It's an exciting day --- the first presidential debates of the 2012 campaigns! And if this is any example of what we're going to see it should be a memorable one:
In Greenville, South Carolina tonight, five presidential contenders will meet for the first GOP presidential primary debate. According to the debate’s official program, it is sponsored by several extremist groups, including the Oath Keepers militia group and the radical anti-communist John Birch Society. You can see a picture of the program here. Seriously? I guess there's a certain nostalgia factor to the JBS, but Oathers?
The Oath Keepers’ website is riddled with paranoid rhetoric about government officials “disarm[ing] the American people,” “confiscat[ing] the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies,” and “blockad[ing] American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps.” In early 2008, the Oath Keepers’ founder warned that a “dominatrix-in-chief” named “Hitlery Clinton” would impose a police state on America and shoot all resisters. After primary voters chose a different candidate, the Oath Keepers simply rewrote their paranoid fantasy to include a taller, African-American lead.
Oath Keepers and the Age of Treason. Glenn Beck loves them. Tea Partiers court them. Congressmen listen to them. Meet the fast-growing "patriot" group that's recruiting soldiers to resist the Obama administration.
In Pray's estimate, it might not be long (months, perhaps a year) before President Obama finds some pretext—a pandemic, a natural disaster, a terror attack—to impose martial law, ban interstate travel, and begin detaining citizens en masse. One of his fellow Oath Keepers, a former infantryman, advised me to prepare a "bug out" bag with 39 items including gas masks, ammo, and water purification tablets, so that I'd be ready to go "when the shit hits the fan."These nuts have a booth at this thing.
When it does, Pray and his buddies plan to go AWOL and make their way to their "fortified bunker"—the home of one comrade's parents in rural Idaho—where they've stocked survival gear, generators, food, and weapons. If it becomes necessary, they say, they will turn those guns against their fellow soldiers.
I suppose it's hard these days to hold any kind of GOP event without crackpots. Crackpots are the GOP. But the John Birch Society and the Oathkeepers as sponsors? Good lord. Why don't they just invite the Klan and get it over with?