Bastrop County preps for ‘invasion’?

Here’s an interesting take on the upcoming military exercise planned by U.S. Special Forces, including Green Berets and SEALs, in Bastrop County, Texas.

It comes from former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, who served in the Clinton administration Cabinet.


As the U.S. military prepares to launch one of the largest training exercises in history later this month in Texas, many of the residents of Bastrop County suspect a secret Obama plot to spy on them, confiscate their guns and ultimately establish martial law. They aren’t “nuts and wackos. They are concerned citizens, and they are patriots,” Albert Ellison, chairman of the Bastrop Republican Party tells the Washington Post. Bastrop’s former mayor, Terry Orr, says the fear “stems a fair amount from the fact that we have a black president,” who people believe is primarily concerned with the welfare of “illegal aliens” and blacks. “People think the government is just not on the side of the white guy.” The current Bastrop mayor, Kenneth Kesselus, says the distrust is due in part to a sense that “things aren’t as good as they used to be,” especially economically. “The middle class is getting squeezed and they’ve got to take it out on somebody, and Obama is a great target.”

An economic recovery that only enriches the top breeds bigotry and invites scapegoating. It has happened before in history.

What do you think?


Here’s what I think. I think Reich’s comment about nature of the current recovery breeding “bigotry” and “scapegoating” is right on target. I also believe that’s just part of what’s fueling this mistrust of the military. I think some of it involves visceral loathing of the commander in chief by those who’ve bought into the myriad conspiracy theories surrounding his election, re-election and his service as president of the United States.

The crackpot Internet baloney that went viral around the world about the so-called Jade Helm 15 exercise being part of some plot by President Obama to declare martial law is a symptom of what’s become of the flow of rumors that get passed around as “information.”

Those who read this stuff, buy into it and then pass it along to gullible friends and acquaintances are contributing to the poisoning of what used to be considered reasonable political discourse.

And look at the comments of the former Bastrop mayor who suggests some of it stems from the president’s racial heritage. Is he right? You be the judge.

3 thoughts on “Bastrop County preps for ‘invasion’?”

  1. Since you invited judgment, I will.
    On the first count: I rule that adding a question mark to a statement does not distance you from the underlying declaration. Is John Kanelis a race-baiter? This is an old journalists’ trick that has never shielded the writer in a court of law and should not shield the writer now.
    On the second count: I determine the High Plains Blogger is guilty of race-baiting in the form of ignoring a long history of distrust and criticism of presidents past to bolster his case that this president, this black president, faces opposition unlike any other. With his long journalistic career, I determine the writer could not have so soon forgotten the impeachment of Bill Clinton, the claims of George W. Bush’s illegitimacy after the 2000 elections, the theories proferred that Bush was responsible for the 9-11 attacks or the demands he be tried in The Hague for war crimes. I further rule that criticism and distrust of presidents, nasty and personal at times, is an American tradition dating back at least to the time of John Adams.
    On the third count: I rule the writer is guilty of hypocrisy for not realizing the following statement describes precisely what he is doing in this column:
    “Those who read this stuff, buy into it and then pass it along to gullible friends and acquaintances are contributing to the poisoning of what used to be considered reasonable political discourse.”
    And so it is ruled?

  2. Aww, what the heck. Since you think I have some memory issues, let me assure you of a couple of things. I haven’t forgotten any of those matters you raise. In fact, I was a vociferous supporter of the constitutional process that decided the 2000 election; I’ve condemned those who thought President Bush was responsible for the 9/11 attacks; and, believe this or not, I’ve actually written editorials supporting the concept of impeaching President Clinton on the basis of his false testimony under oath to a federal grand jury.

    I know that’s a bit off topic. Just wanted to remind you that my memory is just fine. And oh yes, Professor, I’m well aware of the tradition of presidential criticism.

    Thank you once again, as always, for your comments.

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