The Setup

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, joins House Republicans to speak during a news conference in opposition to the Supreme Court's Defense of Marrriage Act (DOMA) decision on Wednesday, June 26, 2013.  (Photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

From the office of Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX01):

“Over the past few weeks, my office has been inundated with calls referring to the Jade Helm 15 military exercise scheduled to take place between July 15 and September 15, 2015. This military practice has some concerned that the U.S. Army is preparing for modern-day martial law.

Certainly, I can understand these concerns. When leaders within the current administration believe that major threats to the country include those who support the Constitution, are military veterans, or even ‘cling to guns or religion,’ patriotic Americans have reason to be concerned. We have seen people working in this administration use their government positions to persecute people with conservative beliefs in God, country, and notions such as honor and self-reliance. Because of the contempt and antipathy for the true patriots or even Christian saints persecuted for their Christian beliefs, it is no surprise that those who have experienced or noticed such persecution are legitimately suspicious.

Having served in the U.S. Army, I can understand why military officials have a goal to see if groups of Special Forces can move around a civilian population without being noticed and can handle various threat scenarios. In military science classes or in my years on active duty, I have participated in or observed military exercises; however, we never named an existing city or state as a “hostile.” We would use fictitious names before we would do such a thing.

Once I observed the map depicting ‘hostile,’ ‘permissive,’ and ‘uncertain’ states and locations, I was rather appalled that the hostile areas amazingly have a Republican majority, ‘cling to their guns and religion,’ and believe in the sanctity of the United States Constitution. When the federal government begins, even in practice, games or exercises, to consider any U.S. city or state in ‘hostile’ control and trying to retake it, the message becomes extremely calloused and suspicious.

Such labeling tends to make people who have grown leery of federal government overreach become suspicious of whether their big brother government anticipates certain states may start another civil war or be overtaken by foreign radical Islamist elements which have been reported to be just across our border. Such labeling by a government that is normally not allowed to use military force against its own citizens is an affront to the residents of that particular state considered as ‘hostile,’ as if the government is trying to provoke a fight with them. The map of the exercise needs to change, the names on the map need to change, and the tone of the exercise needs to be completely revamped so the federal government is not intentionally practicing war against its own states.”

It is important to remember, first and foremost, that this is Louie Gohmert we’re talking about. But just like fellow fringer Michele Bachmann, Mr. Gohmert is helping lay the groundwork for what some hope will be a glorious revolt, but framed as something that the evil government made them do. Dr. James Dobson thinks gay marriage could lead to another Civil War; Rick Santorum is preaching victimhood; and what is the thing about forcing gays to gay marry? Or the ass-to-mouth bestial rape fantasy? Seriously, that’s the thing; this isn’t the setup for a joke.

But look what they are setting themselves up for.

The reason Jade Helm 15 looks like the coming tyranny to these people is because they really, really need a coming tyranny. And it is strange to watch because, really, who actually thinks they would do it? Just as it would be grossly unfair to presume our men and women in uniform would seize the nation in a coup d’Walmart, so also is it unkind to presume this talk of insurrection and Civil War, even when it rises to the level of, say, presidential politics, is any serious threat. Certes, there will be the occasional lunatic, but there are already plenty of those. In the end, it is nothing more than escapism; their hearts will break when America survives, so instead they will tell themselves they have warded off a great evil.

Good for them. Maybe next time they can skip the part where they go out of their way to make everyone else miserable.

But they’re doing this to themselves. And as near as anyone can tell, they want to do this to themselves.

And the rest of us.


Image note: Detail―Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, joins House Republicans to speak during a news conference in opposition to the Supreme Court’s Defense of Marrriage Act (DOMA) decision on Wednesday, June 26, 2013. (Photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Gohmert, Louie. “Statement on Jade Helm Exercises”. 5 May 2015.

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