By Cynthia Tucker

Let Us Be Thankful That Congress Has Fewer Tea Party Cranks

November 24, 2012 12:00 am Category: Memo Pad, Politics 56 Comments A+ / A-
Let Us Be Thankful That Congress Has Fewer Tea Party Cranks

Apparently, some of my fellow Americans want to secede from the union, undaunted by the disastrous result of that infamous attempt back in the 19th century. They are likely congenital cranks, destined to be dissatisfied.

But that troublesome sort — a few hundred thousand who have petitioned the White House to form a separate country — represents just a tiny fraction of the nation’s voters. Most of us are happy to turn the page on a poisonous presidential campaign and usher in a season of reconciliation.

Here’s a gift to help get us started: Republican Rep. Allen West of Florida has been defeated in his bid for re-election. That alone will help us resume an attitude of charity toward those with differing political views and open room for a re-emergence of the idea of a common good. West was a one-man siege on Fort Sumter.

It’s not clear how a man who was once a distinguished Army lieutenant colonel came to be a caricature; a bilious, bigoted bomb-thrower who used only words of disrespect to describe Democrats and only rhetoric of hate and disdain to describe Muslims. Nor is it clear what American principles he fought for — remember the First Amendment? — in Iraq.

As a black Republican, West represented an opportunity for the GOP to open its tent to more people of color and to show that it could accommodate conservatives who were proud of President Obama’s ascendency. Instead, West was contemptuous of the president, as he was of all Democrats.

Last April, stirring the paranoia that is rampant on the fringes of American politics, West channeled the infamous red-baiter Joseph McCarthy. At a campaign event, he declared his belief that “there is about 78 to 81 members of the Democratic Party that are members of the Communist Party.” He offered no evidence for the charge.

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Comments

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_B6RROC4IUESHT322QS5VJVPYRM Lynda

    They are still there in the House and they obviously have the Speaker by the cajones. If the Democrats can gain six seats each cycle it will only take about ten elections to rid the House of them all.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7DKWSXHQIDBW5PUAPZ2HZAYYUY Baron Cormac

      I don’t think Cryin’ John is going to serve a second term as speaker. He comes across to the tea timers as too appeasing to the Democrats (even though he isn’t) for their tasts. I can see Ryan and Cantor both challenging him.

      • http://www.facebook.com/john.m.eschenbaum John M Eschenbaum

        Didn’t ‘Boner’ win another term as speaker?

  • nobsartist

    They will let just about anyone in the service and make just about anyone an officer.

    Plus, this coward didnt “fight” in iraq, he hid behind a desk.

    • patuxant

      I didn’t know that but it would make sense. Those with the loudest insane comments are usually those who don’t want to get their hands dirty!

    • http://www.facebook.com/john.m.eschenbaum John M Eschenbaum

      nobsartist….I am no fan of West, but your comment about him being a desk jockey is NOT true. In fact he was discharged from the Marines due to his scaring the living ‘shit’ out of a terrorist whom his men had captured. They knew this terrorist had information that he was unwilling to give up. West brandishing a gun in this guy’s face……..and shot it off by his ear causing him to believe he was going to die…..gave up that data. However, as I understand it, these antics were reported to the ‘higher ups’ and he was given a discharge breaking a rule in the UCMJ. From his antics in congress he didn’t seem to learn his lesson.

      • nobsartist

        so did he do that in the field or in the compound? and does this mean that he speaks farsi also? and this is how you “understand it”? so in other words you are repeating what someone told you and do not have 1st hand knowledge?

      • Gregory Williams

        ARMY not Marine. Oh and your an idiot who believes LIES and distortions…but that is your ignoRANT right. Nothing in your made up story is true and you should not repeat that stupidity that you posted…you had one thing ALMOST RIGHT BUT MISSED WITH EVEN THAT.

        • http://www.facebook.com/john.m.eschenbaum John M Eschenbaum

          Gregory…….since you replied to my message I am figuring you are calling me an ‘idiot.’ I did respond in answer to your comments……however the moderator must not have liked it for some reason because it did not post. Perhaps it is because I put a url link on it. However, if you read the post by ‘veteran’ above…….you will read what I was saying. Google West for yourself and read more.

        • rustacus21

          There is far too much history following Mr. West to get much of it wrong. Ms. Tucker has her facts very much straight & I won’t waste time pointing them out if U’r too ‘partisan’ to be objective about this Mr. Williams. Mr. West is disturbed. No 2 ways about it. Seeing weakness (http://wwwdotmediaitedotcom/tv/allen-west-pres-obama-sends-sense-of-weakness-reminiscent-of-carter-administration/) compared to conservatives in 8 yrs, having ‘stopped’ looking, missed a 9/11 criminal hiding in plain site & after only 2 yrs of the Obama admin doing what we, the people expected of him; not to mention how Mr. West, along w/other conservatives opposed broad job creation, then blamed the administration (http://wwwdotnewsmaxdotcom/Newsfront/2012-presidential-debate-allen/2012/10/03/id/458521) knowing their accusations were flat out, blatant LIES, that the broken economy Prez. Obama inherited from the 2001-2009 inept conservative executive, was made worse by conservatives like him!!! Bring some facts if U want to argue w/reality. Otherwise, there’s a great new healthcare program this administration started that may be of help to both U & Mr. West…

          • Gregory Williams

            WOW you really do double down on stupid and wrong….are you a republican?, Christian?, conservative?

            I know the MAN from the 70s in here in Atalanta even if he does not remember it I DO, and I am very well informed as to the conditions that led to his separation from the service and WHY, prosecutors WANTED him to face charges and serve JAIL time for what he did and he is not a SANE man at all he is bitter and excessively partisan even when he shouldn’t be and every one knows it.

            You show your RED fever on the issue and that is very clear so EFF YEW and remember my NAME I live in Atalanta and I am a veteran and I OWN my house and Businesses and I am a liberal Progressive death penalty supporting fiscal realist Democrat but first and foremost I AM AN AMERICAN.

      • Veteran

        Army Lt. Colonel West confessed to two serious violations of the UCMJ, assault and conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline. In a fit of anger, he personally participated in the torture of an Iraqi detainee by threatening the detainee with death and firing his pistol next to the detainee’s head. The detainee – an Iraqi policeman – gave up “information” about an attack the next day, an attack that subsequently did not occur. Essentially West acted like an emotional squad leader instead of a senior officer, and word of his action spread rapidly among the troops. Officers take care of each other though, and instead of a court martial he got off with Article 15 NJP, a $5,000 fine, and forced retirement. In my opinion, he was disgrace to his uniform was lucky to get off so easily.

        • nobsartist

          Thank you for the clarification. The jackass should be in prison like bush and cheney.

    • lana ward

      You are a know-nothing jerk. You wouldn’t know brave, if it kicked you in the ass!!!

      • nobsartist

        you are a sore loser and supporter of idiots so what do you know?

        half wit

        • lana ward

          You’re calling Allen West an idiot. What about his America destroying, communist opponants. America hating, God hating idiots

          • nobsartist

            I am also calling you a dumb ass. I dont write comments for assholes like you. I write them ABOUT assholes like you.

            Frankly, I dont care for your shit for brains comments to my comments.

          • lana ward

            Most of the Dems ARE communists!! Truth hurts, asswipe

          • nobsartist

            and ALL republiCONs are assholes except for you.

            you are a dumb asshole.

  • http://www.facebook.com/russell.booker.96 Russell Booker

    See you hate to be you!!!!

  • Ibsyboy

    I hope this is the tip of the iceberg regarding the deposing of The Teahadist Party candidates.
    Although, I have this gut feeling they may put up their own candidate for President, now that the GOP has hit irrelevance.

    • TZToronto

      We can only hope that’s the case. Splitting the Republican vote would almost guarantee a Democratic Presidential victory in 2016, and if the Tea Party decides to run candidates for the House and Senate, both houses could easily become Democratic–with a super majority in the Senate. My wish is that sitting Republicans decide to sever their ties to the Tea Party in order to have a chance in 2014.

      • Ibsyboy

        I don’t see the GOP Tiger changing its stripes all that quickly. Where do they go. They decided to align themselves with the Far Right. They handed their influence over to the Teahadist Party, FOX, Rush and the Right Wing Radio noise machine. They made a miscalculation. I think they thought there was a revolution on the horizon because of the 2010 elections, and they decide to hitch their wagon to that loud, incompetent segment of America. Fatal mistake. Will they learn from it. I doubt it. Just look at how Boehner came out of the box on the Budget talks, ObamaCare has to be on the table, what an awful way to begin relations with the newly reelected President. Put up a road block before anyone has begun rolling down the road. The GOP is sinking fast into irrelevancy. It is gong to become much clearer to the public what the GOP strategy is and has been since Obama was elected in 2009. It’s all down hill. Look at the dumb Governors turning down the Health Care money. Their nuts. Not one of them can comprehend what the bill is about, becasue they have failed to read it, they run on talking points from above.

  • sonatherun

    I really must disagree with your premise that it’s good these guys are gone, for now, but fear not, they’ll be back in two years. One of the fatal flaws of Liberals, not a human flaw, but a political flaw, is that we do tend to be, well, liberal. Christian and non-Christian alike, we tend to adhere more to the Sermon on the Mount than many of those who seem to claim a monopoly on Jesus, and our neighborly love can encompass some pretty dangerous people. That’s one of the things they hate about us, though, ironically, some off them are among the most dangerous. Maybe we’re just lazy, some of the time we are, but even though we can and do hate, we hate feeling that way, and once a battle is waged, we want to be able to relax and let our guard down and love again. Pollyanna? You bet. We guard our homes and children, but to guard our streets and cities and nation, well, we just hired and re-hired people to do that for us, and we generally do not hire those who are Pollyanna, though it happens. As much as anyone else, we want them to be of sterner stuff, with a fire in their belly, because we want to be safe, too. The vanquished, we tend to forgive and forget, unless they’ve actually done something unforgivable, but we mostly do not include in that category people merely for their repugnant beliefs. We know we’re not perfect, so we largely turn the other cheek to imperfections in others, and we do forget. We need the Wests and the Walshes to remind us, and not just every our years. We need to get out better every couple of years if we want to be able to turn around the gerrymandering over time, to have a more representative House, too. I don’t mind a little gridlock, but the potential for more stolen elections is intolerable, a possible putsch too grave, so long as they control a majority of state apparatus. Of course, I would not turn back the clock on their defeats, but I’m glad they aren’t all gone. However, the Republicans are going to learn from their mistakes. They aren’t going to change how they think, they aren’t going to change their core policies, they aren’t going to change who they are, none of us are capable of that, but they are going to shut up, or at least shut their shriller voices up. Do not expect them to give us the gifts they gave us this last election cycle again for a generation. Do not count on so many of them speaking their minds so clearly. Expect them to go underground. Even the new West and the new Walsh will be more circumspect, but at least with those who remain in leadership, we already have them recorded being who they really are. The new wave will not be so giving. I would not say Be Thankful for Fewer Tea Party Cranks, I would say, Be Thankful for Tea Party Cranks. We need them.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/HJIWONQOW4EAYMCA4QH2DDJMBU MARK

      If the gop does not divorce itself from extreme t party radicalism then they surely will fall into their much deserved irrelevancy and be replaced on the political stage by Independents. Destruction is the eventual fate of those who reject logic and reason.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

      Excellent commentary. I agree with you, the GOP message is likely to move center-right, out of necessity, but that does not mean Republicans will change or reject their core values and prejudices.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Linda-Sampson-Rotella/1543292125 Linda Sampson Rotella

      Very well said….I am that Pollyanna…That is the idealism of Liberals…we want a idyllic, perfect society where there isn’t sickness, poverty, bigotry and rascism.
      We want to be the Good Samaritans, to help those who suffer, as Jesus Christ taught. I am not a religious zealot, I am not even affiliated with an organized church..but I love God and his son.

      Your Post , sonatherum, was wonderful and describes our liberal philosophy well…

      But..I disagree with one part. I have thought that the more “normal” Repubs would try to talk the crazies off the ledge…but observing the last fours years of prejudice and hate, the GOP candidates and their archaic beliefs which would rob our freedoms of choice by bullying them on us, I am not so sure they can help themselves in their pronouncements. I am being negative, maybe just disillusioned. I often wondered with many of the blurbs and lies, denials,hate, hypocrisy and denial in speeches (debates), news interviews, etc. by the Political right, West, Aiken, etal, did they have anyone, their wives, their children, their friends or their fellow Conserves…tell them, warn them that maybe they should reword or just not say some of the offensive remarks?

      I am totally thrilled that America came through, as I had prayed they (we) would, and took offense to the many insults , and voted for the President . When he hit over 270, many of us had tears of Joy running down our faces.
      Thank You for a great post.
      God Bless America, President Obama and VP Biden

    • zeldaq

      i think we need only enough to keep the racist chatter going to. you are right. it will remind us what they really stand for.
      more of them need to go down the road like west and walsh did. the country should have a majotity in the congress. they have all ready proven that their majority is wrong for america.

    • july860

      I also disagree that the republicans will be able to keep their mouths shut; they do not seem to have that degree of self-control. I do agree, however, that we do need a few teapartyers around to keep the rest of us fired up for the coming elections.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HJIWONQOW4EAYMCA4QH2DDJMBU MARK

    Good riddance to bad trash.May the SOB’s blow in the wind.

  • commserver

    West thought that the path to power in GOP was through the Tea Party. As such he spouted all the same garbage that the others did. It is therefore no surprise that he sounds like them.

    Good riddance.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/AE626QHER726NETGKIYQ3TZMVQ LS

    Allen West doesn’t know that we all know that he is viewed as an outcast by Republicans. Thanks to Obamacare his preexisting mental condition can now be treated by a real (not a witch) doctor.

    • sigrid28

      Actually, maybe not. ACA itself, I believe, never embraces mental health parity, though some of the health insurance policies available under the law may include some coverage for mental health costs: for example, ten visits a year. But until visiting a psychiatrist is covered exactly as visiting a neurologist is (that is, as medical), prescribed medicines may not be fully covered, therapies may be left to the patient, and insurance companies will get away with the position that some individuals do not require lifelong medical intervention. A recent example familiar to all, is Abraham Lincoln, who suffered from depression throughout his life. In the twenty-first century, one in ninety boys in the U.S. is now likely to be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder for which diagnosis is required by a psychiatrist who may prescribe medications, tests, and therapies so far not covered by many health insurance policies. Massachusetts does have mental health parity, a state that sanely and reliably votes Democratic.

  • Progressive Patriot

    Agree with all of you below. So glad to see the outspoken West get the boot, as he represented the worst of the Tea Party. His defeat was symbolic of what I hope is a unification of voices under the Progressive Big Tent. We will need to speak-up loud, long and clear, beyond 2014, in order to keep the senate, take back the house, and work for: An ammendment to the constitution stating that Corporations are not people, and money is not speech; protect and restore the middle and working classes by preserving Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, Sane Trade policies that restore U.S. manufacturing and return living wage jobs to America, address climate change and protect the environment, restore truth and integrity to journalism, tax fairness and income fairness, address the deficit, but not just on the backs of the 99%, reign-in Wall Street, Big Banks and Multii-national corporations…
    What have I left off our To Do List?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Linda-Sampson-Rotella/1543292125 Linda Sampson Rotella

      Get Rid of Michelle Bachmann

    • http://www.facebook.com/john.m.eschenbaum John M Eschenbaum

      I agree we need to get “an ammendment to the constitution stating that Corporations are not people, and money is not speech,” however for that to happen it needs 2/3rd’s vote by all the state legislatures. You know that 30 states have republican governors………and I don’t know the count of conservative state legislatures………but enough. So you think they can be convinced to vote for it?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/WTVB5L6XIWCVK57IAZJO3EXPP4 Gerald

    Too bad Michelle Bachmann didn’t go too! But seriously if liberals and minorities make the same mistake in 2014 that they did in 2010 and not get out and vote because it’s not a presidential election the teabaggers will be back with a vengance.

    • http://twitter.com/sltahoe88 Charles Jensen

      Very true Gerald. The extremists get in during the mid term elections because liberals and minorities only get out in force on presidential campaign years. It needs to change if we want to live in a stable country.

  • patuxant

    Is there a tranquilizer he could take to keep his mouth shut and his brain sedated? How some people could have voted him into office just goes to show how looney some folks are!

  • amarquez647

    I grew up within a large extended family, if you were not a devout catholic than you were a devout Pentecostal. My experience showed me that if you believe that god is on your side, than whatever you do is right. These people are dangerous because they are not pragmatic. They obey their leaders and act as part of a machine: automatically without thought. We need to be diligent. The forces of ignorance and greed are strong. Those of us who believe in fair play sand justice should work and educate people. I volunteered with my local democratic party and will remain active. it is not faith or religion that is the culprit it is adhering to blind faith without questioning or reasoning.

  • sambilano

    The Tea Party is DEAD.And their dumbest candidate is out from the picture this week in Florida.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BFMSPKPAB5DICLSBPUPBPNUWT4 Miss Gigi

    There’s always going to be an “Uncle Tom” in the bunch. Mia Love announced after one of her speeches that she wasn’t black. I had to laugh. This man is a disgrace to the uniform I wore and to all that have come and will go after to serve this country. Unfortunately, there are too many like him sitting on the hill and even more voting for them. We as a nation are in for a long haul and we need to step up and start speaking out against such rhetoric and STOP patronizing companies that support them. The way to hurt a man is ALWAYS through his pocket.

  • JamesMMartin

    I think this guy is the Brother from the Way Out Zonasphere, as Lord Buckley once put it. Someone showed him some old movies of Tail Gunner Joe and he got his wires crossed thinking the American Hitler was not an alcoholic repressed homosexual but a stand up guy. What is most troubling is that this man is an African-American. Has he checked the statistics on death row lately? Does he know anything about giving birth to a baby on public assistance from actually having done it? Does he know he is selling at least 47% of his own race to the Republican Mamon? He looks like a myopic goon, a sap in satin.

  • daniel bostdorf

    The “Allen Wests ideology” rears its ugly heads through every generation. Thousands of years of history of tyranical and fascistic mindset.

    The 1930’s had the Brown Shirts.

    The 1950’s had Joseph McCarthy.
    
The 1980’s had Ronald Reagan.
    
The late 1990’s had George Bush JR and Cheney…


    Today we have Allen West, The Teaparty and the “red shirts.”

    But the American people woke up, voted, and told these fascists to simply go away.

    The movie “Siege” with Bruce Willis was a reminder of what could happen if a Allen West became the norm..a type of politicians ideas that could have fed into the military command of this country if Romney was elected as well.

    Ms. tucker correctly observes:

    “West was at his most unhinged with his vicious and utterly baseless attacks on Islam and its followers. He was in tune with one of the odder obsessions that grip right-wing voters — the notion that the United States, its Constitution notwithstanding, is vulnerable to a takeover by those who practice Sharia law. West claimed the covert assault has already begun.”

    West and Romney would have approved of the military solution envisioned in the movie Siege.
    West and Romney was all about lies and propaganda.
    So is the Teaparty, Foxnews, and master neo-fascist 2012 propagandist, Karl Rove.

    Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels said it best:

    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” (like Fox FAUX News, Limbaugh, Beck and Rove believe)

    or as Adolph Hitler stated:
    “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it”

    So “Let Us Be Thankful That Congress Has Fewer Tea Party Cranks.”

    But we must remain ever vigilant.

    Tucker states it best:

    “West enjoyed inviting his political rivals to leave the country. But that sort of rhetoric has no place in nation struggling to find a way back to compromise and bipartisan solutions…”

    A poster here, “sunatherun,” gives us the key to fighting:

    “Be Thankful for Tea Party Cranks. We need them.”

    The reason we need them is that when you shed the light onto the evil darkness of the “cranks” thinking, we can then have aggressive, insightful, and logical denounciation of those beliefs.

    SO— we should say “goodbye” to the Rove paid posters of “obozomustgo” and “montana bill” and the many dozens of others who tried to disrupt this site with propaganda and lies.

    The American people saw through it, we are mad as hell, and won’t put up with it anymore.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/UKJOOULDEZCRLPF5HBN35YE4OU John

    Since when is Judaism “one of the three major world religions”? It’s scary that this professional journalist can be so ignorant. (Note: I am not being anti-semitic, just pointing out that this is not just factually wrong, but overwhelmingly factually wrong.)

  • mavp

    “Apparently, some of my fellow Americans want to secede from the union, undaunted by the disastrous result of that infamous attempt back in the 19th century. ”

    That’s irrelevant. Am I the only one convinced that contemporary Americans would not fight a 2nd civil war? I honestly don’t see New Yorkers, Californians, Michiganders, etc – fighting a war to retain Texas or Arkansas. Am I the only one?

  • Melvin Chatman

    This CLOWN was an insult to the HUMAN RACE (First)!

  • http://www.facebook.com/john.m.eschenbaum John M Eschenbaum

    West may have lost the election……..however what is scary is only by a couple of thousand votes. He was so close that by law they gave him a recount. There are still kooks out there willing to vote for folks like him. The battle goes on and we must all be vigilant and involved.

  • Gregory Williams

    the TEA PARTY is running out of steam due to the fact that ignorance and crazy can only win for so long before reality sets in and EVERY ONE knows that Baggers are just extra extreme republican cult conservatives and they are the ones proving it to the people, they will have their die hards but by 2016 they will be a caucus and not a force, and a small one at that.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/RWZM4HO4H7RMJM247O33DDUGMM ANDY M

    Allan West is a black man who belongs to some white people’s party-The GOP

  • Ayaya Worenwu

    Bye Allen West. Norquist will soon move to Arizona.

  • onedonewong

    as the crook keep getting reelected by the dems from Charlie rangle to maxine waters, from obama to jesses jackson jr

  • lana ward

    Allen West is one Great, decent, America-loving Patriot. Floridas’ loss- they voted in a communist,but he’ll feel right at home

  • bpai99

    The world is a much better place with that hate-spewing bigot soon out of Congress. Christmas came early this year.

  • rustacus21

    Yes, Thank God!!! Now, unless recall snares a few more, we’ll have to wait til 2014 to dispatch even more conservatives from Congress, looking at the way conservatives are clinging to their anti-Democracy mania. But Mr. West’s behavior isn’t all that uncommon from other ex-soldiers suffering from PTSD, diminishing into bizarre, anti-social, plain weird behaviors, unless they get intensive treatment. I only feel pity, as he served his nation on the basis of lies, then fights – tooth & nail – against the only philosophies & structures guaranteed to ensure the types of incompetencies, abuses & crimes HE was victimized by, never emit from the executive, Congress (ironically that he would serve there, no less!) & Senate ever again. That in the form of a Democratic Presidency & former Democratic Congressional majority & Senate Democratic majority – as of 2012, he would harness such a level of hate (or paranoia), even while they tried to make life better for the constituents he fought to continue suffering for, in lite of the explosion of income/wealth inequality, stubborn joblessness & underemployment, inaccessability to quality health care, a collapsing Public Education system, a deteriorating environment (threatening FL more than other American states – again, w/irony!!!) – all courtesy of his conservative confederates w/out even an atom of resistance on his (Mr. West’s) part, shows strangeness of his tenure. But that’s over & America, moving onward, should now focus on 2014 & replacing the whole of those remaining conservatives. Knowing the level of disenfranchisement that went on in FL & who was responsible, Mr. West certainly has a good deal of soul-searching to do, as do the whole of conservative voters, as we approach the next MidTerm elections, in figuring out the who’s who among the true tyrants, communists, nazi’s & America ‘haters’ in government. His confusion morrors that of many, many conservatives, sadly…

  • lana ward

    Here’s Dems Christmas present–Glenn Beck has put an Obama bobble head in a jar of urine. Now Muhammad needs to be put in pi** too!!! If it’s alright Jesus is in one, it’s GREAT Obama is in one. I just wish it were pig urine!!!

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