Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bad editor or bad editing?

As the Daily Kos and others have pointed out, the Greene County, Virgina Republican Committee is attracting some attention for its March newsletter.  You can read the newsletter here (maybe, sometimes the link worked for me and sometimes it did not).  If you are not already on the committee's mailing list, you may be interested to learn that the committee apparently thinks that the GOP-controlled United States House of Representatives is insufficiently conservative and spends a lot of time "sitting on their pantaloons." The same piece makes a reference to the fact that Robert E. Lee would not have tolerated the job performance of, among other people, Greene County's current Representative in the House.

The newsletter also asks the question, "Is Barack Hussein Obama America's Most Biblically-Hostile U.S. President?"  The question isn't answered and some would suggest that the author might intend this to be a rhetorical question.  However, the accompanying article is heavily footnoted to allow the reader to decide.  The article lacks any reference to actions taken by other Presidents that might have been hostile to the Bible.  Perhaps we are to infer that there have not been any hostile actions.  On the other hand, the omission is odd given that our third President disliked parts of the New Testament so much that he created his own version of the life of Jesus Christ.  Although Jefferson did not undertake the task until after he left office so perhaps that does not count.

The newsletter contains a tricky word scramble.  I could not solve it.  You are supposed to arrange these letters "Kaba BO Shuns America" into a sentence.  Maybe Mr. Torvik will have more success with solving the scramble. 

There is also a report on how conservatives at the University of Virginia were able to "thwart" the "Leftist initiative" that would have required the University to pay its employees a living wage.  Also readers are educated on how to take political action against "Islamist infiltration."  Apparently Greene County K-12 schoolchildren are being "indoctrinated in the superiority of Islam over all religions" in school.  I have not seen reports on this elsewhere and it surprised me.  Obviously if true this is a violation of the First Amendment.  If true it is also an amazing infiltration given that Green County does not seem to have any Mosques or Islamic Centers in the county. 

In any event, none of the above is what caught the attention of people outside of Greene County.  What caught people's attention was a line in the "Whitehouse Watchdog" column by the newsletter's editor, Ponch McPhee.  Mr. McPhee wrote,
The ultimate task for the people is to remain vigilant and aware ~ that the government, their government is out of control, and this moment,this opportunity, must not be forsaken, must not escape us, for we shall not have any coarse but armed revolution should we fail with the power of the vote in November~ This Republic cannot survive for 4 more years underneath this political socialist ideologue.
Making an open call for armed revolution in the event President Obama gets re-elected  will ruffle some feathers and the committee's web page now contains a remarkably defensive--I am not sure what to call it.  It is not a retraction or an apology.  I guess it is an observation that the committee does not believe that "the re-election of Barack Obama, that will necessitate what the author suggests."  The observation also makes reference to Bill Maher, Ted Nugent, "anti-American preacher Jeremiah Wright" and "disgraced Presidential Czar Van Jones" to point out that the newsletter's call for armed revolution is protected by the First Amendment.   Unmentioned in the observation is the ironic point that the First Amendment protection against abstract advocacy of violence comes from Brandenburg v. Ohio, a case decided by the Supreme Court back when Earl Warren was Chief Justice.  It makes one wonder whether back in the 60s Greene County conservatives put up any of those "Impeach Earl Warren" signs.  In any event, the committee also decided to relieve Mr. McPhee of his duties as editor of the newsletter.

I do not want to kick Mr. McPhee when he is down (if losing what I suspect was an unpaid volunteer position is being down).  But Mr. McPhee should have been relieved of his duties simply because he was not a good editor.  Note the use of the word "coarse" in the block quote.  The word "coarse" is an adjective generally meaning something that is rough or unrefined.  Mr. McPhee did not mean that people would not have any "rough but armed revolution."  The word I think Mr. McPhee meant to use was "course," a noun meaning path.  That is, Greeen County Republicans would not have any "path but armed revolution" if President Obama is re-elected.  Also the ingredient list for "Conservative Potato and Egg Delight" includes this ingredient "4 Tablespoons Freshly."  Freshly what?  purchased?  cleaned?  polished? 

Finally, this post would be insufficiently snarky if it did not point out that the last time Virginia decided to engage in armed revolution against the United State did not achieve the result that Virginia wanted.

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