In the Dec. 21 issue of New Times, Al Fonzi wrote a commentary titled, "A grave threat to the Republic." He proceeds to lay out, and push, all kinds of accusations against the FBI, Special Counsel Robert Mueller III, and pretty much the whole U.S. intelligence/security apparatus that have been spewed of late by Fox News and other right-wing media outlets (and Donald Trump himself, of course), saying that there is a serious threat going on to our liberties, rights, and democratic political processes aimed at toppling Donald Trump's presidency (An attempted "coup d' état" they are saying: Purge them! Arrest them!). Fonzi goes on to detail various specifics to back up his and the far right's claims, all of which have been very strongly refuted by fact finders in the mainstream media (Fake news, of course, right, Al?). Fonzi then tells part of the truth about the smarmy record of the FBI in going after certain politicians in the past and keeping files of unsavory information about them so as to have blackmail material on them if they ever went against the power hungry and paranoid J. Edgar Hoover and his FBI's actions.
What's really interesting are the many facts about the FBI's repressive intimidations, provocateur interventions, and destabilizations against the left over the decades (under every FBI director, not just Hoover) that Fonzi never mentions. For its whole existence, along with its legitimate functions, the FBI has acted as the American Secret Political Police against the left—the socialist movement, the Communist Party and suspected sympathizers (remember McCarthyism?), union organizers, and so on. Remember the FBI's COINTELPRO program (and its later versions) against the civil rights movement (and Martin Luther King, personally), anti-war movements from Vietnam to now, the Black Power movement (and lately, the Black Lives Matter movement), etc.? Just about everyone doing anything significantly "left" and everything that has been done by the progressive movement forces over the years, including the Occupy Wall Street movement back in 2011 and 2012. Obama's Homeland Security Department also carried out disruption actions against that movement. But now that the right wing thinks its ox is being gored, all of a sudden the alarm bells go off. It's a coup! Police state tactics! Witch-hunt! Corruption! Cats and dogs living together! Chaos!
Where were Fonzi and the rest of the far right when all of this was going on against left-wing forces? Protesting against anti-democratic repression against the left? Warning against police state tactics and grave threats to the republic? No. Never. If anything, Fonzi and his ilk were likely cheering the FBI on (get those damn commies!). You can cut the hypocrisy with a knife.
If and when it comes out that the FBI, the special counsel, and other governmental forces have been and are actually committing violations against the real rights of Trump or anybody else, I'll be the first to stand up against it and denounce it. So far I don't see it. Will Col. Fonzi and other right-wingers give the same courtesy to the left? If you believe that, I have ocean front property in Eastern Iowa that I'll sell you cheap. Cash only; I'll get a receipt to you in a couple of weeks. Trust me, believe me (the Trumpster's favorite saying)!
And Al, spare us the demagogic nonsense about the phony war on Christmas. There never was such a war. Some people pointed out some years ago that many religions have special holidays and ceremonies around this Winter Solstice time, not just Christianity. So it was suggested that "Happy Holidays" might be a more inclusive expression. Some on the left went too far with it, no doubt (we have idiots and fools on the left, too). Most folks just said "Merry Christmas" and "Happy Holidays" together. But the far/fundamentalist right wanted another "fake" (that's right) controversy to rouse their following. But it was and is not real.
Man, I can't wait for more brilliant articles by the colonel on things like how phony and baseless are the claims about human-caused global warming and climate change! And how all those polar bears are as happy as clams these days not having to deal with so much pesky Arctic ice! Brilliance, pure brilliance ... . Δ
Jim Griffin really wanted to participate in Rhetoric and Reason because he's got a problem with the conservative columnist. He writes about his liberal tendencies from San Luis Obispo. Send comments through the editor at email@example.com.