President Obama is disadvantaging the United States one step at a time and undermining this country’s national defense on purpose.
[emphasis in original]
This is unforgiveable, and the fact that Fleming is a member of the House Armed Services Committee makes it worse. But somehow I doubt that all the wingnuts who got the vapors over Move-On’s dumb “General Betray-Us” ad will react with comparable fury now.
Benen is right to say that:
Ignorance is commonplace. Belligerence is routine. Stupidity has become habitual throughout much of the caucus. But let’s not overlook the fact that Fleming spoke directly to President Obama’s motives. Fleming argued that the president isn’t just mistaken, but rather, is deliberately trying to make the United States less safe and more vulnerable.
And I hope (but don’t expect) that the media will finally start doing their job and exposing the batsh!t craziness of most of what now passes for Republican discourse, rather than simply reporting it on a he-said, she-said basis.
But Benen is wrong when he adds:
In other words, Rep. John Fleming of Louisiana effectively accused the President of the United States — the Commander in Chief during two wars — of treason.
“Treason” is an ordinary English word meaning “betrayal.” It’s also a technical term in law, the name of a crime. That crime is defined in the Constitution:
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.
So even if Fleming’s charge were true, it wouldn’t be a charge of treason, properly speaking. Ever since Joe McCarthy, the right wing has tossed around the accusation of “treason” pretty freely. But it’s a bad habit, and not one to imitate.