Dear UCubed Leaders:
A small group of disgruntled leaders order their followers to shut down government offices, take over the television and radio stations, and surround the presidential residence. Then they initiate talks to see if the crisis can be ended – but only on their terms.
Sound familiar? It should. It happened in Egypt on July 3rd.
It is called a coup d’etat. And until now, there has only been one coup in the United States.
In Wilmington, NC, voters elected a biracial government on November 8, 1898. Two days later white supremacists burned the offices of the Daily Record, an African-American newspaper, marched into Brooklyn, a majority-black neighborhood, and began killing indiscriminately.
Led by Alfred Moore Waddell, a former Member of Congress and losing Democratic candidate for governor, the mob then “forced the white Republican Mayor Silas P. Wright and other members of the city government (both black and white) to resign.” According to the 1898 Wilmington Race Riot Commission Report, a self-installed city council selected Waddell as mayor.
The coup d’etat in Wilmington is a cautionary tale at many levels. Racial hatred, partisan politics and overweening ambition all played a part. But the lightning speed of the descent from incendiary rhetoric to mob rule should be lost on no one.
Not now. Not ever.
On October 5th, the New York Times reported that “shortly after President Obama started his second term, a loose-knit coalition of conservative activists led by former Attorney General Edwin Meese III gathered in the capital to plot strategy.”
They produced a “little-noticed blueprint to defunding Obamacare… [that] articulated a take-no-prisoners legislative strategy… [that] could derail the health care overhaul if conservative leaders were willing to push fellow Republicans – including their cautious leaders – into cutting off financing for the entire federal government.”
That blueprint was endorsed by 46 of the biggest names in the Tea Party-wing of the Republican Party. And, for the last eight months, they worked under the radar screens to turn that blueprint into reality. They have shut down government offices, filled the airwaves with incendiary rhetoric, encircled the Nation’s capital with truck convoys, stacked barricades around the White House and demanded that this crisis end – but only on their terms.
The Tea Party may call it a blueprint. I would call it an attempted coup d’etat.
Will it succeed? In some ways, it already has. But how it plays out over the next few months really depends on you.
If you love your country and revere our Experiment in Democracy, let your President, Vice President, Senators and Member of Congress know. Tell them you believe in majority rule – always have, always will.
Click here to tell them to end this manufactured crisis by repudiating the Tea Party and V-O-T-I-N-G to reopen the government, raise the debt ceiling and start dealing with the real crisis our country faces, the jobs crisis.
In Unity — Strength,