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A Spoonful of Saccharine: Maddow accuses Senator DeMint of “Treason”

Posted on October 2 2009 1:00 pm
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maddow10-2Click here to learn more about Tim and Alissa Birkel’s “A Spoonful of Saccharine” series critiquing The Rachel Maddow Show.

If you get your news from MSNBC, or any other wholly-owned subsidiary of the American Left, then you probably have very little understanding of what’s happening in Honduras. If you’ve heard anything, no doubt you’ve had the word “coup” pounded into your head over and over. There’s only one problem—it was not really a coup. The removal of former president Manuel Zelaya was mostly in accordance with the rule of law.

Here’s a brief history, courtesy of that known right-wing rag, the Washington Post:

“Honduras’s deposed president, Manuel Zelaya, bears the biggest responsibility for his overthrow. A member of the rancid oligarchy he now decries, Zelaya took office in 2006 as the leader of one of the two center-right parties that have dominated Honduran politics for decades. His general platform, his support for the Central American Free Trade Agreement with the United States and his alliances with business organizations gave no inkling of the fact that halfway into his term he would become a political cross-dresser.

“Suddenly, in 2007, he declared himself a socialist and began to establish close ties with Venezuela….…Last year, following the script originally laid out by Chávez in Venezuela and adopted by Evo Morales in Bolivia and Rafael Correa in Ecuador, Zelaya announced that he would hold a referendum to set up a constituent assembly that would change the constitution that barred him from reelection. In the next few months, every legal body in Honduras — the electoral tribunal, the Supreme Court, the attorney general, the human rights ombudsman — declared the referendum unconstitutional. According to the Honduran constitution (articles 5, 373 and 374), presidential term limits cannot be changed under any circumstance; only Congress can modify the constitution; and political institutions are not subject to referendums. Honduras’s Congress, Zelaya’s own Liberal Party and a majority of Hondurans (in various polls) expressed their horror at the prospect of having Zelaya perpetuate himself and bring Honduras into the Chávez fold. In defiance of court orders, Zelaya persisted…This is the context in which the military, in an ill-advised move that turned a perfectly legal mechanism for stopping Zelaya into a coup, expelled the president. The fact that the constitutional procedure was subsequently followed by having Congress appoint the head of the legislative body, Roberto Micheletti, as interim president, and that the elections scheduled for November have not been canceled, is not enough to dissipate the cloud of illegitimacy that hangs over the new government. This factor has disarmed Zelaya’s critics in the international community in the face of a well-coordinated campaign led by Chávez to reinstate him”

zelaya4True, the military did jump the gun, but this is no military takeover. The military are not in power. The rules are being followed. Zelaya is the one calling for “insurrection” from his supporters. Zelaya is the one who has decided he likes the taste of power and, spurred on by the successes of Venezualan “President” Hugo Chavez and his ilk in undermining democracy and turning themselves into “elected” dictator, has decided he’s rather like to keep that power, never mind the law.

Yet this is the man that President Obama has sided with—and in the process, with Hugo Chavez, who is already using this as an excuse to flex his muscles, and whatever Castro is really running Cuba at the moment, and against the rule of law. The President of the United States has sided with anti-democratic thugs and petty dictators.

How much are we willing to let this man influence our foreign policy?

How much are we willing to let this man influence our foreign policy?

But on her show Thursday, Rachel Maddow had the temerity to accuse Senator Jim DeMint of treason for disagreeing with Obama and suggesting to some Hondurans that maybe they should abide by the rule of law in their own country, and not let pressure from their radical leftist neighbors and their useful-idiot American President force them to reinstate a would-be tinpot dictator.

To that, MAddow has this to say: “What would you call that?  Is it maybe a word that starts with T and rhymes with reason?” Maddow cited the Logan Act, and repeatedly expressed outrage that DeMint wouldn’t simply line up behind the Obama government’s policies. We fail to remember Maddow being so deferential to the previous administration. In fact, Maddow makes an interesting slip of the tongue in saying that DeMint was “elected to serve the government.” Wrong, Rachel. He was elected to serve the people and the Constitution. Not to rubberstamp unwise foreign policy decisions. The left may not always like it, but independent thought is still allowed in this country.

The even more incredible universal irony of the situation is that one Senator John Kerry (D-MA) put a stop to DeMint’s Honduran trip. Yes, this is the same John Kerry who has a long and sordid history of acts which run far more afoul of the Logan Act than anything DeMint might have done. Nor is Kerry the only sitting Democrat to potentially violate the act. Furthermore, lest Rachel forget, it was her own hero Mr. Obama who attempted to negotiate with Iraq for a troop withdrawal before he had gone through the minor formality of actually winning the Presidency, an act for which there were also calls that he’d violated the Logan Act.

We note that, as many articles on the Logan Act are quick to point out, no one has ever been prosecuted for violating it. The Act stands more like a nuclear ICBM—more a deterrent than an actual weapon. So it’s obvious that Senator DeMint faces little chance of actually being charged with anything. The attacks on him are little more than leftist rhetorical attacks against a man who dared disagree with Obama’s foreign policy. Remember the ever-evolving Newspeak, people. Last year, dissent meant “the highest form of patriotism.” This year, dissent is “the lowest form of racism.” Even when what you’re dissenting against is our country’s enthusiastic support of would-be dictators.

We remember the candidate Obama’s promises to make us more respected abroad. We just didn’t know that the “respect” would come from socialist dictators the world over. This country is supposed to be the last best hope for freedom. What does it say when we will suborn our foreign policy to the wishes of those who hold freedom in absolutely no regard? And what does it say when the loudest, most vicious voices in the media attach those who dare to ask whether that is really best for anyone—the American people, or the people of the world.

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