July 16, 2009

We already noticed that the latest round of "Tea Parties" on July 4 in many places became forums for Mad Hatters and March Hares: far-right conspiracists and various extremist belief systems, including the "Birthers". Now Not Larry Sabato has a prime example from a Tea Party in Virginia, where a Republican legislative candidate named Catherine Crabill got up and said the following:

Crabill: [Quoting Patrick Henry] "If war is inevitable, then let it come, I repeat sir, let it come."

We have the chance to fight this battle at the ballot box before we have to resort to the bullet box. But that's the beauty of our Second Amendment right. I am glad for all of us who enjoy the use of firearms for hunting, but make no mistake, it was not the intent of the Founding Fathers. Our Second Amendment right was to guard against tyranny!

You have to wonder what Crabill will do if she fails at the ballot box. Get out her bullets?

This particular threat, voiced with these phrases -- that, failing "the ballot box," people will turn to "the bullet box" -- has been around for awhile. It was fairly common in use among militia leaders of the 1990s, and was often used as a kind of threat. For instance, environmental leaders in western Washington were told: "If we can't get you at the ballot box, we'll get you with a bullet. We have a militia of 10,000."

More recently, a far-right "Patriot" named Greg Evenson wrote a piece last year, before the election, titled "The Choice is Simple: The Ballot Box, or the Bullet Box", which warned that a massive roundup of American "patriots" was being planned:

I can find not a single bit of information to recommend to you that Barack O’Bama has the credentials, moral character, history, birth records, experience or constitutional knowledge to hold the office of president. This nation and what is left of freedom is ABSOLUTELY doomed if this evil man and his minions are place in the Oval Office. I implore you to consider your alternatives. Do Not support or vote for this predator who feeds on freedom.

... What came through was a vast list of standing orders and action units that are being funded and trained by Washington for use in this country for the near term. The results will be disastrous beyond description if these measures are implemented. They will turn the American people, who will by then finally be aware of their plight, into vengeful mobs. All in the name of peace and safety, many police officers will implement the Illuminati’s great master plan for the taming of America.

There is little that makes me more uneasy than glassy-eyed paranoiacs fingering their triggers nervously. Right behind are the Republican officials and right-wing pundits who give mainstream legitimacy to their rantings.

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