Today George Will says a legal filibuster against right-wing judicial appointments is a "coup against the Constitution." O'Reilly threatens celebrities if they fail to support the war, once the shooting starts. MSNBC is about to premiere a creature who is calling for leaders of the anti-war movement to be arrested. Glenn Reynolds, in standard passive-aggressive mode, suggests that the activists acting as human shields in Iraq are guilty of treason. Evidently he thinks being threatened with legal prosecution is more scary than the prospect of being blown up.These frequent invocations of the word "treason" are as enlightening as they are frightening. Would it really be necessary to bring out a bludgeon like that if one weren't deathly afraid that any other method of rebuttal wouldn't work? And what kind of mental gyrations does it take to get from criticizing policy to actual treason, especially in light of the fatal penalty that is reserved for that (specifically defined) act?
In the end, all this says is one thing, and one thing only: we should kill anybody who dares question us. Whether it's in the street like a dog or in an electric chair after a secret trial is immaterial: It's advocacy of the death penalty for your political opposition. Not particularly surprising in light of, say, Steven Den Beste expressing his support for the nuclear annihilation of Berkeley, but still disturbing considering how widespread this is. I only hope that they don't realize what exactly they're saying, because if they do, it's unconscionable.