Time magazine's Michael Scherer says the new Republican Governors Association fundraising video "Remember November" "embraced the symbolism" of a 17th century British terrorist who attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill King James I for the benefit of the Catholic Church.
"This time, President Obama plays the roll of King James, the Democratic leadership is Parliament, and the Republican Party represents the aggrieved Catholic mass," wrote Scherer in an article published at the magazine's Swampland blog Friday
Responding to reader comments as well as "the electronic dust this post has stirred up on the interwebbing," Scherer added an update claiming his point wasn't to suggest the ad was "calling for a violent uprising here."
Maybe so, but his piece certainly reeked of such a conspiracy theory (video follows with additional quotes and commentary):
A few years back, two left-leaning writers, Andy and Lana Wachowski, adapted the story of Guy Fawkes, a Catholic radical who is remembered primarily for his failed attempt, on November 5, 1605, to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill King James I. The Wachowski brothers movie, V for Vendetta, made Fawkes the hero and presented the British crown as an oppressive dictatorship that was meant to echo, at least in technique, certain aspects of the administration of George W. Bush, down to the hooded prisoners, the orange jump suits and the unapologetic embrace of harsh interrogation techniques.
To be sure, "V's" anti-Bush connection was prevalent in the media when it came out in 2006. NewsBusters' Tim Graham wrote about one such example in March of that year.
Now, the Fawkes mythology has come full circle. The Republican Governors Association has embraced the symbolism of Fawkes, launching a rather striking website, RememberNovember.com, with a video that showcases far more Hollywood savvy than one can usually expect from Republicans. Again, the Fawkes tale has been twisted a bit. This time, President Obama plays the roll of King James, the Democratic leadership is Parliament, and the Republican Party represents the aggrieved Catholic mass. [...]
The RGA, under the control of Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, is clearly stepping out of the stodgy, safe territory it normally inhabits. It is aiming to tap into the vast well of anti-government fury now coursing through the nation. Who would have guessed that Barbour would embrace the symbolic value of the same would-be mass murderer as the Wachowski brothers?
What seems lost upon Scherer is the fact that this video didn't make a single specific reference to Fawkes OR the day the attack on Parliament on the King was supposed to happen (November 5th) OR committing acts of violence against any American institutions or leaders.
With this in mind, Hot Air's Allahpundit noted Friday:
If I had to guess why the RGA chose the name they did, I'd inch out on the limb and conjecture that it's because it rhymes, much like the phrase "We'll remember in November" that the boss emeritus floated last week. But then, "it rhymes" is a much duller narrative than the GOP playing on "let's blow up parliament" sentiment.
Recognizing his implication had struck a nerve, Scherer published an update:
The RGA is not calling for a violent uprising here. It is tapping into well-established online anti-government memes. (Remember 1984.)... But the connection is not exactly a stretch for anyone who has closely followed Republican politics online (and yes, here I am counting Paul as a Republican). Aside from the Remember November refrain, the classical music, the near-apocalyptic crises messages, the suggestions of totalitarian intent, the imagery of Castro and marching soldiers, the sound of a ticking clock all points to a well established online narrative, where Fawkes thrives as a sort of folk hero for all ideologies.
Methinks he dost protest too much.
Who 'bout you?