Wednesday, July 27, 2011

“Gangster Government” Requires The “Constitutional Option”

Kenneth M. O’Brien

There’s a very old, and rather crude joke among campers who share a tent regarding the sudden nocturnal presence of unpleasant aromas. It begins with the observation, “He who say it….”.

The joke contains, however, as all jokes do, a fundamental truth about human behavior. In this case it demonstrates the presence of guilt and the immediate effort to escape such guilt and place the blame on others.

This is, in many ways, the definition of irony (or better yet, hypocrisy).

In current political events in Washington this irony (hypocrisy) has never been so amply demonstrable.

Current Republican Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, founder of the House Tea party Caucus, famously made the following remarks on the floor of the U. S. House of Representatives.

“Gangster Government”. Now that’s an interesting phrase.

What is interesting is the provable irony (hypocrisy) that it now can be shown to contain.

According to today’s Los Angeles Times, as well as numerous other sources:

House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, a Californian, showed a clip Tuesday evening from the bank heist film “The Town” to fire up the troops, write Times reporters Lisa Mascaro and Kathleen Hennessey. (See video below.)
The choice of a bank-robbery film to help promote unity among the squabbling conservatives was met with puzzlement by some. In the clip, Ben Affleck’s character approaches a character played by Jeremy Renner and says “I need your help. I can’t tell you what it is. You can never ask me what it is. You can ask me about it later. We’re going to hurt some people.”
“Whose car we gonna take?” Renner replies (in a strained Bah-stan accent).

Due to some of the language as well as violence involved the rest of the clip can be seen here (click on this link).
The L. A Times article goes on to report:

…the scene reportedly prompted the never-shy Rep. Allen West of Florida to jump to his feet and declare “I will drive the car!”

Representative Allen West (R. – FL) as some will recall was recently the author of an email to another Florida Congressman, Debby Wasserman-Schultz, who is also chair of the National Democratic Committee. That email said:

From: Z112 West, Allen

Sent: Tuesday, July 19, 2011 04:48 PM
To: Wasserman Schultz, Debbie
Cc: McCarthy, Kevin; Blyth, Jonathan; Pelosi, Nancy; Cantor, Eric
Subject: Unprofessional and Inappropriate Sophomoric Behavior from Wasserman-Schultz

Look, Debbie, I understand that after I departed the House floor you directed your floor speech comments directly towards me. Let me make myself perfectly clear, you want a personal fight, I am happy to oblige. You are the most vile, unprofessional ,and despicable member of the US House of Representatives. If you have something to say to me, stop being a coward and say it to my face, otherwise, shut the heck up. Focus on your own congressional district!

I am bringing your actions today to our Majority Leader and Majority Whip and from this time forward, understand that I shall defend myself forthright against your heinous characterless behavior......which dates back to the disgusting protest you ordered at my campaign hqs, October 2010 in Deerfield Beach.

You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!

Steadfast and Loyal

Congressman Allen B West (R-FL)

West's email stems from this comment from Wasserman Schultz on the House floor: "The gentleman from Florida, who represents thousands of Medicare beneficiaries, as do I, is supportive of this plan that would increase costs for Medicare beneficiaries. Unbelievable from a member from south Florida."

Just like the feckless camper, it is clear where the true element of gangsterism has come to reside in our government. It rests with those who will stop at nothing to bring down this President, regardless of the damage to our country.

In a previous article I expressed a similar view. Questioned by a prominent conservative who chairs the local Republican Town Committee, I said that I have come to the unequivocal conclusion that this is true.

When one surveys conservative blogs, television, radio and the hyperbole of invective and lies that have been directed against this President it makes the Bush bashing of prior years seem inconsequential.

What we have had to deal with is a variety of Frank Luntz inspired bumper sticker distortions of the truth. The latest is the “We won’t give President Obama a blank check.” An increase in the debt ceiling is not a blank check! It is required to pay legitimate expenses that have been incurred as a result of legislation already passed by the House and Senate. It has nothing to do with the future.

This lie ranks up there with “Job Creators” and “Death Panels”. Anybody who believes this stuff is most likely eating Captain Crunch three times a day, ordering the male and female versions of Extenze and still waiting for a reply from that Nigerian Prince they sent money to.

In addition, aside from the fact that recently the prior Administration has been bashed as much from the right as it ever was from the left, one has to ask how sincere are the voices that were never raised from 2001 to 2009.

The bulk of the debt incurred that they are protesting was incurred then, not under Obama.

Since then, former President Bill Clinton has given the same advice.

It is time to show who the true gangsters are and for this President and his party to stand on their hind legs and save the people, and the Republic and to repudiate a 30-year old ideological experiment that has returned our country to the same crises and pattern of robber barons that we had from 1880 to 1932.


  1. The blank check lie utterred by Boehner and repeated by other Republicans. The fact is that Congress appropriates funding. It's in the Constitution. You know, the Constitution that the Republicans had read at the beginning of the current Congress. Congress appropriates money and determines spending. CONGRESS. Raising the debt cieling simply covers the spending that CONGRESS already appropriated. Congress already ate the meal at the restaurant, but are now balking at paying the bill.



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