Monday, August 17, 2009

Member of Congress rationalizes proto-fascism

From Bill Moyers Journal

I'm okay with protest. Sometimes I wish I'd done more of it myself when I was young.

But it's hard to reason with someone who's packing a gun. That's why I found so menacing that photograph of the fellow standing outside President Obama's town hall meeting on health care in New Hampshire this week with a 9mm pistol strapped to his thigh and a sign quoting Thomas Jefferson on watering the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants and patriots.

Knowing from his MySpace profile that he admires white supremacists, it made me queasy to see that man standing there, pistol at his side. Of course he's exercising his Second Amendment rights under the Constitution and he has a carry permit. But still…
Via Crooks and Liars, Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma on Meet the Press
MR. GREGORY: All right. But let’s talk about the tone of the debate. There have been death threats against members of Congress, there are Nazi references to members of Congress and to the president. Here are some of the images. The president being called a Nazi, his reform effort being called Nazi-like, referring to Nazi Germany, members of Congress being called the same. And then there was this image this week outside of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, a town hall event that the president had, this man with a gun strapped to his leg held that sign, “It is time to water the tree of liberty.” It was a reference to that famous Thomas Jefferson quote, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” That has become a motto for violence against the government. Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, had that very quote on his shirt the day of the bombing of the Murrah building when 168 people were killed.

Senator Coburn, you are from Oklahoma. When this element comes out in larger numbers because of this debate, what, what troubles you about that?

SEN. TOM COBURN (R-OK): Well, I’m, I’m troubled anytime when we, we stop having confidence in, in our government. But we’ve earned it. You know, this debate isn’t about health care. Health care’s the symptom. The debate is an uncontrolled federal government that’s going to run--50 percent of everything we’re spending this year we’re borrowing from the next generation.
There you have it. A Senator from Oklahoma, being reminded that the last time we heard this type of anti-government rhetoric from extremists hundreds of his constituents were killed, and he answers that the hatred that fueled that attack is legitimate. Words fail me.

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