There's no better recipe for a good thriller than to take something you know is just not going to happen and then write about what would happen if it happened. That probably accounts for the enormous popularity in the early 1960s of a book and then a movie called "Seven Days in May," about a military coup plotted against the government of the United States. Although "Seven Days in May" was indeed inspired by some real right-wing military figures of the days -- including some generals who wanted to nuke Cuba during the 1962 missile crisis -- the fact is we've never seen anything close to tanks circling the White House, and we probably won't in our lifetimes. Why would we? The military-industrial complex is already quite skilled at getting what it wants without firing a shot.
Still, a conservative fellow can always dream, like this columnist at the Richard Mellon Scaife-founded Newsmax, who tonight is arguing that a military coup is the only solution to what he called "the Obama problem" (that problem. presumably, being that a majority of Americans voted for Obama).
There is a remote, although gaining, possibility America’s military will intervene as a last resort to resolve the “Obama problem.” Don’t dismiss it as unrealistic.
America isn’t the Third World. If a military coup does occur here it will be civilized. That it has never happened doesn’t mean it wont. Describing what may be afoot is not to advocate it. So, view the following through military eyes:
Good point! I'm sure if there was a civil war here, that would be civilized, too. What? It wasn't? OK, but wait, there's more:
What happens if the generals Obama sent to win the Afghan war are told by this president (who now says, “I’m not interested in victory”) that they will be denied troops they must have to win? Do they follow orders they cannot carry out, consistent with their oath of duty? Do they resign en masse?
Or do they soldier on, hoping the 2010 congressional elections will reverse the situation? Do they dare gamble the national survival on such political whims?
I guess the moral of the story here is that one man's democratic election process is another man's "whims"? And what exactly is this "Obama problem," anyway? If the president were so keen on shredding the Constitution, why is he even wasting our time with this increasingly annoying debate over health reform in the Congress, when he can declare socialized medicine by fiat?
I think the author of this Newsmax piece, a fellow by the name of John L. Perry, is one flew over the coup-coup nest, if you know what I mean. But I still worry what someone who's even less stable, and in possession of an arsenal of the latest in gun-show-approved weaponry, might think when he sees this plea for overthrowing the elected U.S. government legitimized on a well-funded, widely read Web site.
I wonder if John L. Perry even exists -- his resume is a bit confounding and maybe a little too puffed up. Among his claims is that he worked for two presidents and was a "race-relations trouble shooter" for Lyndon Johnson. I guess you could call him a different kind of trouble shooter now.
UPDATE II: Newsmax -- in a rare burst of common sense -- has taken down the column. I changed the link above to an archived version saved by Media Matters.