[This is a one of a four part series - click for Part 1Part 2 or Part 3]
Cochran's Mississippi Victory

The Lie: Up is Down, Night is Day

The dark spirit can lead people to see the world in a very different way than it is. There is indeed a very big problem with the Republicans, I say to the Tea Partiers, but it is the very opposite of the RINO problem you see it as.

Screenshot 2014-07-04 16.38.08What a display of brokenness of consciousness, to see things as the very opposite of what they are! Thad Cochran isn’t aligned with the Democrats — he was a reliable vote in the Republicans’ disgraceful, ugly theft of power in their use of the filibuster.

The Spirit of War is in close alignment with the Spirit of the Lie.

The Tea Party’s virtual declaration of war against the establishment Republicans is a manifestation of a dark and destructive spirit, and their reaction to Cochran’s victory – in many ways unhinged from reality — gives us a clear view of that ugly thing that’s arisen on the right.

Perhaps this is a teachable moment. There’s a tradition in American democracy that has maintained the peace in our land pretty well (except during that time of the Civil War, when again it was violated): the tradition of accepting defeat in an election won according to the rules. There’s something to be taught here, pointing out the lack of respect for that tradition by this Tea Party “patriot,” McDaniel.

It’s an opportunity to show the hypocrisy. The danger.

America needs to hear a lot more civics. Americans need to understand the traditions and norms that made democracy work, so they can see how very night-is-day are the claims of patriotism from some of these folks that we see surrounded by American flags. (Think Bundy in Nevada as well.)

I think it was a mistake to stop teaching children something about the ideas the nation has about how our power system is supposed to work.

America is all too blind these days to the destruction being wrought by this spirit upon our system of governance. It should not be possible for a nation of Americans to watch our system operating as it is now and not know what a violation of the American way it is. And with all of this being enacted right before our eyes, Americans should be able to see who was the source of the dysfunction and strife that beset our politics.

We need to show America that the ways not just the Tea Party, but the Republicans in general have been behaving — working to defeat the president, completely indifferent to what’s best for the nation — represents a serious attack on an American political tradition that has done rather well by this nation over a couple pretty spectacular centuries.

Civics lesson in Mississippi.

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Photo courtesy Thad Cochran
Andy Schmookler

Andy Schmookler

Andy Schmookler -- who was the Democratic nominee for Congress in Virginia's 6th District in 2012 -- is the author most recently of WHAT WE’RE UP AGAINST: The Destructive Force at Work in Our World-- and How We Can Defeat It.