Joe Bodell at MN “Progressive” Project, in the tradition of those great Americans Frank Burns and Dwight Schrute, wants to know; “did you go, or have you ever been, to a Tea Party?”
At what point does society recognize that an elected leader’s public speech has crossed the line into the territory of sedition?
About two seconds before it crosses into “witchcraft”.
Oh, give me a break. It’s as serious as anything else in Bodell’s point.
(Note: When someone leads off an “argument” with a dictionary definition of a word, they are insulting you. When they lead off the “argument” with a definition from Wikipedia, they are insulting themselves. And you).
Sedition is a term of law which refers to overt conduct, such as speech and organization, that is deemed by the legal authority as tending toward insurrection against the established order. Sedition often includes subversion of a constitution and incitement of discontent (or resistance) to lawful authority. Sedition may include any commotion, though not aimed at direct and open violence against the laws. Seditious words in writing are seditious libel. A seditionist is one who engages in or promotes the interests of sedition.
The answer is simple, Joe. “Sedition” is a “crime” that gets trotted out to criminalize dissent, and bully people into compliance, acquiescence and silence.
For example, if I say “Keith Ellison is a brittle, vindictive little man who is more suited to teaching Grievance Studies at a community college than representing a great city like Minneapolis in Washington, and I urge you to vote against him”, and the “local authority” in Mr. Bodell’s Wikipedia reference (sknx) “deems” it to be rabble-rousing, and has perverted the laws to make “sedition” illegal, they could sic the goons on me.
Glad I could help.
Fortunately, our “local authority” is bound by the Constitution, whose First Amendment protects my right to have an opinion about Keith Ellison just as much as it does the right to make statues of the Virgin Mary out of dung, or Joe Bodell’s right to pass off McCarthyistic misapplications of archaic, authoritarian laws as “reasoning”.
Or Michele Bachmann’s right to get a crowd whipped up against Joe Bodell’s government:
Just this past weekend, Michele Bachmann spoke at a Tea Party rally in St. Paul, saying
“But mark my words, the American people aren’t gonna take this lying down,” Bachmann later said. “We aren’t gonna play their game, we’re not gonna pay their taxes. They want us to pay for this? Because we don’t have to. We don’t have to. We don’t have to follow a bill that isn’t law. That’s not the American way, and that’s not what we’re going to do.”
After which she told people to go into the woods with Grampa’s Garand and start shooting revenooers?
Well, no. The Representative was calling people to “resist” at the ballot box and at Tea Parties and Town Hall meetings (assuming we haven’t seen the last of them) and on the phones.
Which is still legal, by Joe Bodell’s leave.
An MPP reader happened to be in the neighborhood of that rally, and noted that there appeared to be many more Wisconsin license plates nearby than one normally sees in St. Paul.
(Huh? First – does Joe Bodell ever spend time in Saint Paul? Second – and I repeat; huh?)
Curious. In any case, I’m fairly certain that if Congress passes a bill…and the President signs it (despite those same Republicans playing footsie with the crazies who fervently believe him not to be a natural-born American citizen), the bill. becomes. law.
(And goodness knows one must not play footsie with people with bizarre fringe views, must one? Because having fringies and other lunatics show up at ones’ party sure destroys ones’ credibility, doesn’t it?)
Anyone care to disagree?
I’d raise my hand here, but I’m afraid Joe Bodell will call the State Patrol or something.
OK, Joe, it’s fairly simple. If a bill. becomes. law, I get to work to change it, in the Legislature, and/or by changing the legislature.
But if it walks like a duck and talks like a seditionist, at what point do we call the damned thing one thoroughly seditionist waterfowl?
It’s simple, Joe. You can call it “sedition”. You can even call together a group – call it the “Minnesota Anti-American Activities Project” hearings, if you’d like – and have them declare it anything you want. Call it sedition, or witchcraft for that matter. And the rest of us will do what Americans do whenever people do that kind of thing. Laugh at it, and maybe come up with a snappy term for trying to criminalize dissent. “Bodellism”, perhaps?
It just seems like that invoking a term that was last used as an authoritarian and not-very-constitutional infringement on civil liberty in 1918 is something you do when you don’t have a very good factual argument.