2 – The Reichstag Fire Decree

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Let me start with a little more modern history.  On the night of February 27, 1933, shortly after Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, the Reichstag, the German parliament building, caught fire.  Police found a man, a Dutchman named Marinus van der Lubbe, wandering around inside the building, raving incoherently and smelling of kerosene.  Van der Lubbe had a history of mental illness—and was a member of the Dutch Communist Party.

Forensic historians have examined this event in great detail and believe that neither the Nazis nor the Communists had anything to do with the fire.  Nonetheless, the next day Hitler issued a proclamation that has come to be known as the “Reichstag Fire Decree.”  The Decree said the Reichstag had been burned by members of the Communist Party, and it represented the beginning of a communist uprising.  It further said that “for the protection and security of the German people” it was necessary for the government to “temporarily” impose martial law throughout Germany and suspend all civil rights that were granted by the Weimar Constitution.

The Weimar Constitution had been modeled after the American Constitution.  It gave the German people freedom of speech. . . freedom of assembly. . .the right to keep and bear arms. . .protection from self-incrimination. . .protection against unreasonable search and seizure. . .the right to confront their accuser. . .the right to be tried by a jury of their peers.  On February 28, 1933, all those rights were taken away by their own government.  Their civil rights weren’t restored until after the remnants of the Nazi regime surrendered to the Allies in May of 1945, more than twelve years later.

Over the next few weeks the leaders of the German Communist Party were rounded up and executed.  More than 10,000 lower-level Party members were sent to concentration camps, where many of them died from starvation and harsh treatment.


Fast-forward to the presidential campaign of 2008, when VP candidate Joe Biden said in a speech, “Make no mistake about it—Barak Obama will be tested in the first months of his presidency.”

Fast-forward again to 2009, when Obama’s new chief of staff, Rohm Imanuel, told a group of reporters, “We never let a crisis go to waste.”

Am I the only one who sees a connection between those two statements?

I have tried very hard over the years not to be a conspiracy theorist.  I didn’t get involved in whether John Kennedy was killed by a lone gunman or by the Mafia, the CIA, or Cuba.  I didn’t pay any attention to the allegations that Jimmy Carter was a puppet of the Trilateral Commission.  But folks, some dots just beg to be connected.  Dream along with me…


It’s mid-October of 2010.  The campaigns for 435 House seats, 34 Senate seats, and 24 gubernatorial offices are in full swing, and all the polls say they’re not going well for the Democrats—particularly the more liberal Democrats.  It seems almost certain that in 2011 the House will have a Republican majority, and the Democrat majority in the Senate is at risk.

Then there is another 9/11-type attack.  Biological or chemical, perhaps, or a “dirty” bomb.  Hundreds, perhaps thousands of people die.

A few days later Barak Obama addresses the nation and says that the attack was perpetrated by radical right-wing zealots in an attempt to start a civil war.  For the protection and security of the American people he must put the nation under martial law and temporarily suspend all civil rights.  The November elections will be postponed and the present government will remain in place until the insurrection has been put down.

Over the next few weeks the “leaders of the conspiracy”—Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, Ann Coulter, et al, are rounded up and sent to Club Gitmo, which months ago had been emptied of all of George Bush’s “political prisoners.”  Thousands more of us are arrested and incarcerated in prisons all over the country.


Yes.  I’m sure I’ll be in that number.  Consider:

  • I hold a concealed handgun license and carry a gun everywhere except where it’s prohibited by law.
  • I own several handguns, an “assault rifle,” and thousands of rounds of ammunition.
  • I am a Life Member of the National Rifle Association, the Texas State Rifle Association, and Gun Owners of America.
  • I belong to several right-wing organizations such as the Heritage Foundation, the One-if-by-Land Society, and the Katy 9/12 Project.
  • I have attended several Tea Party rallies.

But to believe all of that is foolish, isn’t it?  Why, it’s as foolish as believing that…well…that an American president would take over the automobile industry, the banking industry, and the insurance industry.  It’s as foolish as believing that an American president would try to take over the health-care industry and the energy industry.

It’s as foolish as believing that an American president would tour the world, apologizing for America’s “arrogance” and listening without protest to hours of anti-American rhetoric from various dictators and despots.  It’s as foolish as believing that an American president would abase himself and his country by bowing to a Saudi king and a Japanese emperor.


Actually, I don’t believe all of that.  There is a fundamental difference between the American people of 2009 and the German people of 1933.  In 1933 the Germans had lived under a democratic constitution for only fourteen years.  Prior to that they had lived under a series of kings and emperors for hundreds of years.  Martial law and lack of civil rights was not essentially different from the way they had lived prior to 1919.

That’s not the case in America.  To one degree or another, America has been free for hundreds of years.  We’ve lived for more than 220 years under a Constitution that guarantees us that the unalienable rights granted by God, not by man, will not be infringed by any government.

I can see the foregoing scenario happening up to the point where Obama goes on television and announces martial law and the suspension of civil rights.  Within 24 hours of his speech, the civil war he used as an excuse will be a reality—except that I don’t believe it will be much of a war.  When members of the American armed forces—Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force—are forced to choose between loyalty to their Constitutional oath and loyalty to Obama, I believe the vast majority of them will choose the Constitution.  So will most of the state and local law enforcement officers.

Do I want to see that happen?  No.  Coups like that happen in third-world countries and I don’t want to believe we’ve sunk quite that far.  But the decision isn’t mine to make.  It’s Obama’s, and he’s proven himself consistently unable to read the American people.