Doug Lamborn Says Coup Leader Not a Coup Leader

(Much chatter on the national blogs about Sen. Jim DeMint’s rogue efforts to undermine U.S. foreign policy in Central and South America, but not so much about our local band of neocons (or what’s left of them). – promoted by ThillyWabbit)

It’s interesting to see the spin that Republicans are putting on the coup in Honduras, these day. Here’s the Associated Press unambiguously stating that a coup took place, and Rep. Doug Lamborn denying it after visiting the coup leader himself in Honduras:…

Rep. Doug Lamborn (far left) and Honduras’ interim President/coup leader Roberto Micheletti (far right)

A Colorado Republican is defending his visit to a Honduran leader deemed illegitimate by the White House.

Rep. Doug Lamborn joined three other Republicans on Friday to meet interim President Roberto Micheletti in Tegucigalpa, the Honduran capital. The Obama administration has condemned the coup that ousted President Manuel Zelaya and brought Micheletti to power.

Lamborn insisted that Zelaya was legally removed from the presidency because he broke the law by seeking a second term in office.

“It was not a coup,” Lamborn told The Associated Press by telephone…

But how does that statement jibe with Micheletti’s actions since assuming leadership? Was Democracy “restored” by Zelaya being unceremoniously booted from the country? Not exactly. Honduras has gone from Zelaya illegally trying to hold an election on a non-binding resolution to Micheletti actually suspending civil liberties — quite a trade-off, all in all, for Democracy in the Americas:…

The de facto president of Honduras, Roberto Micheletti, appeared to have bowed to pressure at home and from abroad on Monday, saying that he would lift his order suspending civil liberties.

Since then, he has been in no hurry to keep his promise.

Mr. Micheletti spent the week consulting with the Supreme Court and other parts of the government about the decree, which his government announced on Sunday night. But while he has been discussing lifting the order, his security forces have been busy enforcing it.

Back to the first article:

Lamborn said people he met in Honduras don’t think Zelaya was wrongly ousted.

I’m sure that’s true. But, obviously, Lamborn didn’t talk to any of these folks while he was in Honduras, who protested against the coup about a week ago:

Several thousand Zelaya supporters took to the streets again Saturday, in a march on foot and in scores of cars, waving red flags [characteristic of the traditional, centre-right Liberal Party to which Zelaya belongs], honking horns and calling for him to return to office.…

As far as fact-finding trips go, Doug Lamborn claiming to have discovered democracy-at-work in a country in the midst of a coup d’état is akin to Bob Schaffer not finding any signs of abused workers at sweat shops in the Northern Mariana Islands.

120 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Go Blue says:

    Lamborn is a fucking traitor. This undermines our Secretary of State, the President and America. There needs to be a “coup” (recall) in his district.  

  2. twas brillig says:

    Who can blame him?  

    • Barron X says:


      Big on American exceptionalism; not so big on Rule of Law.

      Look, Doug Lamborn is the people’s choice around here.  He represents what the majority of the locals hold dear, and it ain’t “Love your [Hispanic] neighbor as yourself.”  Nor is it the Constitution.  


      • twas brillig says:

        Plenty of “freedom isn’t free” bumper stickers, but the greater sentiment is that guys like Pinochet were on to something.  

        • Littletonian says:

          If people actually knew who “guys like Pinochet” were.

          This isn’t a knock on Republicans or CD-5. The vast majority of Americans who know that a coup happened in Honduras can tell you that a coup happened in Honduras, maybe Zelaya’s name (but probably not Micheletti’s), and not much else.

          So yeah, in Colorado Springs, I’m sure “I support a guy who ousted a guy who liked ChГЎvez who hates America” is good enough to put you in most people’s good graces.

          • The realist says:

            ‘I support a guy who ousted a guy who liked ChГЎvez who hates America’ is good enough to put you in most people’s good graces.”

            I’m guessing it’s simpler than that — “I support whatever Lamborn says/does.”

            You know, it’s not too long before work on redistricting for Congressional Districts will begin.  Wonder if there’s a chance to make the 5th CD more competitive.

            • Aaron Silverstein says:

              Generally with redistricting the party in power tries to pile all their opponents into a small number of safe districts, and leave themselves with 55% of everywhere else.

              The only way that CD5 would become more competitive is if a Republican majority pushed some (R)s out towards Salazar to try and flip his seat.

              Unless population shifts change the size of our delegation (unlikely this time) I think a Democratic majority would be happy to just lock in the current 5-2 split by making every district lean farther towards their incumbants.

  3. Half Glass Full says:

    Quite literally.

    Lamborn probably thinks we should have a coup in America too, to “protect” the Constitution: like one of his fellow-traveler “conservative” columnists at NewsMax wrote recently.


    • NEWSMAN says:

       ..but I believe he knows what he is doing. He is taking flack in the local paper from some, as you would expect in such a bold move, but he is also being defended by many.

      Let’s keep in mind that those who visited did nothing more than what many US political leaders have done for years.  They went to visit a troubled area to get the facts from the source.

      • Canines says:

        But, it seems Lamborn went to Honduras to get the facts, as you quite rightly state, from “the source” (implying something singular).

        • Canines says:

          The lawmakers…smiled for photographs in a book-lined office of the stately presidential palace with Micheletti. They slipped out of the palace through a rear entrance, avoiding dozens of journalists waiting for a planned news conference that never materialized.

          The delegation met with the major candidates in Nov. 29 elections that many call illegitimate, and with Supreme Court justices. They did not meet with Zelaya.

  4. Gilpin Guy says:

    on Republican lawmakers choosing to undermine US policy with foreign junkets.  Lamborn’s trip fits the pattern.

    • Laughing Boy says:

      By definition, a military coup invalidates constitutional law and installs a military leader.

      Neither of these things happened.  The Supreme Court of Honduras signed the arrest warrant.  Zelaya was trying to violate the Honduran constitution by installing himself in a third term.

      Now his exile might not be legal, but his arrest and deposition were a result of the Hondurans trying to defend their constitution.

      • Karate Kid says:

        The Obama Administration is on the wrong side of this, plain and simple.  It made a mistake, standing up for Zelaya.  Pretty inexplicable.

      • Canines says:

        By definition, a military coup invalidates constitutional law and installs a military leader.

        They didn’t install a military leader who suspended civil liberties?

        From what I’ve read, Honduras’ Supreme Court did not have the power to automatically remove Zelaya from the Presidency, although signing an arrest warrant prior to a trial that would take place was perfectly legal as you pointed out.

        Here are some of the other news sources calling what occurred in Honduras a “coup”:

        The Wall Street Journal

        The New York Times

        The Economist

        Oh, and also most of the rest of the world’s leadership, including the Obama Administration.

          • ajb says:

            So I don’t know what the hell your point is.

            In this country, the Supreme court cannot remove the President from power. We have a constitution and there is a mechanism for impeachment by the House and trial in the Senate. I imagine that some similar mechanism exists in Honduras (but please excuse my ignorance – I really only know the mechanism for the U.S.).

            If the rule of law was not followed, its a goddamn coup. Pretty simple, really. Just because some cartoonist doesn’t like the guy doesn’t make it legal, does it?  

            • Laughing Boy says:

              But if you look at this from a common sense perspective (and a look at Honduran law) I think Zelaya was right to have been ejected from office.

              Like I said before, his exile is not legal as I see it, but probably saved some lives.

              Moe Lane at RedState translated from La Prensa:

              An official statement of the Supreme Court of Justice explained that the Armed Forces acted under lawful grounds when detaining the President of the Republic, and by decommissioning the materials to be used on the illegal poll which aimed to bring forth Executive Power against a judicial order.Other sources verified that the president of the Congress, Roberto Micheletti, will assume the presidency of the republic in a few hours.

              Honduran president Manuel Zelaya was detained this morning by the military in compliance with an order of the courts of law.

              • Aaron Silverstein says:

                Laughing Boy:

                Like I said before, his exile is not legal as I see it, but probably saved some lives.

                Ah yes, illegal abuse of millitary power, but o.k.

                The old “You can’t handle the truth!” defense. I love that one.

                Col. Nathan Jessup:

                You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives and that my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives.

                • Laughing Boy says:

                  I said it in my initial post.  

                  Exile=not legal.  

                  Ejection from office = legal.  He does not deserve the support of our government.  It’s a disgrace.

                  • Canines says:

                    Correct. But only following a trial at which he gets to defend himself. Without that…

                    Ta-da! Golpe de estado, dude — as they call it down there. A coup d’Г©tat.

                    • Laughing Boy says:

                      Sure about that?

                    • J-Rock says:

                      Honduran law did not give the military or supreme court the power to remove him from office.  It also did not give Zelaya the right to hold a referendum on the possibility of his second term.  However, the military arrested him before he held that referendum.  He NEVER actually broke the law, and he therefore should not have been arrested or removed from office.  If they had waited a week until he held the referendum, they could have legally arrested him and initiated the process to remove him from office.

                      Why are the Repubs (LB included) supporting an illegal pre-emptive action?  Oh wait…..

                • MADCO says:

                  You can’t handle the truth

                  Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns.

                  Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lt Weinberg?

                  I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom.

                  You weep for Santiago and you curse the Marines…You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know:  that Santiiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives and my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives.

                  You don’t want the truth, because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall.

                  We use words like honor, code, loyalty …we use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something, … you use them as a punch line.

                  I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide  and then questions the manner in which I provide it,  

                  I would rather you just said thank you and went on your way – otherwise, I suggest you pickup a weapon and stand a post.  Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to!

                  And the irony of the moment is not that Jessup is finally revealed to be the animal he is. It’s that’s he’s right. And so is Caffey.

                  Semper fi! ooo-rah!


          • Laughing Boy says:

            Pretty biased site, don’t you think?

            • butterfly says:

              Or did you read any of the articles?  The articles are full of detail with mostly on-the-ground reporting.

              You would do well to do some extra reading instead of believing the paid flaks like Lanny Davis etc.

              Independent from the MSM and corporate influence, including Micheletti and the only media currently left in Honduras that Micheletti controls.  The equipment for independent radio has been stolen by Micheletti and they are currently only able to function over the internet.

              The following is from the current article on the above website.  Who do you think is acting like a dictator?

              “Reading the international press wires from Honduras in recent days, too many give the impression that Honduras coup “president” Roberto Micheletti has lifted last Sunday’s decree that suspended constitutional rights of free speech, press, assembly, transit and due process.

              No such thing has happened. The decree, in all its repressive brutality, is still in full force.”

              • Laughing Boy says:

                But I’m too dense to be able to comprehend english.  You are correct.  Everyone that disagrees with you simply must be unintelligent.

                • butterfly says:

                  Uninformed, not unintelligent!  

                • Aristotle says:

                  Is your support for the current Honduran regime based in anything other than a knee-jerk reaction to Chavez’s support for the ousted president? Because I haven’t seen you make the case anywhere on this thread yet.

                  My own opinion is that there are no good guys in this. The ousted president is a jerk, but so are his ousters. That leaves siding with the rule of law, and everything I’ve seen means that supporting the ousted president is the only way to support the rule of law.

                  BTW, you’d do well to at least read the above links – the ones you dismissed as “biased.” Unless you are aware of any other reporters on the ground, it’s very unwise to ignore them. I would read Fox news if they were the only ones on the ground.

                  • sxp151 says:

                    Chavez is irrelevant, except that it’s a cheap and easy way to paint Obama as a COMMUNIST PINKO STALINIZED ANDROPOV-LOVING COMMUNIST BOLSHEVIKI HARDLINE SOCIALIST and also COMMUNIST.

                    As evidenced by that stupid cartoon, which somehow manages to forget that every government in the world (save that democratic utopia, Honduras) has condemned the Honduran coup.

                • Aristotle says:

                  I really want an answer to my question.

                  • Laughing Boy says:

                    I outlined my reasons for support earlier – it appears that that Zelaya was trying to circumvent the Constitution of Honduras, and most of the rest of the government rejected him.

                    But, a good barometer of right and wrong is to find Castro, Chavez, and Ortega and do the opposite and you’ll be ok.

                    • ClubTwitty says:

                      but way to be selective.

                      I hear those bastards love ice cream!  Down with Ice Cream!!!!

                    • Aristotle says:

                      A, the notion that a non-binding resolution was going to around the Constitution is laughable.

                      B, why do you discount the rest of support Zelaya is getting from the international community?

                      Like my previous inquiry, I really want an answer.

                    • Laughing Boy says:

                      The Hondurans have watched Chavez destroy their Constitution, press, and economy, and want nothing of it.

                      France and Spain recalled their ambassadors.  Wow.  Honestly, anything that threatens Chavez is a good thing, in my eyes.

                    • Danny the Red (hair) says:

                      I don’t recall which polster said it, but to paraphrase ‘when both sides are wrong, I stand with the law’

                      The ouster of Zelaya was against the law, we do not weaken Chavez by endorsing a government acting extra-legally, we strengthen him.

                      If we want to control Chavez there are 3 things we need to do, one of which is act consistently when it comes to holding countries to their democratic institutions and laws. (the other 2 are off topic so I will leave them be)

                      We can not rail against Chavez as being “undemocratic” (which he is) by supporting actions in our interest that are “undemocratic”.

                      It is beyond shallow hypocrisy, it is lunacy and it makes the words of the US hollow.  

                    • Laughing Boy says:

                      The Hondurans have watched Chavez destroy Venzuela’s Constitution, economy and free press.  Sorry for the typo.

                    • Danny the Red (hair) says:

                      Chavez has destroyed the constitution and press.

                      Economy, not so much (oil makes them strong) in the present, but the brain drain is hollowing out their economy for the future.

                    • Laughing Boy says:

                      The Wages of Chavismo – WSJ

                      As military “coups” go, the one this weekend in Honduras was strangely, well, democratic. The military didn’t oust President Manuel Zelaya on its own but instead followed an order of the Supreme Court. It also quickly turned power over to the president of the Honduran Congress, a man from the same party as Mr. Zelaya. The legislature and legal authorities all remain intact.

                      We mention these not so small details because they are being overlooked as the world, including the U.S. President, denounces tiny Honduras in a way that it never has, say, Iran.

                      Good point about Iran, I thought.  Obama has seemed very reluctant to criticize an actual theater reenactment of an election that still had to be stolen this year.

                    • Danny the Red (hair) says:

                      Obama did denounce the results in Iran, but did so in a way that denied Iranian hardliners the opportunity to denounce the green movement as a tool of the west.  That is what most Iranian policy experts advised.

                      It is foolish to make threats or rattle your saber in a way that serves your opponents interests, but only serves your domestic politic interests.

                    • Danny the Red (hair) says:

                      Did he rattle a saber at honduras?  I think not.

                      A mild admonition to follow the law.

                      In addition, we have leverage over honduras in a way that we do not in Iran.  It is a key difference in how you conduct yourself.

                      rule one of negotiation, diplomacy and poker: know the strength of your own hand.  Rule two don’t bluff if the other side knows you got nothing.

                      How Iran and Honduras are different.  I would actually advocated a stronger push on Honduras because of our strategic position if this were about Honduras, but Honduras was about Iran. It was important to speak in the same language about Iran AND Honduras.

                    • Laughing Boy says:

                      He should be all over Chavez.  Right?

                    • Danny the Red (hair) says:

                      Aside from the fact we buy a ton of oil we don’t have much leverage and he knows it.

                      Problem with oil countries is that it is nearly fungible over time (if we don’t buy it, someone will).

                      We got no leverage, so we should be careful about impotently thumping are chest.  It strengthens Chavez when we are seen to be flailing.

                    • Aristotle says:

                      The question to which I’d like your answer is

                      B, why do you discount the rest of support Zelaya is getting from the international community?

                      I really hope you aren’t so one-dimensional on such a complicated topic. You really seem to think this is a black and white thing which is just… breathtaking.

                    • Laughing Boy says:

                      Give me a country, one at a time, show me how they’ve supported Zelaya, and I’ll rebut it.

                      Don’t post a big list of all the countries in the world, please.  Let’s be very specific.

                    • Aristotle says:


                      The 47-nation U.N. Human Rights Council unanimously endorsed Thursday a proposal by Latin American countries, including Cuba, calling for an immediate end to all human rights violations.

                      The Geneva-based council, of which the United States is a member, also called for the restoration of the ousted government of President Manuel Zelaya.

                      I assume that all 47 countries who belong to this body all actually support this position. Here’s a link to the membership rolls:

                    • Laughing Boy says:

                      The UN Human Rights Council?

                      GENEVA: Arab and Muslim countries defended Tuesday a resolution they pushed through at the United Nations to have the body’s expert on free speech police individuals and news media for negative comments on Islam.

                      The United States, Canada and some European countries criticized the role reversal for Kenyan legal expert Ambeyi Ligabo, who has reported to the global body on measures by dictatorships and repressive governments to restrict free speech.

                      The U.S. and other Western nations warned that the Muslim-backed resolution at the U.N. Human Rights Council could curtail freedom of expression and help dictatorial regimes block dissenting views.

                      “The resolution adopted attempts to legitimize the criminalization of expression,” said Warren W. Tichenor, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva.

                      The statement proposed by Egypt and Pakistan, which passed 32-0 last week at the council, seeks to impose “restrictions on individuals rather than to emphasize the duty and responsibility of governments to guarantee, uphold, promote and protect human rights,” Tichenor told the 47-nation body.

                      The United States is not a member of the council but has the right to speak as an observer. European countries and others abstained from voting last week.

                      The resolution was the latest move initiated by the Arab and Muslim countries dominating the council to protect Islam from religious hatred and defamation. Islamic groups have been demanding limits on free speech ever since a Danish magazine published caricatures of Muhammad, provoking riots across the Islamic world in 2006.

                      Muslim countries also have cited the recent release of an anti-Islamic Dutch film and the Pope’s controversial comments on the religion in demanding tighter controls on free expression.

                      That’s a joke, right?  The UNHRC?

                    • Aristotle says:

                      I thought you’d focus on the important words, but damn if you don’t disappoint me and latch on to the unimportant.

                      The 47-nation U.N. Human Rights Council unanimously endorsed Thursday a proposal by Latin American countries, including Cuba, calling for an immediate end to all human rights violations.

                      The Geneva-based council, of which the United States is a member, also called for the restoration of the ousted government of President Manuel Zelaya.

                      You wanted a list of countries supporting Zelaya. I found one. Now rebut it.

                    • Laughing Boy says:

                      …anything the USHRC says.  Unabashedly.  It’s a blatantly anti-U.S. and anti-Israeli committee.


                    • Aristotle says:

                      First, the US is on that body. When the vote unanimously they can’t be “anti-US.”

                      Second, THAT’S BESIDE THE POINT. They represent 47 nations who think Zelaya should be reinstated. THAT’S THE POINT. You think they’d vote that way if their governments didn’t think that?

                      Now, stop dodging it and get to work, or concede the point.

                    • Laughing Boy says:

                      It’s a corrupt, garbage body.

                      They have no right to intrude on the inner political workings of Honduras.

                      As soon as the same committee gets after Cuba and Venezuela, I’ll concede.

                    • Aristotle says:


                      Do you believe the members of the committee would vote this way if their governments didn’t support Zeleya?

                      Answer that Yes or No, please.

                    • Laughing Boy says:

                      Because they know how weak a U.N. finger-wagging is, so it’s a way to symbolically support the ‘world community cause du jour’ without actually committing anything.

                      Do you think any of those countries would commit militarily to forcing Honduras to allow Zelaya back in?


                      Any resolution passed by Cuba can safely be dismissed out of hand as the wrong thing to do.

                    • “Any resolution passed by Cuba can be safely dismissed out of hand as the wrong thing to do.”

                      That’s not the LB I try to respect, but rather some reactionary alternate that’s stepped in – I hope.

                    • Laughing Boy says:

                      Is full of wonderful people who have had their country ruined by a criminal.  I have no problem in a broad opposition to anything that aids the leadership in Cuba.  They are bad actors, and base most of their foreign policy on anything that endangers or threatens the U.S.

                      I hope you don’t have to try too hard to at least respect me, even if I don’t agree with you.

                    • Aristotle says:

                      I showed you a list of countries that support Zeleya’s presidency. After much wrangling, you without evidence dismissed their support as meaningless and moved the goalposts by suggesting that military support is the only thing that matters.

                      Big time fail, LB.

                    • Laughing Boy says:

                      A UN committee is not full-fledged opposition to anything.  It’s an excuse.

                    • Aristotle says:

                      In order to buy that, I’d have to accept the ridiculous premise that world governments let their UN delegates go rogue and vote contrary to the wishes of their foreign ministries.

                      All you asked for was a list of countries that supported Zelaya. I found a handy list of 47 of them. Your knee-jerk opposition to the UN and its committees do not refute that the nations on this list support Zelaya.

                      IF you do decide to stop being pedantic and do what you said you would do, let me say up front that willingness to intervene militarily isn’t a criterion for saying whether said support is legitimate or not; I don’t see Cuba or Venezuela saying they’re going to do that.

                    • Aristotle says:

                      … actually, the bodies are DIFFERENT now, since the US was not a member when that other vote you quote was taken, and it also says that 15 European countries abstained.

                      NOT THE SAME.

      • Middle of the Road says:

        Goddamnit, I am sick to death of folks not having facts at hand. Zelaya was pushing for a non-binding (you do understand what non binding means, don’t you folks) resolution to extend term limits beyond what is currently in the Honduras constitution.

        If taking the president of a country by military force, in his pajamas, and flying him out of the country is not considered a military coup then I would dearly love to hear what the fuck you think does constitute one.

      • Middle of the Road says:

        my comment is not aimed at you, LB but at everyone in this thread.  

      • LakewoodTodd says:

        By definition…  “a sudden decisive exercise of force in politics; especially : the violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group.” (Merriam-Websters and several other dictionaries I consulted)

        That is the definition of a coup. If you want to parse the argument and say that, usually, a military dictator is installed – fine. But, if you want to go by definitions, a coup is a sudden exercise of force in politics. It may be especially a violent overthrow but not exclusively.

        From what I can see:

        a) the current government bypassed any prescribed remedies for challenging the sitting government that it replaced.

        b) they suspended civil liberties and are not in a hurry to restore them.

        c) both of these actions appear to meet the first half of your definition – invalidating constitional law.

        Just because there were no tanks involved doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a coup. And it doesn’t make this government any more legitimate than the previous one.

      • dwyer says:

        There is a convoluted scenario here. I don’t have all the facts.

        In the United STates, the Supreme Court cannot issue a warrant for someone’s arrest.  I don’t know how it works in Honduras and that is the issue.  

        I have two questions for you:

        1) Did the person (s) presenting the warrant to the Supreme Court have the right to do so?

        2) What is the source for your information?

  5. Sir Robin says:

    “IT IS bad enough that Mexico’s economy is in deep recession, triggered by its close links to the ailing United States. To make matters worse, the country’s oil industry, its fiscal cash-cow for the past three decades, is declining swiftly. As recently as 2004 Cantarell, the country’s main offshore field, produced 2.1m barrels per day (b/d) of crude. Now its output is just 600,000 b/d. There are no obvious replacements: 23 of the 32 biggest fields are in decline. Barring big new finds, the world’s seventh-largest oil producer is forecast to become a net importer by 2017.


    • ardy39 says:

      Ritter and the COGCC clearly had a responsible role in the production decline of the Mexican oil basins.

      < /snark>

      • Sir Robin says:

        NEW YORK (Reuters) – The number of rigs drilling for natural gas in the United States increased 2 this week to 712, according to a report on Friday by oil services firm Baker Hughes in Houston.

        The U.S. natural gas drilling rig count has gained in 10 of the last 11 weeks but is still down sharply since peaking above 1,600 in September last year, standing at 832 rigs, or 54 percent, below the same week last year.

  6. MADCO says:

    President Obama travels to Denmark to promote America and his family’s hometown Olympic bid and he gets roasted.

    Lamborn goes to a State Dept watch list country, to visit with the coup leader- and he’s defended.

    Why do so many people hate America?

    • BlueCat says:

      The details of the all the ins and outs of the Honduras situation are irrelevant.  If it’s seen as bad for Obama the right loves it.  

      They are cheering over the fact that the US and US athletes lost our country’s bid for the Olympic games.  They’re high fiving each other over high unemployment.  Now if they can scuttle any health insurance reform that might save millions of insured Americans from bankruptcy and private insurance company death panels over the next couple of decades they’ll be dancing in the streets.

      Fortunately, with hardly more than a fifth of the population self identifying as Republicans, a lot more of us don’t hate America.  

      • The realist says:

        In their wild, mindless cheering for everything anti-Obama, if the Party of No isn’t careful, they might make a very large mistake which could put this country at greater risk.  

      • dwyer says:

        The Republicans are doing very well.  The poll  to watch is not how many identify as Repubs but how many hate the dems and the government.

        • BlueCat says:

          As approval for the Pres and Dems in general goes down there is no corresponding rise in support for Repubs.  In fact, a lot of the disapproval for Dems comes from those unhappy that Ds  aren’t standing up sufficiently to Rs.  What we have now is a growing plague on both your houses attitude, not much in R gains at Dem expense.  

          Conservative David Brooks was very accurate in observing that the volume of the rightie media led by Rush Limbaugh etc. has not translated into political success for conservative  Republicans.  The trajectory of Dem gains culminating in the 2008 taking of the Presidency and both houses of congress pretty much tracks the trajectory of increased ratings for the Limbaugh brigade.

          Naturally Limbaugh has attacked Brooks, calling him jealous, but of what besides the paycheck?  If Rush has so much power why didn’t he get his way in anything from the R presidential primary choice to the presidency to maintaining R power in congress, state legislatures or Governors mansions across the nation?  Of course there’s no need for him to care since his ratings and fortune are doing just great, his only real concern.  A bit more than 20% is huge in ratings, not so much in  electoral power.

          • dwyer says:

            We have not had an election since Obama was sworn in…..since then, he has been the relentless target of the right….and his popularity is collapsing…he can’t get any health reform through Congress….House Representatives are spitting in his face….and his main general is way out of line…….What do you think is going to happen in 2010????for god’s sake…

            I think the only reason that Obama won (and I have changed my mind on this, I thought Obama had short circuited the right wing media machine, now I don’t think so).  Right wingers were convinced that Hillary would be the nominee….most of their vile attacks were on her…when they weren’t going after McCain….there was a brief interlude when  Obama was the candidate and the right wing was gearing up to go after him….the Republicans had a “bounce’ right after their convention which put them neck and neck with the dems…..THEN, THE GD ECONOMY COLLAPSED….that is why Obama won…..

            The dems are goners….breaks my heart to say that…but you can’t ignore the last ten months by citing election victories of 12 months ago.  Besides, look at Virginia and New Jersey…..maybe New York and Colorado…all set to go red…

            • BlueCat says:

              While the Rush Limbaugh far right has been spinning away furiously, Dems have gained and Rs have lost for the past 4 years.  

              Not saying bad news won’t have any negative impact on 2010 for Dems, especially since losing seats in the midterm after winning White House is historic default.  Just saying the blowhards have nowhere near the political power they’d like to think they have.  

              Things like the economy, unemployment, Afghanistan are driving this train, not Limbaugh and Beck. They proved absolutely powerless to do anything but force R pols to grovel during the last election cycle and the groveling was just to preserve themselves in safe R seats.  It didn’t help them maintain power.

              If Rush’s ratings had translated into real power, we’d be playing Hail to the Chief for Giuliani, the alleged hero of 9/11, right now.  

              • dwyer says:

                I will reiterate, it is foolish to dismiss the success the far right has had in defining the terms of the debate and diminishing Obama…

                There is an internal fight going on within the republican party…but the limbaughs are winning…when he says “we are going to take over the republican party, he is not kidding..:

                BUT, the elected repubs don’t mind if they benefit from the anti-Obama campaign.

                Now, the most important thing that the repubs have done is  REDEFINE  the debate… the economy, unemployment and the war are driving this train…only NOTE; it is NOW OBAMA’S economy, Obama’s unemployment and Obama’s war….that is the brilliance of the strategy.  

                The average American is not mad at wall street or the insurance corporations, or the repubs who were in total control for six years and had control of the White House for eight….they are mad at the dems…and the one big dem

                Address New Jersey and Virginia…

                • BlueCat says:

                  the candidates that Limbaugh supports winning I’ll revise my opinion on his actual political power.  In 2008 that power turned out to be insignificant when the votes were counted.  

                  He hated McCain for R Presidential nominee, hated Obama for President and on down the line. If his ilk was so good at defining the debate for those beyond the ditto head 21% then why didn’t that show up in election results?  

                  A year is an eternity in politics so we’ll just have to see what happens between now and the 2010 elections.  A year before the 2008 elections HRC vs Giuliani was supposed to be a done deal.

                  One thing that has held steady over the last couple of election election cycles has been lack of real triumphs for the Limbaugh crowd combined with inability of leaders of the shrinking R party to figure out how to cut themselves lose and expand without losing the base.

                  I say Brooks is right and Limbaugh has no reason to care because he makes his money  regardless.  It’s nothing to him whether or not Rs succeed or fail. If hurting their chances with his over the top vitriol  makes him money, he and his imitators are happy as pigs in slop. It actually enhances their position with the black helicopter crowd to be seen as standing against everybody including any R who advocates civility. In recent elections it hasn’t stopped Dems. Events may do that but Limbaugh can’t and has no reason to even be interested in the endeavor.  

                  • dwyer says:

                    The tea parties are a movement. The anti- public option gang have been successful in defeating real health care reform.  The polls are crashing for Obama and others in the “purple states”…..that was not true in 2006 and only became true in 2008 when the economy collapsed.

                    Guilliani ran afoul of the religious right  and his Eastern background…evidently the social issues are no longer an issue…

                    This is my opinion.  You have yours.  I just hope dems still in the fight listen to me and not you….not that you’re not a swell person, I am sure you are.

                    • BlueCat says:

                      I’m not saying Dems should take a wait and see attitude towards fighting for what we want.  I simply meant it remains to be seen how things will be going into the next election as there is so much that can happen, including what might be achieved by Dem efforts to get our message out as well as unforeseen events.

                      No reason to jump to the conclusion that the Limbaugh crowd will be wielding any more real political power than they have in the past few years which has not translated into electoral wins for what they claim to be their side.  They really don’t have a side. They are amoral, apolitical (except for finding the right the best consumers of their product) showmen who make lots of money off hate, fear, bigotry and xenophobia.

  7. Ray Springfield says:

    Lamborn borders on treason.

    Think if a Democrat had violated the ban on Cuba in the Cold War.  They would be deemed a communist and at the very least ruined.

    Central America is on fire. I’ve posted about the situation in Mexico as it approaches a failed state. Central America is in the same civil conflict.

    The primary good that ships through Honduras besides arms, is obviously cocaine.  

    • cologeek says:

      Or how about if they had gone to Nicaragua and spoke out against the Presidents policies.  You know, Like Senators Tom Harkin and John Kerry did in 1985?  Wasn’t one of those a Presidential candidate a few years ago?  I assume that you showed similar outrage over that.

      • Ray Springfield says:

        I’d love to discuss it.

        • cologeek says:

          Kerry and Harkin went to Nicaragua to negotiate outside of the State Department (which I believe is illegal under the U.S. Constitution) with Daniel Ortega.  They came back with an “agreement” that Nicaragua would be “non-aligned” in regards to the U.S. and the USSR.  They then lobbied the House Democrats to vote down aid to the Contras using the document signed by Ortega as proof that it wasn’t needed to counter Soviet influence.

          Of course, the day after the aid was voted down, Daniel Ortega flew to Moscow to receive $200 million in “loans” from the Soviets.

          • Ray Springfield says:

            It may well be true. It doesn’t mean that the behvaior could be wrong.

            It does seem that you are opening the Iran-Contrra debate. I may not go there unless you really want me to do so.

            Central American violence by US backed Governments in El Salvadot and Guatemale accounted for hundreds of thosounds of deaths in the 1980’s. Those are just 2 examples. In El Salvador, our policy may have stopped Marxists from taking power.It also gave birth to MS13.

            Central America is about power politics and violence. Once again though, the major products shipped in this region are people, guns, and drugs. Edible agricultural production dwarfs in comparison regarding GDP.

          • The trip to Nicaragua was a fact-finding mission that preceded a House vote on aid to the Contras.  Kerry and Harkin met with both sides while in Nicaragua; Ortega offered – to Reagan via the Senators – a peace proposal which Reagan declined, and which State dismissed as “useless”.  (They were right…)

            I can’t find anything saying he went explicitly against the wishes of State, but if he was investigating Iran-Contra during the trip (obviously very preliminary – official investigation of the affair didn’t begin for a year after…), he very well may have gone without their explicit approval or support – the State Department was intimately involved with Iran-Contra.

  8. dwyer says:

    Isn’t this sedition? I find myself looking for a copy of the Constitution  every time I hit this site.  I personally think that Lanborn is an opportunist.  But my question is how do you remove a US Representative?  Is he subject to impeachment?

    • Littletonian says:

      What happened to free speech? Congressman Lamborn is not advocating the overthrow of the US government (something which a good number of people do, and, in my view, usually shouldn’t be prosecuted for). He’s saying that, in his view, Micheletti’s rise to power was legitimate and Zelaya’s the criminal.

      He’s wrong, of course, and I’m glad people posting in this thread recognize that (though Zelaya probably did break Honduran laws, and that’s worth noting).

      But a precedent under which we attack people who disagree with the White House’s foreign policy would be a very dangerous one to set. Many Americans and most Democrats (including myself) were somewhat terrified of a return to the Alien and Sedition Acts of the John Adams Administration under President Bush, and those policies would still be terrifying under President Obama or any executive.

      As for the meeting? Lamborn didn’t claim to speak for the US government, and Micheletti isn’t stupid enough to think that would have been the case. The US doesn’t recognize the autonomous government of, say, Taiwan, but I wouldn’t have a problem with Lamborn (or Coffman, or Diana DeGette) meeting with Ma Ying-jeou.

      • BlueCat says:

        But don’t blame us for noticing the hypocrisy.  Remember the Dixie Chicks, Michael Moore and all the demands that Ds reject and denounce everybody and their brother who ever issued any criticism, especially from foreign shores?

        And how about, after months of accusing Obama of endorsing death panels, encouraging abortion and the pulling of plugs on grandmas, the sudden touchiness over a Dem saying Rs want sick people to just go ahead and die.  Of course, in the latter case, that’s just what is happening and will continue to happen without reform of our current system but that’s beside the hypocrisy point.  

        I can just imagine, for instance, what Rs would be demanding of Dems had Dems been caught cheering the loss to America of the 2016 Olympic games while Rs were in power. Heroic American athletes would surely have been added to the list of things Dems supposedly hate and don’t support and renunciation, condemnation etc. strenuously demanded.

        Lamborn is a tool but I accept that isn’t grounds for kicking him out of congress.  Only his constituents can do that next election and nobody believes that will happen unless someone even wackier comes along.  

        • Littletonian says:

          with your vocal noticing of the hypocrisy. In fact, I’ve got major problems with the hypocrisy itself.

          But that’s the reality of the contemporary GOP – it screams bloody murder when it sees anything remotely construable as “distasteful” (read: “anti-American”) while doing the same things for political gain whenever it gets the opportunity.

      • dwyer says:

        I don’t know. I am just asking questions. I am trying to figure out what the hell he was doing???

    • Canines says:

      WASHINGTON – For the last three months, John F. Kerry, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has tried to get Senate confirmation for two senior Obama administration officials on Latin America. And for the last three months, one man has stood in his way: Jim DeMint, a first-term Republican senator from South Carolina, who is known for stubbornly blocking legislation he doesn’t like.

      So this week, Kerry made an unusual power play: He informed DeMint that the committee would not authorize him to go on a fact-finding mission to Honduras.

      But the move, which Republican Senate aides described as extremely rare if not unprecedented, did not prevent the trip. DeMint left yesterday for Honduras with three other members of Congress, after Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell made his own booking of a US military plane, paid for by the State Department.

      • If the State Department didn’t authorize the trip (and they didn’t), and a U.S. military plane was used under State Department funding…  who authorized that plane?

        Someone in the Administration (or the military) is not being a team player.  In fact, I would go so far as to say that someone needs to be shit-canned ASAP for authorizing use of the plane in contravention of State Department policy.

  9. Valiant8 says:

    IMO Lamborn can gladly join ranks with Oliver North & Pointdexter. The stuff that’s going down in Honduras reminds of the days of Noriega except this time it’s “only” business interests at play. Wonder what Lamborn & CO’s stocks are in this newest capitalist venture? Either way, I hope Zelaya can soon feast on more than just Biscuits.

  10. ClubTwitty says:

    is a great read about the CIA-instituted coup against the democratically elected government in Guatemala.  By happenstance I was in Honduras when the illegally disposed president was inaugurated.  The town I was in (Copan Ruinas) was literally partying in the streets.  But the U.S. has a long history in the region of not giving a damn about people and democracy.

    I am disappointed–but I am afraid not surprised–at LB’s defense of this tragic and shameful legacy, being followed again (by School of America graduates, again) in Central America.  

    • Middle of the Road says:

      diaries and comments on our very own bastion of progressive blogs, Daily Kos, that have also defended the coup against Zelaya so to paint this as merely a right wing versus left wing philosophical difference is both ridiculous and wrong.

      I think a lot of folks are having a difficult acknowledging that two wrongs don’t make a right here. Zelaya’s referendum, in my opinion, was not only wrong but unconstitutional. The way to address that is not to take him at gunpoint in his pajamas out of office and out of the country and threaten him and his supporters and the embassy he is holed up in, upon his return.

      And I would add that just because Chavez and Castro have declared this coup doesn’t negate the fact that it is a coup. Furthermore, most of our allies, as well as South America, Europe and the United Nations have also declared this an illegal military takeover.

      And for those that are interested, SOA Watch’s website is an excellent source for firsthand information coming directly out of Honduras, particularly since most of the Honduran press is now being suppressed.  

      • ClubTwitty says:

        is any worthy arbiter on what constitutes progressive agreement.  Read any ‘I/P’ diary….

        The US’s policy in Central America is a shameful history, whether Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Panama, or Nicaragua…  I guess Costa Rica got off OK, and Belize is a bit different in its history.  

        Nonetheless, bloviating by ‘righties’ who fail to acknowledge this history and our nation’s very, very bloody hands in policies that still affect (and in some cases still continue in) that region disturbs me.  

        I have traveled somewhat in Central America  and ‘got off the beaten path’ discussing geopolitics with locals in the back of a pickup hitchhiking from Sacapul to Huehuetanango for instance.  I have traveled in Asia, in eastern Europe.  I stay in local places and take local transportation and do my best to communicate whenever I can with local people.  And not just to order a plate of food or a pivo.  

        People understand American foreign policy in those places more than most Americans do.  To frame everything is this binary dynamic–Castro bad, Pinochet good–kind of crap not only fails to appreciate where I think most world citizens are at–those whom we will have to compete in the global economy–but poorly represents the values and exceptional qualities of the U.S. and what makes me proud to be from here.  

    • Canines says:

      It’s a helluva situation, reading about it, looking at it, from the outside.

      The Obama Administration is trying to, on the surface, avoid that historical legacy that you’re citing. So, while not wanting to drive Latin Americans further towards the Chavez camp in its public stance — like the Bush administration did — it’s still, in fact, funneling money to the coup regime in Honduras, as Narco News has reported:


      Meanwhile, “conservatives” think that because, on the surface, the Obama administration is condemning the coup, it’s somehow in lockstep with the Chavez.

      Were it not funny, it would, in fact, be hilarious.

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