Wednesday, September 30, 2009

John L. Perry Solves The 'Obama Problem' With A Coup

Yesterday, John L. Perry wrote a ridiculous column for the website. The article has since been pulled down, but it was archived, in part, by Media Matters here.

There is a remote, although gaining, possibility America's military will intervene as a last resort to resolve the "Obama problem." Don't dismiss it as unrealistic.

America isn't the Third World. If a military coup does occur here it will be civilized. That it has never happened doesn't mean it wont. Describing what may be afoot is not to advocate it.

Then, in an attempt to make his position sound less extremist, he goes on to compare a "bloodless" military coup to a "family intervention", saying that Obama would be responsible for such a coup because his radical Marxist agenda is "inviting" it. Lastly, as if to hide the treachery of his words behind a hypothetical, he recognizes how difficult it is to imagine such a scenario and asks the reader to think up another "non-violent" solution to the current polical crisis.

This column sums up some of the worst of political rhetoric these days. Despite Obama's clear pragmatism and inclination to listen to all sides, wingnuts froth-at-the-mouth and exaggerate the recognition of common goals and an opportunity for common solutions as "radical" socialism leading directly to an oppressive Stalinist state. The fear-mongering is then followed by an around-about suggestion of violent action ("Be armed and dangerous", "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants", "a military coup", etc). And lastly, the writer backpedals, taking no responsible for his deeply dangerous suggestion, and says that violence is only a hypothetical "idea", of course not anything being actively advocated. This rhetoric is an expression of political impotence and disgusting demagoguery. Its fans the flames of anger and prejudice in order to justify a political minority overthrowing a democratically elected government.

John L. Perry is not the first person to take this stance and certainly not he most influential but his voice is part of growing cacophony of the right wing establishment to buy into such extremism. Of course, there will always be kooks who advocate extremist positions. However, because I believe in corporate responsibility, I see, and by extension the companies advertising with Newsmax, to be responsible for printing this crap.

American Express, for example, who advertises on, describes some of their core corporate values on their own website here. "Integrity", "Quality", "Teamwork", and...
Good Citizenship
We are good citizens in the communities in which we live and work.
What kind of good citizens advertise with those who support the overthrow of a democratically elected government? Is that the same kind of good citizen who would blow up a federal building or kill a census worker or shoot a president?

In their defense, American Express is not the only company advertising on the Newsmax site (other advertisers on this day include Georgia-Pacific, C12 Group, United Against A Nuclear Iran, University of Phoenix, etc ). And perhaps, given how online advertisement works, American Express might not even know what site their banner ads are appearing on. Nonetheless, there does seem to be a discrepancy between their stated corporate ideals and John L. Perry's duplicitous suggestion of a military coup. Perhaps American Express could find another site to advertise with which fits more with their values.

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