Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Alan Grayson Is On Target About Al Qaeda and the GOP

U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) is taking heat in some circles for allegedly comparing Republican officials to members of the terrorist group Al Qaeda.

First, Grayson did not compare Republicans to Al Qaeda. But if he had, he would have been on the right track.

I live in Birmingham, Alabama, and have faced various forms of retaliation for daring to expose Republican corruption in our state courts and to write critically about the Bush Justice Department, especially its handling of the Don Siegelman and Paul Minor cases in the Deep South.

I know, from firsthand experience, that Alan Grayson is right--Republicans can, and do, act like terrorists.

In my case, which also has very much involved my wife, retaliation has come in the form of threats to our property and our livelihoods. It's what I have called "financial terrorism." And it has been quite effective.

We've been harassed by unethical debt collectors. I was unlawfully terminated from my job at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), where I had worked for 19 years in various editorial capacities. Last September, my wife was mysteriously terminated from her job at Infinity Property & Casualty, where she had worked for three years.

The bottom line? Our finances have been ruined, and we are essentially unable to hold jobs--despite our solid work histories--all because I've stood up to the corrupt conservative elites who run Alabama. The elites who are behind my cheat job are direct descendants of Karl Rove's influence in our state--and they are the same general crowd that orchestrated the bogus Siegelman prosecution.

Want to know more about how Republicans practice financial terrorism? I've outlined our experiences with it in posts here, here, and here.

My wife and I hardly are alone on the front line in Alabama. I know of a tenured professor who has been targeted for unlawful treatment at UAB because he teaches labor history and economics, has ties to the union movement, and has been involved with (gasp!) "liberal" politics. We will be writing much more about that case shortly.

Some might say, "Schnauzer, you and your wife have been through the wringer, but you are still alive; you aren't dead. Therefore, it's wrong to compare your experiences to terrorism."

Well, that depends on your definition of terrorism--and we have examined that subject in a post titled "Dubya: The Terrorism President." While some see George W. Bush as the president who fought terrorism, I argue that he is the president who actually fostered terrorism--on our own soil. And the Bush brand of terrorism was driven largely by a Rove-led hostile takeover of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Here is one definition of terrorism that I find instructive:

Terrorism: The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence against people or property to coerce or intimidate governments or societies, often to achieve political, religious, or ideological objectives.

We've been conditioned to believe that terrorism involves bombs, airplanes, injuries, and death. But the definition above indicates it can be more subtle than that.

And as two individuals who have been targeted by the GOP, my wife and I can state for sure that we feel like victims of terrorism.

So what about Alan Grayson and his comments that seem to have wrinkled the undies of certain conservatives? Well, he didn't compare Republicans to terrorists. He compared two possible decisions--electing anti-government Republicans to run the government and offering pilot positions to Al Qaeda members--and showed why neither one makes sense.

Grayson has drawn the wrath of the Fox News crowd for "going too far" when, in fact, he didn't go far enough. He didn't compare the GOP to a terrorist organization. But he should have. And as our experience in Alabama shows, he would have landed a truth-filled haymaker.

You can check out Grayson's comments here:

Mrs. Schnauzer and I are becoming huge fans of Alan Grayson. He's one of the few Democrats out there who seems to have steel in his spine. And if he were to run for president in the not-too-distant future, he probably would have our vote.

That's because Grayson speaks for those who are outraged by what has happened in our country over the past eight to 30 years. And as oil moves toward the beautiful white, sandy beaches of the Alabama coast--courtesy of big business--that rage only strengthens.

I was thinking about this the other night while watching a Chris Matthews interview on Hardball with Pensacola, Florida-based attorney Mike Papantonio. They were discussing the BP oil spill and the anger it has generated in the Gulf states. Papantonio said President Barack Obama has, so far, utterly failed to grab the bully pulpit and use it to hold big oil accountable.

"Obama needs to sound like Huey Long right now, not Gandhi," Papantonio said. "We're tired of the Gandhi speech. We're tired of kumbaya. . . . You can even taste the anger down here. It's beyond belief."

Yes, it is beyond belief. And for those of us who had already faced retaliation for standing up to "pro business" forces, it is even more unbelievable.

Here is the Matthews-Papantonio interview. Somebody in the White House needs to be watching:


Anonymous said...

And what of the Blue Dog DINOs? Are they not also complicit in these crimes?

Both parties polarize WE THE PEOPLE with petty little wedge issues that have little to do with money. While we are busy throwing chair at one another in the fake political studio wrestling ring, the upper 1% plutocracy is busy robbing us of our tax dollars, our nest eggs and our future.

Both the Democratic and Republican Parties are 100% owned subsidiaries of the corporatocracy. All three are Al Qaeda.

Kevin Schmidt

Robby Scott Hill said...

Since 9/11, American Corporations, through their own negligence and incompetence, have managed to destroy and bankrupt more of our energy infrastructure and inflict more casualties on our energy industry workers than all of the terrorist acts in American History to date. Al Qaeda isn't the primary threat. The greed of American energy executives is more destructive than any so-called Muslim extremist.

Anonymous said... "A civilization of people needs stability, and a predictable safe economy. We need an economy we can trust now and well into the future. We can not waste our lives wondering will I get scammed by predators or will I be treated based on humane principles. For example, we can not wonder if our retirement savings will be devoured by someone seeking to improve their own social ranking. We need an economy that promotes and rewards nurture over neglect, altruism over social ranking, hope over hopelessness."

Anonymous said...

With your definition of terrorism it is clear that in Iraq what the U.S. was doing was terrorism, ironically in its fight to end terrorism. I once heard terrorism defined so as to exclude governments from ever doing it - though it was clear that Israel was the nation being exempted in that case.

Anonymous said...

BP is on record saying that this is just a small leak in a big ocean. This is actually a theme I have heard from many conservatives, that the world is so very big and that man cannot possibly do much damage to it. It just makes you wonder what conservatives are concerned about conserving.

This kind of basic belief is, I believe, at the root of conservatives being unwilling to recognize the reality of global warming or of peak oil. There is an unwillingness to recognize that they can make our planet unlivable.

However, we can be sure that if any conservatives live to understand that the end is near then they will angrily demand to know why no one warned them of the danger.