Are the Eight Republicans Who Voted for Cap and Trade Traitors?
By: Jim Byrd
“Cap and traitors.” “Traitors.” “Treasonous.” “Turncoats.” “RINOs.” Adjectives abound in describing the eight Republicans who voted for the Waxman-Markey cap and trade bill; the bill passed the House by a razor thin 219-212 vote–a seven vote margin. But is it fair to label them as traitors? So these eight, who made the passage possible, fit the definition of a traitor?
Mark Tapscott, Editorial Page Editor of the Washington Examiner, believes that calling the eight Republicans traitors is “beyond the line.” Tapscott, an admirable conservative scribe, has a history of elevating himself above the ad hominem rhetoric of politics, especially the Left’s absence of civility in their discourse, and encourages conservatives to follow suit. Perhaps that is the reason he has taken issue with the phrase “cap and traitors.” Tapcott makes a compelling two-point case as to why the eight Republicans are not traitors, literally, and points out that for conservatives to label them “cap and traitors” is a self-denigrating maneuver.
In his article, “Cap and Traitor” versus “General Betrayus,” Tapscott asks the question:
“Could somebody please explain the difference between people on the Right calling the eight GOP congressmen who voted for the Obama-Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade anti-global warming energy bill “cap and traitors” and the far lefties at Moveon.org calling Gen. David Petraeus “General Betrayus”?
“The word ‘traitor’ has specific reference to national loyalty. Benedict Arnold was a traitor, as were spies like John Walker, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, and Aldrich Hazen Ames. The traditional penalty for treason is death, though in recent decades that sentence has been all but forgotten in the U.S., though not in other nations.”
“When somebody promises you they will take a certain course of action not involving national loyalty, but then does another, they are a rat, a double-crosser, or a jerk, but they are not a traitor because national security is not jeopardized by their failure to do what they promised to do. The Obama-Waxman-Markey bill will certainly burden the U.S. economy, but it won’t destroy it. Thus, referring to the eight GOP members who voted for the bill is unjustified.”
Tapscott’s compelling, elevated, and principled discourse of tenderly admonishing conservatives, fails at the same two-points he uses to plead his case.
Tapscott asked for an explanation of the difference between the Right’s use of the term “cap and traitor,” and the Left’s primary hatchet organization Moveon.org’s use of the term “General Betrayus.” Moveon.org coined the phrase “General Betray Us” in a full page, $65,000 ad in the New York Times disparaging General Petraeus preceding his meeting on Capitol Hill with the Senate’s Armed Services Committee. What were General Petraeus’ transgressions to effect such a reaction from the Left? Apparently following orders and doing his job in the Iraqi war which was authorized by the very Democrats in Congress that, for political gain, turned on him during the Armed Services Committee hearing; He did not commit insubordination or any other offense worthy of court martial to please the agenda of Moveon.org. Hillary Clinton led the charge for the Left by calling Petraeus a liar under the guise of the phrase, “willing suspension of disbelief,” a phrase she lifted from the 19th century poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Contrast the distasteful treatment of General Petraeus by Moveon.org and the Democrats in Congress with the actions of the eight Republicans who voted for the cap and trade bill, and have been thusly labeled “cap and traitors” by the Right. The distinction between the two is whether or not the Republicans fit the definition of traitors. If not, then the Right’s actions are as objectionable as Moveon.org’s. If traitors they are, then traitors they shall be called. Indeed, calling a traitor a traitor is not a self-denigrating strategy.
Tapscott has constricted the meaning of the word “traitor” to have little to no meaning outside the confines of conjured images of Benedict Arnold, and the various other infamous traitors listed in his article. A traitor’s actions are not limited to the betrayal of their country. The full scope of what constitutes a traitor can be found in any reputable dictionary. A sampling of definitions: one who betrays another’s trust or is false to an obligation or duty; a person who betrays another, a cause, or any trust; one who commits treason. Treason: the betrayal of a trust or confidence; breach of faith; treachery.
Tapscott is missing the big picture. So are the conservatives who have taken issue with their vote for cap and trade. These eight Republicans are not only traitors to the Republican Party and the very principles of conservatism, as is the reason they are being rebuked, they are traitors to the entire Republic form of government upon which this country was founded. Our Republic is a representative form of government, each member of the House represents a constituency, and to vote for a 1,500 page bill of labyrinth proportions without as much as a perfunctory perusing, is nothing short of treason. For the sake of reason and all things Democratic, these eight Republicans, the president, and any other member of Congress, regardless of party affiliation, who sign into law a bill, unread, have committed at the minimum a breach of their patriotic obligation, and the trust consigned to them when elected. And unarguably, have committed a form of treason.
Tapscott’s designations of “Rats, a double-crosser, or a jerk,” will not suffice as defining these eight Republicans who voted for a bill of this magnitude, 1500+ unread pages, that will create, by far, the largest tax in the history of this nation. Tapscott’s statement that the “Obama-Waxman-Markey bill will certainly burden the U.S. economy, but it won’t destroy it,” is pure conjecture as no one at the time of his article’s publication knew neither the contents nor the potential financial impact of the bill. When layer upon layer of financial burdens have been heaped upon the back of the U.S. economy since Obama took office, which layer, as with the straw and camel, will be the one to break it? Indeed, traitors they are.
These eight treasonous Republicans, to get off with only derogatives cast their way, with no chance of repudiation from their Leftist districts, are, by the very definition of the word, traitors.
Jim Byrd's website is A Skewed View.