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Rachel Maddow: Words Matter

[media id=12254] Rachel reminds our politicians that words matter, actions have consequences and when politicians use over-heated rhetoric like they


Rachel reminds our politicians that words matter, actions have consequences and when politicians use over-heated rhetoric like they have been over the past year, the results can be tragic from the environment they help to create. Sadly I'm sure this is falling on deaf ears. Michele Bachmann and Steve King are not going to quit terrorizing Americans any more than Glenn Beck is.

Maddow: Back in 1995 on the morning of the Oklahoma City bombing, just after the explosion a member of Congress named Steve Stockman (R-TX) was sent a fax touting the bombing. He was sent that fax by somebody in the militia movement. Mr. Stockman later turned that fax over to the FBI. He was never implicated in any way in the bombing itself. But there is a reason that the militia movement trusted a member of Congress enough to go to him with that.

Mr. Stockman had for example written an article in Guns and Ammo Magazine proclaiming that what happened at Waco was a government conspiracy to “prove the need for a ban on so called assault weapons”. Mr. Stockman peddled conspiracies that he got from the militia movement about the government planning a takeover, the government planning attacks, paramilitary attacks on American citizens. This sound at all familiar?

Helen Chenoweth was a Republican member of Congress from Idaho at the time. Helen Chenoweth was famous for convening hearings about her fantasies of Communism in the government and government over-reach. A gentleman named Sam Sherwood of the United States Militia Association bragged of providing the volunteers that got Helen Chenoweth elected to Congress. Mr. Sherwood was invited to testify at Chenoweth’s hearing, despite the fact that Mr. Sherwood had been quoted saying “Go up and look legislators in the face because some day you may be forced to blow it off.”

Helen Chenoweth and Steve Stockman, both members of Congress, neither of them obviously bombed that Federal building in Oklahoma City. They did not do what Timothy McVeigh did. But what they did in politics back in the early and mid-nineties helped create and nurture the environment that led to what happened on April 19th, 1995 on Oklahoma City. Timothy McVeigh emerged from a movement that was promoted and nurtured and encouraged by a lot of things, but among those things were some radical members of Congress.

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