Friday, October 9, 2015


The word has been used frequently to describe the current state of the House of Representatives, as Kevin McCarthy has resigned (unexpectedly and without explanation), and conservatives struggle to wrest power and legitimacy from the sclerotic GOP establishment. Wars - especially civil wars - are always chaotic. But they also tend to clear the air and can, for a time, at least, settle important questions which have stubbornly resisted the arts of peaceful negotiation (in the present instance, I would argue, primarily due to the bad faith of the so-called moderates, who seem to think they were elected for the purpose of withdrawing in good order before the onslaught of our kingly chief executive).

I am reminded of the words of Thomas Jefferson:
"God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion.The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. ...And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
We live in a less rugged age than the founders, so perhaps - perhaps - no blood will be required. But of a certainty, the tree of liberty needs to be watered with something more vivifying than John Boehner's flop sweat.

Overall, I see the spectacle of Republicans grappling with one another for the soul of their party as a healthy thing - in contrast with the Democrats, whose party lost its soul a long time ago, and who therefore march along in a lock-step, invariable gait on the road to perdition.


Gregoryno6 said...

And in news of rebellions abroad, our new Prime Minister attended a party conference and found an audience that was less than adoring.
Malcolm Turnbull booed by his own party members.
NB - while the story notes that Tony Abbott was in attendance and looked 'miserable', it has been reported elsewhere that he received a standing ovation.

Isophorone said...

Putting Jefferson's quote in historical perspective, it should be noted that he and Thomas Paine were rather callous or oblivious to the bloodshed of the French Revolution, until Paine almost got himself executed. I agree that there needs to be better management in Congress, but we have all seen also that sometimes revolutions eat their own children.

Paco said...

Isophorone: Quite true. Not every revolution works out as planned. But the one I'm talking about is bloodless, and only requires elected officials to do what they were elected to do.

JeffS said...

I, for one, welcome chaos. It's a helluva lot better than submission.

Minicapt said...

You don't mean KAOS?


Robert of Ottawa said...

As I commented periodically, this internecine warfare is essential to restore a sclerotic soft liberal-in-blue (red in the US) suite party to a right party. Yes, it is messy civil war but it must be undertaken. When the populace is presented with a conservative option, they go for it. This is Canada's experience.