Tuesday :: Aug 8, 2006

The Legitimate Insurgency

by pessimist

Nico is posting at Think Progress a link to a Fox News video [MOV] showing Newt Gingrich declaring "... you have what I think is a legitimate insurgency in Connecticut ..."

This got me to thinking. 'Insurgency' and its related variations carry a politically-loaded connotation. Merriam-Webster's 1996 Dictionary of Law presents 'insurgency' as "... a condition of revolt against a recognized government ..."

But a 'recognized' government isn't necessarily the same as a 'legitimate' one. At Crooks and Liars, Steve Benen of The Carpetbagger Report on August 6th, 2006 posted:

It’s been about 48 hours since Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee issued a sweeping indictment of the Bush administration’s casual approach to law-breaking in a report called, "The Constitution in Crisis."

[T]his is a well-documented, thoroughly-researched report from congressional Democrats about the Bush administration possibly violating over two dozen federal laws and regulations — some of them multiple times.

Referring to WordNet ® 2.0, © 2003 Princeton University:

legitimacy - n 1: lawfulness by virtue of being authorized or in accordance with law.

One cannot be both in accord with the law - and in violation of it.

Over at The Progressive Daily Beacon, A. Alexander dons the Quixotic armor and tilts at the semantical windmill:

Some have expressed concern over Newt Gingrich's use of the term "insurgency"... Gingrich was correct in obliquely referring to America's blogosphere and directly Lamont supporters, as being an "insurgency".

One would have to wonder why one would want to imbue one's opponents with a legitimacy they never earned, especially when it becomes clear that Alexander is seeking to show an important distinction between Bu$hCo and previous American governments:

Open and truly democratic governments don't view their political opponents as "enemies" whose opposition is looked upon as an "insurgency", and they certainly don't feel a need to be at war with the people they govern. For Gingrich, Bush, Republicans and the entire Neo-Conservative movement; however, the reality is that the American people are increasingly questioning their "right to rule" and are, therefore, considered enemies or, as Newt Gingrich more aptly said, an "insurgency".

It is in fact the patriotic duty of every American citizen to directly confront and oppose the tyranny being imposed upon the United States of America by the Bush-Republican Neo-Conservative movement.

Normally, one relies upon the oposition party to lead, and in our present dilemma, a few Democrats actually are. Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said that anyone supporting Bush’s war policies is in deep trouble, and Harry Reid managed to construct a temporary opposition in the Senate to block the trade of a minimum-wage increase for a maximum increase in the estate tax cut, but such events are all too rare.

It thus befalls We, the People to meet our historic obligations.

In our form of government, the legitimacy to rule is conferred by the people. You know the line - "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed..." - that is trotted out every time an election rolls around, whether legitimate or not.

But The Preamble to the Declaration of Independence also includes this sentence, which History Professor Newton Gingrich, PhD, should clearly remember:

"But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object,
evinces a Design to reduce [our inalienable rights] under absolute Despotism,
it is their Right, it is their Duty,
to throw off such Government,
and to provide new Guards for their future Security.

"When, in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bonds which have connected them with another ..." begins this important document from American History. In this instance, however, the 'one People' are ourselves, and we have become separated into US and THEM. In fact, too many USs and THEMs.

But in our country today, a certain amount of US v THEM is inevitable, as we have reached a condition of divisiveness unseen since the American Civil War. Such an 'US v THEM' distinction is becoming evident in the campaign strategies of many Republicans, who are separating themselves from their party identification. The Democrats may well consider such a move as well, for We, the People desire change:

Especially worrisome for members of Congress is that the proportion of Americans who approve of their own representative's performance has fallen sharply. Traditionally, voters may express disapproval of Congress as a whole but still vote for their own member, even from the majority party. But 55 percent now approve of their lawmaker, a seven-percentage-point drop over three months and the lowest such finding since 1994, the last time control of the House switched parties. "That's dramatic," said Republican consultant Ed Rollins, who was White House political director under President Ronald Reagan.

Strategists wonder how many Democratic voters ... will be willing to punish one of their own who strays. "It was a problem in 2004, and it's going to be a bigger problem in 2006 if you're a Democrat who's seen as an accommodationist or a capitulationist," said Mark Mellman, a Democratic consultant.

Even governmental entities - which are widely seen as deep in the GOP bag - are being affected by this new political reality, and can't thus be relied upon to deliver the desired 'justification' for Bu$hCo's illegitimate and un-Constitutional acts:

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia refused on Monday to put on hold a ruling that Tom DeLay, the indicted former House of Representatives Republican leader, must appear on the November congressional ballot.

Texas Republican Party chairwoman Tina Benkiser had requested an emergency stay of the ruling by a U.S. appeals court until Republicans can formally ask the Supreme Court to review the case. The appeals court ruled last week that the state Republican Party could not replace DeLay, who said he would not seek re-election and resigned from Congress in June after polls showed he might lose his suburban Houston district to a Democrat. After resigning, DeLay moved to Virginia so the Texas Republican Party chairwoman could declare him ineligible under state election law. But both a federal judge and the appeals court ruled that DeLay must be on the ballot.

It isn't just SCOTUS who is failing to serve The Petroleum Empire. The various governors of the states - even avowed conservatives - are discussing denying the use of their National Guard units to the Bu$hCo government:

Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, a Republican, .... told reporters that the move to shift control of the Guard to the president during national emergencies "violates 200 years of American history" and is symptomatic of a larger federal effort to make states no more than "satellites of the national government." Huckabee, who is considering a presidential run in 2008, said Congress and the administration -- run by fellow Republicans -- have moved far from what he called the "traditional states' rights position" of conservatives.

Even the voters are rising up angry, attempting to thwart Bu$hCo schemes to control voting results:

The democratic processes of the American Republic are based on decentralized power. Centralized power led to the American Revolution. Centralized power is the antithesis of a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.

A recent editorial in the New York Times, entitled "Strong Arming the Vote" (August 3, 2006) describes how the Department of Justice under the Bush Administration has been heavily involved in partisan ploys to negate necessary checks and balances in election practices. HR 550 - if passed as written, will establish a whole new arm of Executive power with dangerous authority to subvert the entire democratic process of elections that supports our system of government. It would result, in effect, in a bloodless coup.

By definition, as cited above, there is no 'legitimacy' conferred upon Bu$hCo if they aren't willing to obey the law. It is the duty of the people, as presented in The Preamble, that power be removed from such abusers and reinvested in the people. Legitimacy thus has been revoked through such oppositional actions by the people and their local elected officials.

But if Gingrich still wants to insist that the people are 'insurgent',
then it is that they are insurgent
against insurgents who have usurped national power
and who are wielding it abusively.

Based on the events I've presented above, I can't be sure that such investment is actually taking place. We could easily be seeing only a changing of the corporate guardians.

But the fact that such a change of whatever sort is underway is a good thing. Bu$hCo has demonstrated irresponsibility, and even the beneficiaries of such irresponsibility are making hostile comments. Extra-governmental activities to divert Bu$hCo away from dangerous situations are being undertaken, which further erodes the perceived 'legitimacy' of Bu$hCo.

Hopefully, the sum total of all of these actions will divert us away from the situation facing our Neighbor to the South. Yet, those people are showing their continuing resolve toward righting a grievous wrong - a lesson today's Americans could learn from those who did so from our own ancestors.

So go ahead and call us insurgents, Newtie-Pootie! You and your kind have called us worse. Much worse. Sticks and stones, you know!

It isn't going to help you in the end. Not one little bit. We're mad, and we're coming for you. If it be war you want, then let it begin here.

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