December 12, 2005
SALON’S CARY TENNIS TALKS REVOLUTION:
At a certain point in the near future, if the current oligarchy cannot be removed via the ballot, direct political action may become an urgent and compelling mission. It may then be necessary for many people in many walks of life to put their bodies on the line. For the moment, however, although pressing and profound questions have arisen about whether the current government is even legitimate, i.e., properly elected, there still remains a chance to remove this government peacefully in the 2008 election. (Or am I living in a dream world?)
I do think this regime’s removal is the most urgent matter before the country today. . . . This is all terrible and rather fantastic to contemplate. But what assurances have we that it is not all quite plausible? Having discarded the principles that Jefferson & Co. espoused, the current regime seems capable of anything. I know that my imagination is a feverish instrument. But are we not living in feverish times, in times of the unthinkable?
“Feverish,” indeed. Apparently, Tennis is ready to join a militia, since he’s saying the kind of stuff they were saying in 1995.
My advice: you could try something radical like winning elections instead of losing them, by putting forward candidates capable of attracting support from a majority of the electorate. But that would require a commitment to democracy, something that seems rather weak in this piece.
UPDATE: More on Cary Tennis’s remarks from Ace of Spades:
when disaffected, no-account fantasy-race-warriors joined militia movements in the nineties, the media was all a-twitter at this dangerous threat to our nation’s stability. Nevermind that the movement was decidedly fringe and small, and that a lot of the people involved weren’t particularly hard-core politically. They just liked running around the woods with guns (which, I have to admit, sounds kind of fun).
But when mainstream left-liberals write of violent revolution in not-at-all-fringe left-liberal magazines, no one in the media seems particularly bothered.
Suggesting they’re not bothered by the idea of violent revolution, so long as the right people wind up with their backs up against the wall.
Well, and Salon readers usually don’t own guns. More commentary from Rob Port: “This would also explain their willingness to undermine any sort of progress in Iraq with overly negative reporting and a total refusal to acknowledge the progress made there and the positive implications that progress has for the whole region. Because if removing the current regime is the most pressing issue for them right now what does losing a little war in Iraq matter?”
Clayton Cramer notes the unarmed-revolution irony: “What are they going to use? Super Soakers?”
Well, the potato guns are sold out! (To be fair, Tennis at some points seems to be advocating Gandhiesque nonviolent resistance, though in other places he seems to be advocating more violent means. It’s a bit of a muddle.)
Finally, Ed Morrissey offers a short refresher on the Constitution and regime change:
First, let me state the obvious. George Bush and his “regime” will be out the door on January 20, 2009. Bush cannot run for a third term in office, and Dick Cheney is as likely to run as he is to get elected — in other words, almost no chance at all. Even middle-school students know that Presidents can only serve two terms.
MORE: Jonah Goldberg offers thoughts on “regime change.”
And Bill Peschel notes the difference between real and faux repression.