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Moron Lobby: Wiik Cries Feckless Greek Slogan While Losing Second Amendment Debate

Why does Governor Kristi Noem want Senator John Wiik (R-4/Big Stone City) to lead the South Dakota Republican Party? It’s not for Wiik’s profound rhetorical skills.

Over the Thanksgiving break, Wiik tweeted “shall not be infringed” in response to President Joe Biden’s statement that “The idea we still allow semi-automatic weapons to be purchased is sick.” Author Doug Murano took the good Senator up on his Second Amendment literalism:

Doug Murano and Senator John Wiik, Twitter dialogue, 2022.12.02–03.
Doug Murano and Senator John Wiik, Twitter dialogue, 2022.12.02–03.

Molon Labe? I actually hadn’t heard that line before. I had to go Googling to find that Wiik is invoking a favorite Greek line of gun nuts and anti-government extremists. It’s Greek, meaning “Come take”—as in, come and take my weapons. Plutarch attributed the phrase to Spartan King Leonidas in response to invading Persian King Xerxes’s demand that the Spartans put down their weapons and surrender. And in multiple ways, it’s a dumb response to critiques of the Second Amendment.

First, note that neither Murano nor President Biden is saying, “Let’s take away Senator Wiik’s guns.” President Biden has consistently called for outlawing the sale and manufacture but not the confiscation of assault weapons. (If Wiik were really concerned about absolute protection of Constitutional rights, he’d be going ballistic over Donald Trump’s call for terminating every constitutional right, but Wiik has made no public statement on that genuine Constitutional menace.)

Second, note that when Murano, who appears to make a better living working with words than Wiik does, turns Wiik’s literalism against him by pointing out that the Founders’ 18th-century language wouldn’t have encompassed machine guns, Wiik drops his point and runs in another direction. When Murano pierces Wiik’s superficial prooftexting, Wiik resorts to what amounts to non-sequiturial chest-thumping, daring his winning interlocutor to an action that no one on the interlocutor’s side has any intention of taking, thus allowing Wiik to fantasize that his feckless bravado has warded off tyranny.

Third, as I have noted numerous times in blog discussions of the obsolescence of the Second Amendment, guns won’t ward off 21st-century tyrants. Modern tyrants will just erase Senator Wiik’s credit scores and bank accounts, then use his phone GPS to catch detain, or maybe just execute him via drone when he’s alone on Highway 12.

Fourth, my point about the fecklessness of the Second Amendment in 21st-century America is supported by Wiik’s invocation of fifth-century-B.C. Greece. When Leonidas (king of the least free state in ancient Greece) apocryphally shouted, “Molon labe!” Xerxes apocryphally shrugged and said, “O.K., can do” and did. Xerxes annihilated the Spartans and conquered all of Greece, making people who cry “Molon labe!” sound kind of dumb:

Leonidas’ disastrous defeat at Thermopylae in 480 B.C. was a speed bump under the wheels of the Persian war machine. After taking the Spartans’ weapons, Xerxes went on to burn Athens. The battle was an utter disaster for Greece, spun into a propaganda victory, most likely in an effort to keep a completely demoralized Greek coalition from surrendering to a triumphant Persia. Leonidas’ defiance is, in truth, a loser’s cry. No one reading Herodotus’ brutal description of the utter annihilation of the Spartans at Xerxes’ hands can think Molon Labe is a winning slogan for those seeking to warn the government off trying to disarm the populace [Myke Cole, “Come! Take!Slate, 2021.09.07].

But “kind of dumb” is criterion #1 in the modern Republican Party. Screwing in dim bulbs like Wiik on the SDGOP marquee ensures that no one will outshine Kristi Noem’s own low-wattage performance.

13 Comments

  1. larry kurtz 2022-12-05 06:55

    George Washington was a warlord because enslaved people afforded him cannon, muskets, powder and ball. And, if they were alive today he and President Jefferson would be horrified to learn the US is operating on a manual written in the Eighteenth Century. Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt would be putting American Indigenous in concentration camps arguing it’s for their own protection.

    But prohibition won’t work. Yes, bullying can lead to massacres but when the US ended the draft in 1973 the number of mass shootings began to rise.

    Raise the civilian age of possession, operation and ownership of all firearms to 21, levy 100% excise taxes on the sales of semi-automatic weapons then tag the revenue for Medicaid expansion so parents have the resources to address the devastating effects of Fox News on American youth.

  2. John 2022-12-05 10:04

    At the time of the founders communities had unregulated and regulated militias. The unregulated militia was all able bodied men between an age range whom were not enrolled in a regulated militia. Communities, even colonies, then latter, states had regulated militias. There were frequently more than one regulated militia in a colony or latter state, that were regionally-based in the horse and ox-cart age.
    A well-regulated militia had a roll, established leadership, regulated mustering (time, place, duties, and drilling (training)). A well-regulated militia specified the arms and ammunition that a militia member would provide at the muster / drill. (Musket, bag with numbers of balls/wad/powder, hatchet or knife, etc.) The unregulated militia had no established leadership, rolls, or specified equipment. The unregulated militia was ‘called out’ by a local political leader to respond to a local community exigent situation such as a fire, highwaymen, enemy soldiers, or Natives attempting to protect their lives and territory.
    A well-regulated militia was not part of the modern regulatory state. A well-regulated militia was not the National Guard, which was far latter created in the early 1900s.
    It remains a travesty, hoax, and fraud that the judiciary’s willful blindness ignores the “well-regulated militia” and “for the defense of a free state” clauses.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eya_k4P-iEo

    Arms at the time of, and known to the Founders, were more than matchlocks, flintlocks, muskets, pikes, swords, hatchets, and knives. The Founders also had experience with small cannons, mortars, and a rapid firing rifle – the Girandoni Air Rifle. The Girandoni was invented by an Italian in 1779, manufactured for the Austrians, and used against Napoleon’s Army in the late 1700s and early 1800s. The first Girandoni arrived in the US in 1803.
    Lewis and Clark carried a Girandoni, using it in displays for the Natives, leaving the impression that every member of the Corps of Discovery carried a repeating rifle capable of firing 22 shots of 46 caliber round balls without reloading. The Girandoni was lethal out to 150 yards. Each Girandoni Rifle kit contained 4, what we’d today call, speed loaders, and 2 spare air reservoirs, in addition to the pump for the air reservoir.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-pqFyKh-rUI
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dZLeEUE940

    Summary: the Founders were exceptionally well read in history and current affairs. They did not fear experimenting, When their Articles of Confederation failed, they returned to give us a “more perfect Union” (which some of us are still working on, while others would suspend and perhaps jettison the US Constitution). It’s highly likely the Founders would be aghast at the fraudulent use of the 2d Amendment’s words. It’s highly likely the Founder’s envisioned public firearms laws more similar to those in modern Switzerland, than the near-criminal free-for-all chaos in the US today.
    And the Founders’ arms were more than muskets and swords.

  3. Donald Pay 2022-12-05 10:08

    I’m always amazed at how dimbulb Republicans try to re-do history to suit their needs. Thanks, Cory, for putting Wiik in his rightful place in the dunce corner.

    I remember reading a bit about these seemingly endless series of wars in my 9th grade World History course. I hadn’t thought about it once until the Hillsdale buffoon recommended South Dakota kindergarten students learn about this stuff. Ha. I can tell you that all those wars in antiquity and the news coming out of Vietnam at the time turned me into a dove. It made me think that God had a good idea when he thunk up the Fifth Commandment. I guess we all learn different lessons from history. The lesson I learned was we all should make sure our leaders aren’t warlords and tyrants who manipulate history for propaganda purposes.

  4. DaveFN 2022-12-05 10:57

    Molon labe, moron lobby.

    You hit it right on the nose. Cory.

  5. All Mammal 2022-12-05 11:37

    If our ammo sexuals we have tweeting their heads off were truly ‘bout it ‘bout it, the 2nd, that is; they would be organized when we have natural disasters.

    They would have, at the least, a gall dang calling tree to make sure old Widow Johnson was ok and still had firewood for heat. They would know their roles like who is going out to dig out the ploughs and who has their chainsaw sharpened to remove the downed trees from the roadways, who will go around with potable water to check homes of the elderly, etc.

    But nope. They don’t even have a First Aid kit for cryin out loud! They all sit on their thumbs and call up Big Daddy Biden to come rescue all their limp selves. With their big, hard guns. Pathetic excuses for men, let alone AMERICANS.

    Real un infringed assault wifle bada$$es wouldn’t need to beg to have an emergency declared by the federal government and FEMA every time we had a breezy day.

  6. P. Aitch 2022-12-05 11:43

    Don the Con Drumpf wants a cessation of the USA 🇺🇸 Constitution. Except the 5th Amendment. #grins

  7. larry kurtz 2022-12-05 11:46

    Herr Trump’s meeting with unabashed anti-Semites must an awfully shrill dog whistle to almost ousted SDGOP Chair Dan Lederman that he’s a target for members of his own party and even his own replacement in a state where prejudice is a sacrament.

  8. bearcreekbat 2022-12-05 12:03

    The argument that the 2nd Amendment was designed to protect against an out of control repressive government is downright silly. A repressive government is a government that either ignores or repeals laws that protect human rights. If the US government turns repressive (which seems to be what current Trumpists hope) then the 2nd Amendment will either be ignored or repealed (again as Trump recently indicated certain parts of the Constitution should be ignored if he disagrees with them).

    And for those that take up arms against this theoretical repressive government, there is no longer any law. Taking up arms against the government is a declaration that laws preventing such behavior no longer apply. So why would anyone expect the repressive government to act as if the 2nd Amendment (or any part of the Constitution for that matter) restricted the power to trample on any previously articulated constitutional right or protection.

    The idea that the 2nd Amendment was designed to make rebellion against an oppressive government a legally protected right simply is laughable.

  9. Mark Anderson 2022-12-05 20:22

    Owning the gunners. Just buy stock in Sturm or Smith &Wesson and transfer the money into your own pocket.

  10. R. Kolbe 2022-12-05 23:55

    John Wiik
    Prime example of a severe case of
    Cranial Rectitus!

  11. leslie 2022-12-06 17:05

    Rounds and Thune failed us big time in not convicting Trump of impeachment.

    In the wake of the attack on the Capitol, whose goal was to prevent the peaceful transfer of power from Trump to Joe Biden, both McConnell and McCarthy sharply criticized the former president for his role in seeking to overturn the 2020 election results that day.

    Yet neither man voted to impeach or convict Trump, earning the derision of many Capitol Police officers and their families.

    “They’re just two-faced,” Gladys Sicknick, the mother of fallen Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, explained, when asked by CNN why she didn’t shake the hands of McConnell and McCarthy. She added that she was angered by the Republicans praising the officers in one moment, only to travel to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort to “kiss his ring” soon after.

    The families of the officers honored Tuesday noted that McCarthy’s decision to investigate the Jan. 6 committee also influenced their decision to not to shake his or McConnell’s hand.

    “We got together and we said we’re not going to shake their hands”

    “And now McCarthy is going to investigate the committee that investigated January 6th”

    McCarthy, Jordan and Banks were among the 139 Republicans in the House who voted to challenge the Electoral College results in Pennsylvania, even after the pro-Trump mob had been cleared from the Capitol.

    Last week, McCarthy indicated in a letter to the chair of the House Jan. 6 committee, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., that House Republicans would launch a new investigation of the committee itself. https://www.aol.com/news/mccarthy-mcconnell-snubbed-capitol-police-185612545.html

    Any Republican leader still saying “come and take my gun” is an incompetent fool.

  12. bearcreekbat 2022-12-06 18:44

    One more observation about the theory that the 2nd Amendment was adopted to enable citizens to challenge an oppressive government. Here is how that happened:

    Founder 1: You know maybe our citizens might disagree with some of our decisions.

    Founder 2: Yeah, they might even call those decisions oppressive!

    Founder 1: What do you think we should do to deal with that problem?

    Founder 2: I have a great idea! Let adopt an Amendment that will keep guns and other arms in the hands of unhappy people. That way they can kill us if they think we are getting too oppresive!

    Founder 1: What a great idea! We need to make sure that an angry mob can rise up and start murdering government officials like us!

    What a great theory – go figure.

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