At home with the suicide bombers

I’m not one given to hyperbole.

My boldest prediction has been that by their actions, by their brazenness, this iteration of the GOP is consigning itself to history’s dustbin, with which some people disagree.

But we have reached a point not faced by this Republic since the seven states of the Old Confederacy abjured their allegiance to the Constitution.

We have been mocking the hardliners among the House GOP as the “suicide caucus”. We’ve smugly assured ourselves that by their actions during the government shutdown they are dooming their party’s electoral chances for the foreseeable future.

But it has gone beyond a “suicide caucus”. It can now be accurately called a “suicide bomber caucus”.

It no longer merely wants to achieve a political victory. It wants to upturn our entire system of Constitutional government.

Some would say, “But isn’t horsetrading always a part of budgetary politics, and even of raising the debt ceiling?”

As John Harwood, for whom few of us have any love, finally tweeted:

Always debt-limit posturing, foot dragging, must-give-me-a-cookie deal-making? Yes. But not this brazen, bug-eyed, cocking of the pistol.

When Mr. Harwood, as firmly ensconced in the establishment media and political culture as anyone, states the facts so baldly, we can finally cast off all pretense of John Boehner being a secret moderate, just waiting for the right time to join in coalition with Nancy Pelosi to fund the government and avoid a default, a default which will have the world live through the 1930s once more.

The fact is that the Republicans have gone through the looking glass. They are no longer in the same reality the rest of us inhabit.

I take Mr. Boehner at his word when he says that this showdown is “an epic battle”. He and the House Republican leadership have hitched themselves to a group of radical nihilists, as nihilistic as any jihadi blowing himself up in a bazaar for Allah’s sake, as nihilistic as any “lone wolf” militia member destroying a federal building and 168 souls in vengeance for the government’s perceived sins.

We have to accept that these people just don’t care if the world crashes around them. They see their world collapsing about them as those they resent calling “fellow citizens” become more liberal, more accepting of difference, less wedded to the outmoded certainties which they still hold dear. Such a new world is not worth preserving. Better it all end in flames and try to carve out spheres where they will reign supreme, able to implement their narrow, mean, reactionary world view.

A Constitution which doesn’t vest them with untrammeled power is not a Constitution worth preserving. When they took an oath to uphold the Constitution, it was to one of their own imagining, a sort of ideal Constitution which they have convinced themselves has nothing to do with the one in the real world, the one which allows a progressive, intelligent black man to be President.

The 14th Amendment is clear:

The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.

There is no wiggle room there. No law passed by Congress can call into question any section of the Constitution. Only an amendment to the Constitution can do so. And that part of the Constitution is as valid and binding as the 2nd Amendment which the suicide bomber caucus fetishizes.

But we know this suicide bomber caucus really doesn’t understand the foundational law of this country, and doesn’t care to. The document is “sacred” to them, but only insofar as it adheres to their prejudices. So the fact that they swore to honor all of the public debt is something to be ignored, because they serve a higher principle. When you think you’re doing the work of the Divine, such niceties can be dispensed with.

We all thought, “Surely, John Boehner will come to his senses”. Many of us still think that. But Boehner has abdicated all responsibility for taking part in government. He was given the Speakership by the dint of the suicide bombers, and has no way to extricate himself from them. He’s in their midst, and they’re not letting him go.

I have no words of consolation save for these: Barack Obama is President. It’s a quirk of existence that history throws up the right person at the right place at the right time so that the human race manages to survive and thrive again after a great trauma. I can’t tell you where this will end, but if the Republic does manage to survive, and reinvigorate itself, it will be down to one man. This isn’t messianism. It is, really, blind luck. But sometimes luck is all we have to count on.

53 Responses to “At home with the suicide bombers”

  1. October 9, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    • October 9, 2013 at 11:14 pm

      “But we have reached a point not faced by this Republic since the seven states of the Old Confederacy abjured their allegiance to the Constitution.”

      Yes, LL, as we’ve discussed many times in the TOD community – that is precisely the severity of the crisis.

      And …

      “I have no words of consolation save for these: Barack Obama is President.”

      Is a fact that ALL humanity needs to be grateful, hugely grateful.

      Fine essay, as always.


      • October 9, 2013 at 11:37 pm

        09 October 2013

        Dear President Obama,

        Section 4 of the 14th Amendment is not in any way ambiguous.

        Any person causing a ‘question’ of the ‘validity’ of the ‘US public debt’ is in Violation of the most solemn, fundamental Law of America – the US Constitution.

        You’re the scholar of that Constitution. I, a mere citizen.

        But, I know how to read and think and the fact that numerous Senators and Representatives in the US Congress are inked into the Congressional Record, in one way or another, by actions and words, that have caused our major creditors to rebuke us for even remotely bringing to question the validity of the US public debt, is a CRIME.

        My hope is that the Department of Justice is already preparing to indict and prosecute those who have sworn an Oath to uphold and defend the Constitution and then participated, in any way, in violating Section 4 of the 14 the Amendment and Article IV, Section 1 of the Constitution.

        These criminals must be brought to justice – just as we bring to justice any foreign or domestic terrorist.

        Thank you,

        Yes We Can

        • October 9, 2013 at 11:43 pm

          time to prepare some dinner …. bbl …. and, though no one at TOD has any doubt about it, we are the ones we’ve been awaiting and we better not fail …. humanity is at stake, nothing less.

  2. October 9, 2013 at 11:14 pm



  3. 6 4morefor44
    October 9, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    people talk a lot about charles pierce having “a way with words,” but i’ll say that without all the juvenile antics and white-privileged obama derangement syndrome, you far surpass the erstwhile esquire subcontractor. fantastic as usual, LL!!!!

  4. 7 Judith Fardig
    October 9, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    Will be sharing this piece far and wide, LL. Thank you!

  5. October 9, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    Thanks LL for another great essay. Congrats Bobfr.

  6. 9 Lovepolitics2008
    October 9, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    Another fabulous essay LL. I wish it’s read, tweeted all over the place…

    Isn’t it fascinating that in those scary times that are echoing some other scary times in the 1860s, America’s president, Barack Obama, is a president who exhibits many of the same qualities as Abraham Lincoln ?

  7. 10 amk for obama
    October 9, 2013 at 11:26 pm

  8. 16 desertflower
    October 9, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    Luck, maybe…and that fact that he truly loves the Constitution, trusts that the laws and guidelines set forth by the Founders is what made us the country that we are. The Constitutional law professor that held tutorial on these very issues that we see happening now….he is not the faux lover of the Constitution that the RW is…only loving the certain parts while choosing to ignore all the rest because it doesn’t suit their agenda. Someone mentioned trust the other day. I trust this President, he trusts the bedrock of our country and the people that make this country great. He can’t do this himself….but he knows what he’s doing much, much more than the angry ignorant fools that are trying to blow up the country and the global economy.

  9. 17 4morefor44
    October 9, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    i see the worst president ever’s chief propagandist is making “mullah” jokes about president obama. wonder how he explains ronnie reagan bringing actual, real-life MULLAHS to the white house for meetings (or sorry…’freedom fighters’). they went on to become the leaders of the taliban. thanks for arming them, republicans!! and look, there’s even video!

    • 18 jacquelineoboomer
      October 9, 2013 at 11:31 pm

      Please tweet that video back to him, if you don’t mind. Great catch!

      • 19 4morefor44
        October 9, 2013 at 11:36 pm

        i don’t have a twitter account, so hopefully other will. it’s rumored that the actual “mullah omar” of the taliban is one of the people there. kind of like donald rumsfeld geting chummy with saddam hussein around this same time. gotta love that republican projection, huh!?!

        • 20 jacquelineoboomer
          October 9, 2013 at 11:40 pm

          I’d be happy to tweet it to him.

          I just shuddered seeing Reagan and Rumsfeld’s names again. Eek. Nightmarish!

          • 21 4morefor44
            October 9, 2013 at 11:46 pm

            yea, no kidding. thing that gets me about that clip is that it’s one thing for rumsfeld and the republicans to go meet and make deals with people such as saddam hussein, but for regan to actually fly the mullahs across the world and WELCOME INTO THE WHITE HOUSE?!?! that’s another level of insanity!! yet another edition of “THANK A REPUBLICAN (for voting these murderers into office, over and over again):

            • 22 nathkatun7
              October 10, 2013 at 12:59 am

              You are on roll, 4morefor44! Twitter warriors should tweet that to media and all loud mouths right wingers.

        • 23 jacquelineoboomer
          October 9, 2013 at 11:43 pm

          Sorry – so tired I forgot to give you credit! But here you go:

  10. 26 jacquelineoboomer
    October 9, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    LL – I literally got chills when I read your post. Thank you again, sir, for sharing your point of view.

  11. 27 willowood
    October 9, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    We are facing a plutonium explosion…magnitude to be determined should anyone survive. We have an incredible president at the helm who embodies what real people with morals and ethics stand for. We are not perfect people, but this group from the tenth circle of hell is without conscience or soul.

    A great post LL…bullseye

  12. October 9, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    Profoundly thoughtful piece of work, LL. This is exactly what so many people don’t seem to “get”: that this small, mad, group of individuals have more in common with the Westboro Baptist Church than with any staunch “Constitutionalists.”

    I love Charlie Pierce, and Elizabeth Warren has done a fine job naming names and telling it like it is, too. And you’re right there with them.


  13. 30 carolyn
    October 9, 2013 at 11:39 pm

    Thoughtful and accurate piece LL, and not hyperbolic. When I hear these people spewing their hate, I think they are really trying to bring about the Wagnerian gotterdamerung. They want to destroy our society by violence and disorder, ending in fire, then bring a new world which will operate according to their peculiar ideas.
    This kind of thinking is anathema to most people, but these twisted people actually are willing to destroy this entire country just to destroy one man.

    What I see is tremendous fear on their part…….we’ve talked about this before. Fear of this man…..fear of how the country is changing demographically……fear of losing their power…..fear of free voters…..fear of anyone who looks different from them……fear of education…..fear of thinking…..fear of enlightened people…..fear of women…..and if Bill Maher has anything of value to say, fear of California, because California will pull the entire country behind it.

    So glad Bernstein detailed that traitorous meeting on January 20, 2009……the more this information gets around, the better it is. These people have operated in secret, in the dark for a long time. Many events are coming to light, and I’ve quoted Justice Brandeis before: Sunlight is the best disinfectant. So glad some people are shedding light on the pollution and poison.

    I firmly believe that President Obama was “brought to the kingdom for such a time as this.”……slightly paraphrasing a phrase from the Hebrew bible book of Esther. I tremble to think where we would be today if McCain had been elected in 2008, or God forbid Romney had been elected a year ago. Our democracy would be gone by now, and we would not even realize what had happened, it would have happened so fast and sneakily. We would be the United States of Kochistan.

  14. 31 amk for obama
    October 9, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    A US Navy admiral who oversees the nation’s nuclear weapons forces has been sacked, a Navy spokesman has said.

    Vice-Adm Tim Giardina, second-in-command of the US Strategic Command, is under investigation for illegal gambling activities.

    He is accused of using counterfeit gambling chips in “a significant monetary amount” at an Iowa casino.

    Adm Giardina was demoted to a two-star admiral and will be reassigned pending outcome of the inquiry.

    On Wednesday, the Navy’s top spokesman Rear Adm John Kirby announced the removal of Adm Giardina as the deputy in charge of the US Strategic Command.


    • 32 jacquelineoboomer
      October 9, 2013 at 11:58 pm

      Although this was a serious lack of judgment by such a high-ranking officer, tell you the truth I was almost glad to see it was “only” accusations of illegal gambling activities. Could have been a lot worse than a possible gambling addiction which progressed to illegal acts relating to it. At least, as far as we know, nobody was selling secrets to the enemy.

  15. 34 Obama Grandmama
    October 9, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    What is so ridiculous is PBO has worked diligently for five years to help us get out of the near Republican depression he inherited upon taking office. He did more than anyone could expect based on the historical presidencies we have experienced in our lifetime. Our economy has improved a lot in these last five years inspire of the obstruction from the GOP. Now it looks like we can go right back to where we were or even worse despite all the good work our president has done. It is so depressing!

    • 35 amk for obama
      October 9, 2013 at 11:51 pm

      I have always said that the batshit crazy murka does not deserve this man. rayguns and dumbyas are who they voted for and who they deserve.

    • 36 nathkatun7
      October 10, 2013 at 1:20 am

      Well said, Obama Grandmama! On top of that, during the 2010 mid-term election, President Obama went around the country urging the voters not to allow Republicans back in control of Congress. Using the analogy a driver who didn’t know how to drive, thus driving the car into the ditch, the President said that such a driver should not be given the keys and allowed behind the steering wheel to drive the damaged car, which hard working people had pulled out of the ditch. Sadly, many Americans, including Democrats failed to pay attention to the President. Consequently, we ended up giving the Republican party, which had run the U.S. economy into the ground, keys to drive Congressional car again. While in the past the GOP crushed the U.S. economy into a ditch, now, the same party that did that, seems hell-bent on driving the the U.S. Economy car over the Cliff!

  16. October 9, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    Thanks everyone. I wasn’t going to post until tomorrow, but Spandan said to go ahead and post on TPV, and I usually try to post at around the same time here, so here you go.

  17. 38 vcprezofan2
    October 9, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    Senator Lindsey Graham says that Without the Towel Boys……

    Do you want to know why the [senate] gyms are considered essential when cutting checks to the families of dead service members is not?

    “This job is very stressful and if you don’t have a place to vent, you are going to go crazy and that’s why I’ve used it all these years,” said Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), who has used the facility since 1973.

    Don Young, listen to me! It didn’t work. You’re crazy as a bullfrog in a tack factory.



    • 39 4morefor44
      October 10, 2013 at 12:01 am

      “You’re crazy as a bullfrog in a tack factory.”

      HA! never heard that one before. must be a canuck thing, huh? 😉

      • 40 vcprezofan2
        October 10, 2013 at 8:19 am

        Not guilty at all! 😀 That came with the post so it’s probably a Texas thing. JuanitaJean and her come up with some really ‘odd’ sayings but they are almost always a hoot. I’d guess a sensible person would have to have a sense of humour to survive whole in Texas. (Or you’d have to disconnect yourselves from it – as my father and stepmother have. 🙄 )

  18. 41 globalcitizenlinda
    October 9, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    all the political cockroaches are out this month; so ari is still alive?

  19. 46 globalcitizenlinda
    October 10, 2013 at 12:02 am


    great piece! thanks for this angle

  20. 47 globalcitizenlinda
    October 10, 2013 at 12:10 am

  21. 49 globalcitizenlinda
    October 10, 2013 at 12:21 am

    these have been a tough number of days for many people;

    thanks everybody for bringing something to the table and helping to keep the focus where it ought to always be ==> on the section of community that most needs protection and advocacy;

    wanted to end on a positive tone tonight so I am going to watch the brief clip from National Geographic documentary of the President’s Photographer, Mr. Pete Souza, as he narrates the final passage of Obamacare;

    I need to remember that at the time, POTUS put it all on the line & that a number of people were betting against PBO succeeding in passing ObamaCare – we know how that turned out.

    like Bobfr constantly reminds us : Trust Barack!

  22. 50 Cindy Sweatt
    October 10, 2013 at 12:51 am

    Great essay LL> I have not personally been affected by the shutdowns, but I can’t seem to get rid of this stomach ache. I am so worried about this country. What the hell is happening. It is like a nightmare I can’t wake up from. The only thing that I disagree with LL on is that to me it is a messianism. Barack Obama to me, was sent by God. I am quite well aware how unstable this makes me sound (possibly true) but it is honestly how I feel. I can’t really talk about this to anyone except everyone here. Thanks, all of you.

  23. October 10, 2013 at 2:13 am

    Dearest Chips, I’ve been a long-time lurker and first, want to thank you on bended knees for this corner of sanity and salvation (too strong a word? no, not really), and second want to express my deepest desire to be a part of your group. I think I requested a year or so ago, but didn’t hear back, likely due to my not having a facebook account – I kinda’ don’t get it : ( But please! I think if I don’t get some like-minded friends pretty dang soon I might be committed somewhere. I hope you can see by my e-mail address that I’m one of you guys. My love of and loyalty to my president and first lady is total and unprecedented. Please know I really need you guys- dudette, hopefuit, utliberal, yardarm, lovelyplains, ll, zizi, 99ts, tnmntngirl, and even amk! If I don’t hear back, I hope you can forgive me for asking again. And, again, THANK YOU! You are a saint among us.

    • 53 misspat
      October 10, 2013 at 11:57 am

      Welcome and we are glad to see you here. This place is for smart people like you, people that can think for themselves. We come here to get information that is not available anywhere else on the Internet. Smart, witty, funny, kind, loyal people gather here. Welcome again.

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