbook.com. His two previous books, Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq and Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & ‘Project Truth’ are also available there.

33 comments for “A ‘Treason’ Trial for Barack Obama?

  1. rob
    May 15, 2012 at 00:34

    All the evidences against Obama should be gathered. I think there is plenty of evidence to convict him of treason. He definitely should be tried. I’m convinced that he’s a traitor to America, an alien and a KBG agent bent on the destruction of America

    • Jeanne Kempers
      May 15, 2012 at 04:38

      Just so many ridiculous comments, I don’t have the time to address them all. This country, which is still the greatest in the world, is fastly becoming very weakened due to Obama’s agenda and that of his “father’s dream”‘. Those of you who care about the United States of America MUST watch the movie in theaters this summer about Obama’s anti-American agenda before you vote in November, !!!! Just don’t vote til you see this movie, please. It’ll be worth the cost of the ticket and popcorn. READ THE REVIEWS. READ ABOUT THE MAN BEHIND THE MAKING OF THIS MOVIE. He’s brilliant and so logical and soft-spoken.

  2. Brigid
    May 12, 2012 at 18:35


    Black L.A. Talk Radio Host Speaks Facts about Obama
    Sunday, 13 May 2012 3:58

  3. May 10, 2012 at 23:17
    • Jeanne Kempers
      May 16, 2012 at 18:35

      We will. We will vote against him and he’ll go by the wayside. Keep up your mission, but keep your words, simpler, please, for those who are not as…intelligent(?). You have to reach more ordinary people, but THANK YOU for what you’re doing. I’m counting on you to get this evilness out of office. Just put it in more-plain words so that you touch more TRUE AMERICANS. I surely agree with you. Thank you on behalf of those who will fight for the USA, no matter WHAT it takes!

  4. photon's feather
    May 10, 2012 at 16:28

    Jewish Mafia… Take your thinly-veiled anti-Semitism to Town Hall where they appreciate such nonsense.

  5. photon's feather
    May 9, 2012 at 21:29

    i recognize the neocon argument: there’s no difference between the two parties. Horse hockey!

    Were you arguing for George Bush to be tried for treason?

    Do I like most of what the Dems do? No! Would I absolutely hate everything the Republicans do? Hell, yes!

    Look at the states that have been taken over by the Republicans, and then tell me the two parties are the same.

    Want a better government? Go work for a progressive of any party. Contribute to a progressive’s campaign. Oust the Blue Dogs and replace them with progressive Dems. It’s Congress that is the legislative branch.

    But somehow I doubt your progressive credentials – just by the fact that you say progressives support Obama. I never did. I warned everyone who would listen and a lot who wouldn’t. Many of us never did. Only later were we joined by the disappointed legions. Still better Obama than Romney (or any Republican) – and no doubt about it.

    Go peddle it at Town Hall.

    • F. G. Sanford
      May 9, 2012 at 21:57

      Sorry, but I just can’t legitimize war crimes and the systematic dismantling of the Constitution with my vote. Obama fooled me once. When the State Department sabotaged the ‘Audacity of Hope’, the scales finally fell from my eyes. Sarah Palin hit the nail on the head when she said, “How’s that hopey changey stuff workin’ out for ya, huh?” Not that I would ever take an idiot like that seriously, but what she said in jest was a white-hot little crucible of scorching truth. What’s the new slogan, “Forward”? Which way? to the newly proposed internment camps?

      • photon's feather
        May 10, 2012 at 16:34

        Never said he was great – or even good. He didn’t fool me even the first time. But unless you work to change the laws to allow for more than two parties, and unless you work to move the Democratic Party leftward – either for itself or as more progressive coalition partners – you’re going see both parties drift farther rightward.

        However, what I said was that there was no comparison with the Republicans. You haven’t answered that. Right now, you’ve only got two viable alternatives.

        Get to work on changing things. Or are you going to admit that the ‘tea party’ accomplished what you cannot – to take possession of a political party.

        Do you *ever* respond to what is actually said?

      • Shatrajit
        May 17, 2012 at 12:29

        Forward means “bend over.”

  6. May 9, 2012 at 19:29

    Barack Obama has arrogated to himself the right to murder whomever he wants, wherever he wants, whenever he wants. Yeah. He “should be tried for treason” for “operating outside the construction of our Constitution”.

    The ‘progressives’ have backed Obama’s expansion of the ‘unitary executive’ step by step, getting closer and closer … they are (you? are) are as responsible as any of these right wing wing-nuts for the fact that we now have a War Criminal, an Assassin in Chief in the White House.

    I’d say impeach him … but the duopoly is fine with his War Crimes and won’t allow it. And treason is a loaded charge, a dirty charge. He’s surely torn up as much or more of the US Constitution as poor, knuckle-headed George Bush ever did. He’s ’embraced and extended’ the aggressive war crimes begun by Bush. And he knows exactly what he’s doing. He definitely needs to be stopped.

    The law won’t do it. The Supremes have subverted the law. It’s gotta be political. We have to reconstitute our government, and there is no place in it for a War Criminal like Barack Obama.

    We need a mass movement to Occupy our own elections. Write-in the name of someone you know and trust for Representative, Senator, President and Vice. And insist on polling again until a candidate has received a majority of votes cast in the constituency in question.

    When our union’s inspiration through our worker’s blood shall run,
    There can be no power greater anywhere beneath the sun.
    Yet what force on earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one?
    But our union makes us strong!
    Solidarity forever,
    Solidarity forever.
    Solidarity forever,
    For our union makes us strong!

    That’s about it. There is no downside to our taking action … rather it’s all downside if we do not do something different than what we have been doing.

    Is there anyone here who actually supports Barack Obama, other than as a known evil that is supposedly less evil than the bogeyman held up in opposition to him? Doing the same thing again and again while somehow expecting different results is insanity.

    We’re the only ones here. If we do not seize power in the USA … it’s pretty obvious where Barack Obama or what’s his name, his Rupublicrat ‘opponent’, will take us.

  7. Eff Yu
    May 9, 2012 at 15:17

    Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.

    -H.L. Mencken

    • Jeanne Kempers
      May 15, 2012 at 04:46

      That is so true. And no decent man would become a politician because they are better than that.

  8. photon's feather
    May 9, 2012 at 12:09

    My question is, How do we put a stop to the Supreme Court’s increasing addiction to deciding the ‘constitutionality’ of legislation – which as far as I can determine was never a power granted to them by the Constitution?

    Every time the Injustices hear a case involving the constitutionality of any piece of legislation, is that not in itself unconstitutional?

    Thanks ever so much, all you moronic Democratic Senators who voted to confirm Alito and/ or Roberts. Why didn’t you listen to your constituents?!

    • F. G. Sanford
      May 9, 2012 at 13:03

      You might look up the word, “legislate”, which refers to the enactment of “laws”. The U. S. Supreme Court is entitled to review those, otherwise their would be no purpose for its existence…as much as I disagree with some of their recent decisions. High school is a great thing if you haven’t tried it. A G.E.D. may be helpful in lieu of that.

      • photon's feather
        May 9, 2012 at 13:08

        Where in the Constitution is the Supreme Court given that power, oh great educated one?

        • Shatrajit
          May 9, 2012 at 22:31

          Marbury vs. Madison, but it’s not unlimited.

          • photon's feather
            May 10, 2012 at 06:32

            Where in the Constitution?

      • photon's feather
        May 9, 2012 at 13:16

        By the way, do you know how funny it is to be told to get an education by someone who hasn’t learned the difference between ‘there’ and ‘their’? (That’s taught in grade school.)

        • F. G. Sanford
          May 9, 2012 at 14:21

          You missed the opportunity to correct my other typo: principal vs. principle above. There’s a big difference between spelling and outright conceptual delusions. It doesn’t change the fact that the “legislative” branch makes laws, and the “judicial” branch interprets them. That’s the concept from which the hypocrisy of “legislating from the bench” was born. Republicans coined the phrase, then proceeded to “stack the bench” with judges who would do just that. Their role is to review the laws enacted by the legislature, not make them. Alito, Scalia, and Thomas, by the way, were all products of the Republican party, not the Democrats. They were all put there based on the ‘litmus test’ of their positions on abortion. The question of whether or not abortion should be legal kind of begs the question: “Should it be mandatory?” in some cases, I think it probably should be. Don’t take that personally, it’s just my opinion.

          • photon's feather
            May 9, 2012 at 14:47

            Yours was the first snark – and it was unwarranted. There was nothing in my question that remotely suggested that I did not understand the meaning of the word ‘legislate.’

            Alito, Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, and Kennedy were nominally the products of the Republicans – but there were Dems in the Senate who voted to confirm each of them. Thus my comment thanking the Dems.

            Where in the Constitution does it say that the Supreme Court has the power to determine the *constitutionality* of legislation? (That is *not* the same as interpreting law.) I don’t see anything in the Constitution that gives the Supreme Court the power to strike down laws based on their ‘unconstitutionality.’

            You haven’t responded. I can only conclude that you can’t find it.

            Lots of lecturing – but still nothing of substance.

            So much for conceptual problems.

  9. Morton Kurzweil
    May 9, 2012 at 11:38

    It is all explainable if you understand that every symptom of belief behavior: submissiveness to authority, dependence on herd values for self-identity, identity with the group who offers, emotional security and comfort, and the paranoia , the delusions of persecution or grandeur violently defended- are the same symptoms of patriotism, the appeal to unity of a race, creed, or nation with delusions of grandeur.
    The rationalism of the Republican Party represents a theological ideology as much as any political or religious organization intent on behavior control. The recent history of Fascism and Communism which rose as patriotic populist ideals had the same appeal as Christianity to the cynical Constantine.
    Hitler drew hysterical crowds to his cause. Napoleon destroyed Europe in the name of liberty.
    The “smaller government” of the one percents who control international economies is sold as a libertarian movement for the masses when such ‘freedom’ results in less constitutional protection for those who fall for the propaganda of hierarchal leadership.

    • F. G. Sanford
      May 9, 2012 at 12:28

      Actually, I don’t think it’s that complicated. They’re just a bunch of illiterate morons. Note that they had no objection to NDAA, H.R. 347 or assassination of U. S. citizens overseas. It all falls into the category of “straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel”. Note these religious loons are no more cognizant of the Constitution than they are of the religion they profess to follow or the teachings of its principle sage. The Constitution was framed when the only people who could vote were well educated, landed and armed to the teeth. These lunatics are just armed to the teeth.

      • F. G. Sanford
        May 9, 2012 at 12:39

        I might add, most of the framers were either openly atheists, deists, or agnostics. Separation of church and state was for the very purpose of keeping these loons from meddling in government affairs. That’s another reality lost on them.

        • Larry G
          May 9, 2012 at 19:38

          According to Wikipedia: “Of the 55 delegates to the 1787 Constitutional Convention, 49 were Protestants, and three were Roman Catholics.” I know atheists like to claim Thomas Jefferson, but he’s the one who coined the phrase “endowed by their Creator.” Jefferson was a deist, who greatly admired the ethical teachings of Jesus. I don’t know of any founding father that was openly an atheist.

          It is true, however, that the Founding Fathers wanted to keep church and state separate.

          • coralsea
            May 10, 2012 at 01:37

            Have you ever read the Jeffersonian Bible?

            I rather imagine the RW fundie-zealots today would decry its very existence, if many of them were aware of its existence – much less, its origin.

          • F. G. Sanford
            May 10, 2012 at 13:40

            Thanks, Coralsea, for the support. What Wikipedia says about these people and what their personal letters, accounts of friends and family and writings on unrelated topics are two different things. Most of these people were under no superstitious delusions. The clarity of their thought processes alone is a testimony to that fact. “Endowed by their Creator” was nothing more than an artifice to appeal to the delusions of those who might be more swayed by superstition than reason. The Jeffersonian Bible is a Bible edited by Jefferson with all the superstitious delusional nonsense removed. It’s an easy read-only about 3/8 of an inch thick with the bullshit removed. These are the same rationalizations used to claim that Einstein believed in God. His personal letters say, “God means nothing to me”.

    • photon's feather
      May 9, 2012 at 13:06

      Unfortunately, the US has long been a nation with delusions of grandeur. And its citizenry has long been the victims of attempts by various groups, including those in government, to instill paranoia. Some were aimed at the entire nation, some at the majority, some at smaller factions. From the ‘red savages’ to the various waves of immigrants (Catholics, Jews, Scandinavians, southern Europeans, eastern Europeans…) to the (ex-)slaves ever on the verge of revolt or anxious to get even to ‘uppity women’ to the ‘red menace’ to extremist Muslims intent on establishing sharia law. Each of these groups – and many others – at one time or another has been denounced as the people who would lead the nation to its downfall.

      In reality, the one group that has consistently and repeatedly endangered our democracy is the self-righteous, hysterical super-patriot – in all its various forms. The ‘tea party’ and the fundamentalist ‘Christian’ loonies are simply the most recent manifestations.

      Unfortunately, the US has long had a reputation as the home of the fearful, if not hysterically fearful.

      • coralsea
        May 10, 2012 at 01:40

        I love the way Michael Moore did the animated American History segment in his film, “Bowling For Columbine”.

        Rather nailed the fundie white male’s fear & loathing of the freed slaves. Not to mention how our culture became awash in guns.

  10. Jym Allyn
    May 9, 2012 at 11:00

    The Republican Party has become a Terrorist Organization.

    • bobzaguy
      May 9, 2012 at 11:26

      Of the highest order.

      • berriesandblood
        May 9, 2012 at 11:34

        …..who is on a slow burn to hell.

    • May 9, 2012 at 13:15

      The Constitution would not have been approved if it were not fr the inclusion of the first ten amendments known as the Bill of Tights.

      Each of the amendments prohibit some activity of the government with such phrases as

      “congress shall make no laws”

      “shall not be infringed”

      “No soldier shsll”

      “”shall not be violated”

      ” No person shall be held”

      “shall enjoy the right…to be confronted”

      “no fact tried by a jury…shall be otherwise examined by …a United States court”

      shall not be required”

      “shall not be construed”

      All of this with the added proviso that only white men with property could vote, own property, be jurors, hold office, be judges or magistrates so that the prohibitions were to protect these conditions

      The illusions fostered about the “Founding Fathers” a.k.a. white men with property gets sickening.

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