Drawing the line

Drawing The Line

by digby

I see that Senator Rand Paul has weighed in and declared that Jared Loughner was mentally ill (which, as far as I'm concerned, doesn't take a medical degree to see.)But he also seems to think this means that the fact that he assassinated a Democratic congresswoman is irrelevant -- even though it was a political assassination by a disturbed young man which happened in an atmosphere of violent threats against Democratic politicians. You can call that a coincidence if you want, but it would be stupid.

I've been trying to sort through my feelings about all this in the context of free speech and I think it's fairly simple, really. I'm less concerned with "death panels" and even "Obama is Hitler" signs than I am with this:

This is the speech by the spokesman for the Ohio Valley Freedom Fighters at that Rand Paul political rally:

We are the original homeland security, not the paid agents that today masquerade as such in ninja outfits, dressed in black to intimidate the people with their faces covered to keep them from being held accountable for their actions. I have even been shown proof that they consider the founding fathers like George Washington, Sam Adams and Thomas Jefferson to be the terrorists of old.

Unless you are a member of the active military, it is your historical, constitutional and moral duty to participate in a citizen’s militia. And I’ll say this, shame on those who are either too busy or too scared or too apathetic to step up.

The British aren’t coming. It is the Soviet socialists that have occupied our Capitol. It might as well be Moscow on the Potomac.

The question is: do we have the courage and the spirit of our forefathers? Our people do. Today we want to tell the Marxist control freaks out there, don’t dare cross that bridge. But we know they will. We the militia, and hopefully with your support, stand ready with no apologies, cause what we have forced upon us is not from a legitimate government, or the American values of self reliance and independence. If you want to be a European, move.

The Declaration of Independence says that when a government is no longer beneficial or responsive to the people, it is our right and duty to change it. Now some citizens are holding out hope that the upcoming elections will better things, and you know we’ll wait and see. Lots of us believe that maybe that’s not reliable, considering the fact that the progressive socialists have been chipping away at our foundations. Regardless, the founders made sure we had plan B (holds up his gun). You know what that is.

The treasonous left wing socialist politicians, and their lapdogs in the press, have gotten a wedgie here recently in their underpants over the tea parties. And a little broken glass (wink, wink). I sure hope they’re out there today. If they read history, they should know and fear what came after those events over 200 years ago. This latest forced health care bill, which is really about people control, the same thing as gun control, is the modern day equivalent of the 1765 standback, its only more disastrous to our freedom living way of life, etc…

History it seems is ready to repeat itself. After a long and costly civil war that is eminent, and sure to be forced upon us, we are taking note of those who are responsible for the treason, and they will be held accountable. I advise the press to start getting it right from this moment on, and stop aiding and abetting un-American activities. Like the Tories of old, the worst shall be hung, most will be exiled, and I’m a contractor so I have a little bit of tar and feathers for those who are only partially guilty.

In closing, let me implore you to keep the torch of freedom burning bright, god bless the republic, death to the New World Order. We shall prevail.

That doesn't sound like regular, spirited political discourse to me. It sounds like a threat. And it's a threat by a bunch of guys carrying guns. At the very least it tends to keep people who don't care to get caught in the crossfire away from political gatherings. And you can certainly see how it might incite impressionable minds to think that they are not alone in their violent fantasies and give them permission to act out. Worst of all, it's undemocratic. This isn't about voting. It's about intimidation.

The political rhetoric doesn't worry me all that much. Threatening people with guns if they refuse to do your will does.