The Las Vegas Cop Murders: Rhetorical And Philosophical Chickens Coming Home To Roost

miller the cop killer

Just about a month ago, speaking in support of a proposed radical amendment to the Missouri constitution that would attempt to nullify all federal gun laws, a state legislator from the Joplin area named Charlie Davis tried to explain to a local right-wing radio host what was the purpose of the radical amendment:

Well, for us common-sense folks here in Southwest Missouri, “keep and bear arms” means arms, ammunition, the things that you need to protect yourself from an individual or from an overextension of government.

That last part, that part about an individual having the right to protect himself from an overextension of government, is what ran through my head when I heard the news about the cold-blooded execution of two policemen and a civilian in Las Vegas on Sunday. What Rep. Charlie Davis was advocating, when he implied that people should have the right to use weapons against over-the-limit government officials, sounds a lot like what people in the “sovereign citizen” movement are advocating: individuals are the final authority regarding any law created or any action taken by government, especially the federal government.

Let’s face it. Charlie Davis’ comments about using weapons “to protect yourself from an individual or from an overextension of government”—comments he made not long after the freeloading rancher Cliven Bundy inspired militia freaks to come to his aid armed against the federal government—do not conflict with the philosophical views of Bundy or those two anti-government cop killers in Las Vegas. Here’s how the Las Vegas Review-Journal described the radicalized murderers:

Before going on a shooting rampage that left five people dead, including two Las Vegas police officers and themselves, Jerad and Amanda Miller displayed the classic ideological leanings of the anti-government patriot movement, according to nationally known experts who track extremist groups.

Their ambush of officers Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo was the latest in a growing number of shootouts, some deadly, between right-wing extremists and law enforcement authorities, the experts say.

“It’s showing no sign of slowing down,” said Mark Pitcavage, the widely known top researcher for the Anti-Defamation League. “It’s almost inevitable there will be more confrontations between right-wing extremists, and law enforcement needs to be prepared for that.”

I would like someone to explain to me how what Tea Party-loving Charlie Davis said is different from “the classic ideological leanings of the anti-government patriot movement” that inspired the two creeps who decided to go on a government-hating killing spree in Las Vegas, draping one of the police victims in the Tea Party-adopted Gadsden flag and pinning a note to the other police victim claiming that the killings were “the beginning of a revolution”?

Please someone explain to me how it is possible to neatly separate what Jerad and Amanda Miller believed about government from what so many Tea Party extremists say they believe?

Reportedly, a witness at Walmart, where Amanda Miller killed a civilian trying to stop her husband, said he heard Jerad Miller reiterate that, “This is a revolution!” If you go to YouTube and watch a two-minute tribute to the first Joplin Tea Party rally in 2009, you will see at the end of that tribute the following:

joplin tea party 2009

This isn’t unique to Joplin. We all know what language teapartiers have used throughout the presidency of Barack Obama. We’ve heard what the Glenn Becks and Rush Limbaughs and Sean Hannitys and countless others, including countless politicians, have said about what Charlie Davis called the “overextension” of government. I don’t have to dig up and publish all the ridiculous things that have been said. But what we all should understand is that a form of radicalism very close to the radicalism that infected the minds of murderous extremists like Jerad and Amanda Miller has become an important part of mainstream conservatism these days.

Facebook can reveal a lot about people and what is in their heads and where they are getting what is in their heads. Just look at some of the “likes” on Jerad Miller’s Facebook page:

National Rifle Association
American Patriot Media Network
Rand Paul 2016
Ron Paul
Allen West
Washington Examiner
Heritage Foundation
FreedomWorks
American Crossroads

Now, none of these people or groups—who are well within the mainstream of today’s Republican Party—obviously are directly responsible for what Jerad and Amanda Miller did on Sunday. What I am interested in pointing out is how the language and basic philosophy of the Tea Party movement, at least the most influential parts of it, is similar to the language and philosophy embraced by violence-prone haters of government, including the Millers, who were armed participants in the Bundy standoff against the feds and, like other right-wing extremists including Sean Hannity, considered the outcome a victory. In fact, Hannity, using his Fox program to promote Bundy’s efforts until Bundy revealed himself as a racist, defended his actions on behalf of Bundy by first condemning the rancher’s racism and then saying,

The ranch standoff that took place out in Nevada was not about a man named Cliven Bundy. At the heart of this issue was my belief that our government is simply out of control. 

You see? It is an out-of-control government that justifies the armed citizen response to what the Bureau of Land Management was trying to legally do to bring justice to Bundy—a response that caused a U.S. Republican senator to label those armed citizens “patriots.” If, as Hannity insists, the “heart” of the issue at Bundy’s ranch, where radicals were armed and ready to gun down federal agents, was a government out of control, then the heart of the issue in Las Vegas, at least for the two radicals who were armed and actually gunned down agents of the local government, was also a government out of control. There’s simply no way to separate the two, except that one was a potential tragedy and the other a real one. The underlying philosophical ideas are essentially the same: the Second Amendment gives citizens the right to protect themselves against overreaching government.

As for Charlie Davis, in a report he published about that radical and obviously unconstitutional nullification amendment to Missouri’s constitution (the “Second Amendment Preservation Act,” which barely failed in the last few minutes of this year’s session, but will certainly come back again), Davis called the legislation, “a crucial bill that prevents federal overreach.” He based his argument on some of the Founders who “were understandably wary of a centralized government with no checks on its authority.” Most notably, Davis quoted Patrick Henry:

Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined.

What can citing that quote in the context of the proposed “Second Amendment Preservation Act” mean, if it doesn’t mean that people have the right to use violence against the government, which ultimately means government officials? Again, I want you to carefully read what Rep. Charlie Davis said to a local radio station in defense of amending the Missouri constitution so as to nullify federal gun laws:

It gives the constitutional right to keep and bear arms and also to have your ammunition and any other object that is a normal function of such arms. Because we see what the federal government is trying to do. They say, yeah, you have the constitutional right to keep and bear arms, but it doesn’t say anything about ammunition. Well, for us common-sense folks here in Southwest Missouri, “keep and bear arms” means arms, ammunition, the things that you need to protect yourself from an individual or from an overextension of government.

You tell me why Jerad and Amanda Miller couldn’t use that notion to support what they did a few days ago, so long as they believed in their own minds that government was overextending itself?

I’m not saying that those who believe in small government or fiscal restraint or an 18th-century concept of governance are to blame for what those two cop-killers did in Las Vegas. I’m not saying that conservatives or conservatism or any philosophical stance that advocates for shrinking the size of government, or for limiting the reach of government in our lives, are responsible for those violent extremists who take what they say seriously enough to arm themselves and begin shooting at the first agent of government they see. I’m not saying Charlie Davis endorses the killing of cops.

What I am saying, and I want to be clear about this, is that when contemporary conservatives and libertarians make an unmistakable connection between their small- and limited-government views and what some call “Second Amendment remedies”—using your constitutional right to possess firearms as a means of acting on your philosophical beliefs—then they are contributing to the environment in which people like Jerad and Amanda Miller think they are on the verge of a revolution to take their country back from people who believe in government and its role in our modern society.

In effect, marrying Second Amendment radicalism to the anti-government radicalism of the Tea Party, as, for example, local state representative Charlie Davis did, is part of a very serious problem we have in this country. Mixing gun supremacy with a philosophy that questions the legitimacy of government, again, as Charlie Davis did, should not be a philosophical concoction that Americans embrace in the 21st century.

But as the stunning and historic defeat last night of Tea Party-friendly House Majority Leader Eric Cantor demonstrated, there is an active, animated group of uber-Tea Party extremists who have taken over the Republican Party and who will, eventually, either ruin the party or ruin the country.

The man who defeated Eric Cantor is named Dave Brat, an economics professor at a private, Methodist-operated liberal arts college in Virginia. Let me give you a line from Brat’s issue statement on the Second Amendment:

The right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental right enshrined in the constitution for a reason – it provides the people with the ultimate guarantee of sovereignty.

What can sovereignty mean in this context but “freedom from external control”? And what can it mean in this context but the right to use weapons against government officials who, in the opinion of the so-called sovereign individual, are exercising unlawful actions on behalf of the state?

Dave Brat also has an opinion on President Obama’s health insurance reforms:

Obamacare has proven to be an economically disastrous law and an unconstitutional power grab by our Federal Government.

Get that? The Affordable Care Act is an unlawful “power grab” by government. That opinion standing by itself isn’t all that remarkable or disturbing for a conservative-libertarian to hold. But mix that opinion with language that insists that unrestricted access to guns give individuals the “the ultimate guarantee of sovereignty” when they believe government is grabbing unlawful power, and you have, in short order, provided nourishment for cultural cancers, like the movement that infected the minds of Jerad and Amanda Miller.

The great Charles Pierce wrote a few days ago about the Millers:

…these two jamokes allegedly marinated themselves in the stew of guns and paranoia that bubbles daily in the conservative media from fringe radio hosts and chain e-mails all the way up to the polite precincts of the National Review Online and the Fox News Channel. That shouldn’t surprise us any more. The enabling of dangerous loons and the empowerment by firearms thereof is simply a staple of conservative politics in this country, yet another fetish object, yet another set of conjuring words for the conservative priesthood…

That is absolutely the truth of it, no matter how painful it is to admit it.

Along those lines, I want to note that I am the only one (as far as I can tell) who has publicly challenged Charlie Davis for what he said. I posted two pieces on this blog (including his lame response) and sent a letter to the Joplin Globe, which was published, along with another letter written by Anson Burlingame, who gave me credit “for posing a good question.” I essentially asked Davis, “what kind of overextension of government would justify a Missourian picking up a weapon and shooting and perhaps killing a government official doing his or her duty”?

Yet, I have not otherwise seen one word written in the local paper about the radical statement Davis made, nor have I seen an example of one local television or radio reporter asking him about it. And that tells you a lot about the quality of journalism where I live, and perhaps it says a lot about how so many people, including many journalists, have sort of become used to such radical statements since the birth of the Tea Party. As Charles Pierce says, this stuff does not surprise because it has become “a staple of conservative politics in this country.”

Remarkably, and sadly, it appears it is not newsworthy these days when a politician strongly implies that citizens unhappy with the reach of government can take the law into their gun-toting hands and execute their own brand of justice. But, at least for now, it is still newsworthy when some unhappy, and sociopathic, citizens actually do it.

14 Comments

  1. Good write-up on these developments, Duane. They are, as you say, related to Tea Party sentiments in their common rejection of the proper role of government in a civilized society. It is depressing that here in the 21st century, so many seem to think a recourse to personal violence ought be a necessary component of daily thinking. But when I read history, as I’m doing now in John Keegan’s unique and insightful exposition of the psychological aspects of war, The Face of Battle, I see that civilization is a thin veneer. The behavior of soldiers in battle is consistent over time and revealing of humanity’s violent nature. So also is road rage. So also is the fact that there have been 71 school shooting incidents in the last 74 weeks in this country.

    I was also reminded by your post of a book and its iconic movie, The Oxbow Incident. Made in 1943 and now preserved in the National Film Registry, it details the lynching by a posse of three men accused of murder and cattle rustling, men who are ultimately found to have been innocent. Although fiction, it is doubtlessly representative of numerous true cases in the frontier West. Tea Partiers would do well, in my opinion, to ponder history and literature for a better perspective on the role of government in civilized life and the ramifications of distrusting it in favor of violence.

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    • You know, Jim, I do think there is a lot of truth to the idea that “civilization is a thin veneer.” And I think that when it comes down to it, a lot of the differences between the left and right in this country have to do with the fact that the left wants to thicken civilization and the right wants to thin it down (some on the right seem to not want any at all). 

      As for teapartiers pondering “history and literature for a better perspective on the role of government in civilized life,” many of them get only as far as Ayn Rand and stop. Once a person is in the grips of Randian thought, it is very difficult for them to escape. 

      Duane

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  2. Masterful connection of dots, Mr. Graham. I continue rely on the insight of this blog to buoy my hopes that sanity is still alive in the USA. I rarely contribute a response because I usually feel out of my depth compared to your other comment providers, but today I must at least share a thought relative to right wing nuttery, the happy departure of Eric “the Slimeball” Cantor and the audacity of hope for the 2014 midterms.
    I grew up in the wildly gerrymandered Virginia 7th, Cantor’s district. It’s an odd mix of nutball racist Confederates, well-heeled traditionalists and a contingent of thoughtful pro-education, pro-equality progressives. David Brat, the Randian economics professor from RMC, reached out to the Confederates via a remarkable amount of vitriol on the immigration issue. Brat, a devout racist, not only played that card (which is reprehensible), but also called out Cantor, the insider-trading crook and Wall Street teat-sucker (as did Wayne Powell, Cantor’s Democratic challenger in 2012). Cantor captured the well-heeled traditionalist vote on Tuesday, but lost the “General Lee is a hero” vote — AND the “big banker insider” vote. This makes for interesting possibilities for Jack Trammel, Brat’s Democratic foil come November. Trammel is a progressive sociologist and also part of the faculty at RMC. The Randolph Macon College connection of these two helps demonstrate to very complicated nature of the Old Dominion. Hard to know which side of the bed a Virginian will roll out of on election day. Many in the 7th are shouting “hallelujah” over Brat’s win — many in the Tea Party and many Democrats who had already conceded the seat to Cantor in November. Would David Brat be worse than Eric Cantor should he win in November? Absolutely! He’s an asshole. Okay, Cantor is also an asshole, but Brat connects well with the Las Vegas shooters, Cliven Bundy, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and other scum of that ilk. However ——- Trammel is a humble, responsible, thoughtful guy. He’s smart. He’s honest. He’s NOT a gun nut (gun nuttery playing poorly at the moment). He’s not just getting a paycheck from the education world — he’s advocating for education.
    My point is, Brat will get the hard right vote in November, but is likely ALL he will get. Trammel will collect the middle and leftward. There are staunch Republicans in the 7th who will not only NOT vote for a winger like Brat, but who will support his potential undoer — even if he is a Democrat. The DMC would do well to send some serious doe to to Jack Trammel’s campaign.

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    • Generalist,

      Thanks for that head-swelling praise. But you sell yourself short, my friend. I have thoroughly enjoyed your responses to this blog and I hope you will contribute even more to the discussions. Your sharing with us insights about the Cantor shocker and the composition of his congressional district is not something I have read elsewhere. Your description of the “General Lee is a hero” vote is priceless. I know of such people only because I once wrote a blog criticizing the “Lee is a hero” idea and it was the most commented-on article I ever wrote, with many of the comments coming from people who sounded very scary to me. 

      I am looking forward to the Trammel-Brat race for sure. Please write often and keep us informed, since you once lived there and probably will follow it closer than most of us will. I hope the DNC will put a lot of money into Trammel’s efforts and I hope he proves to be a better candidate than what I have seen of Brat so far. I watched Chuck Todd’s interview of Brat the morning after he won his race and I was, well, not impressed. Beyond an Austrian view of economics and the Bible, he seems not to know much about what he believes. He didn’t even have an opinion on the minimum wage.

      Again, please keep contributing to the discussion we have here. None of us are experts. Just interested citizens trying to figure out what is going on.

      Duane

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  3. Duane,

    Another great post with a good analysis of the brain-dead right wing idiots. I doubt that the folks you hold up for ridicule (justified of course) would understand even the title of this piece. Especially the reference to “philosophy.” As used here, I suppose your meaning of philosophy is, “A theory or attitude held by a person or organization that acts as a guiding principle for behavior:”(OxfordDictionaries.com) But philosophy, understood properly, requires rigorous, systematic and rational analysis. I don’t see any of that in the thinking, if we can call it that, of these right wing tea partiers.

    If fact, what I see is extreme propagandizing, the power of proselytizing in the sense of religious zealotry, and a level of intolerance so great that even Jesus would probably deny them his forgiveness. And I see some evil in the right wingers resolves; as if some antichrist has invaded and taken over their minds. For those of us who try to think critically, this is the stuff of migraines.

    Also, as you rightly (pun intended) pointed out, this mindset, worldview, or whatever it is, is dangerous to the point of being deadly. You are right too in that the Joplin Globe, and I would add any other news organization of repute, will not make the connection between what has become accepted political rhetoric and its lethal consequences. We don’t have any Edward R. Murrow’s anymore. But even if we did, I’m not sure the general public would “get it.”

    In all of this, I see John Dean’s warning in his “Conservatives Without Conscience” coming true: “Authoritarianism is not well understood and seldom discussed in the context of American government and politics, yet it now constitutes the prevailing thinking and behavior among conservatives. Regrettably, empirical studies reveal, however, that authoritarians are frequently enemies of freedom, antidemocratic, anti- equality, highly prejudiced, mean-spirited, power hungry, Machiavellian, and amoral. They are also often conservatives without conscience who are capable of plunging this nation into disasters the likes of which we have never known.”

    Scary isn’t it?

    Herb

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    • Herb,

      You are right about my use of the word philosophy. I meant to use the word generally and not imply any “rigorous” or “rational” analysis on the part of the holders. They aren’t, after all, professional philosophers or even serious amateurs. If they were, some of the serious implications of their ideas would become apparent. 

      I wonder, too, if the public is to blame for the poor quality of local and regional journalism (there are journalists doing good work at the national level). Not enough people demand it in return for their subscription money or in return for the thirty minutes they spend watching local “news” programs. We need good journalism and I know that there are good reporters working for the Joplin Globe, for instance. But I suspect that they don’t have the time, due to understaffing, to pursue all the stories in depth that need to be pursued. And that is related to the idea that people demand more from their newspapers these days than, well, news about politics and politicians. And the fact that more people are choosing to get their news from sources that feed them what they already believe is true. 

      Also, your reference to Dean’s book makes me wish I had gone into the back and read through parts of it while writing this piece. I learned a lot from that book and I am amazed at how insightful Dean was in describing the mindset of what is the Republican party in our time. And, yes, sometimes, when I have spent several hours researching articles like this one, I am scared of what I see.

      Duane

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  4. ansonburlingame

     /  June 11, 2014

    OK, a good blog from one point of view, a point of view opposed vehemenetly against the Tea Party. When you take the extreme of that political body or philosophy, I stand with you to oppose them.

    However I learned a long time ago, in physics class in high school that for every reaction there is an equal and opposite reaction. That happens in politics all the time.

    The Tea Party did not exist until Obama became our president. His initial steps in office to begin to implement a decidely left wing administration, probably more left wing than seen in America at least in our lifetime aroused far stronger political opposition than most predicted. Thus was born the Tea Pary.

    Yes we have had decidedly right wing presidents in our lifetime, Reagan being an example. Yet no political opposition from the left that equaled the Tea Party today ever took root. People opposed Reagan but none to the extent and as “massive” as the Tea Party movement. In fact the political opposition to Reaganomics and other domestic policies was between the left and right, in the form or Ross Perot. That “party” may well have cost Bush I his reelection, maybe. You see the right of center right moved somewhat toward the middle, between Bush I and Clinton. Today the extreme right has caused the Tea Party and some right of center conservatives went along with it for a while.

    Frankly I thought the Todd Akin debacle in Missouri would put a stop to that and I am very surprised at the Cantor defeat by “Confederates” according to the General, and I agree with him having lived in VA for several years.

    What I am trying to point out however is the Tea Party is an increasingly radical reaction to the Obama Presidency. Of course I don’t support the Tea Party, abhor the killers in Vegas, the armed reaction to federal control of grazing rights in Nevada, etc. I also oppose Charlie Davis and others supporting the changes proposed in Missouri. And as well I am a very solid supporter of far more vigorous gun control.

    But talk about violation of law. Well look at this administration. If they think it is “right” (correct) they routinely violate or at least severly challenge the laws of this land. Immigration, IRS, Fast and Furious, and that list goes on too far in my view. So some “confederate nut” might well justify his violation of laws because he will say “The President does it too” or words to that effect.

    No, killing cops in no way equates to ignoring laws, even purposefully violating them (Bergdahl affair), etc. It is a gross overreaction to left wing calls for ignoring laws to get their way. But you are not talking about rational people when they take that extreme position. And when people like Charlie Davis encourage them to arm up and stand tall, well there we go into chaos.

    If in fact we are a nation of laws and demand adherence to them then both sides should do so, follow the law. Obama for sure has not set a good example of that precept and now we see the continuing reaction to same, overreaction for sure and wrong, but ……..

    My call is for the President himself to follow the laws of the land vigorously and in all cases. As an example, read Reich’s column in today’s Globe about prosecuting corporate offenders of the law. I agree with him. But the President must do the same and start prosecuting some government bureaucrats that violate the law as well and I can think of many examples in the last 6 years where such action has not been taken within the halls of government itself.

    Anson

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  5. ansonburlingame

     /  June 12, 2014

    WOW, I thought some in here would be all over me for trying to justify murder in Vegas by blaming it on the President I course was ready to respond in kind right back had anyone done so but thankfully that did not happen, yet. Thanks for letting me state a point with being called a …….! Most of us knowingly break the law in our lives, parking illegally, speeding, even lying on forms, etc. But when a President lies under oath or purposefully violates law because he does not “trust Congress to keep it mouth shut”, etc. well that is far more than a speeding violation.

    But I also share with the liberal crowd that most Presidential actions of that nature do not rise to impeachable offenses as well. We’ve only tried it twice and failed in both efforts, to impeach a President for politically offensive violations. Good for us, we the people in both cases.

    Anson

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    • King Beauregard

       /  June 12, 2014

      Basically you are arguing that, if your team is developing into a massive malignant tumor, it must be a an equal and opposite reaction to Obama, and therefore it’s Obama’s fault. Unless they view Obama as someone to emulate, in which case it’s still Obama’s fault. Whatever is going on, it’s Obama’s fault. The one thing your analysis dares not consider is that the people you’re making excuses for are human beings with free will and they are choosing to be shitty human beings, because that’s the one thing never to be expected from the Party of Personal Responsibility.

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  6. ansonburlingame

     /  June 12, 2014

    Well thanks, King. You have again established the liberal way of assualt, attacking people for …. that disagree with you.

    Do you really believe a conservative thinks of the Tea Party as “my team”. Do you read my comments as trying to excuse someone for murder? You continue to be as muttleheaded as you usual are in such matters attacking a different point of political views.

    But as far as the Tea Party goes, you bet I encourage a far more limited government than you and others call for. The left wing in America is doing just as much to “destroy America” as those “confederates” are doing in VA and elsewhere, in my view.

    A pox on both of them and you too King. You just made my ignore list, finally. Thanks for reminding me to put you there.

    Anson

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    • King Beauregard

       /  June 12, 2014

      I’m attacking you for not even being internally consistent, as you grasp for a way to pin this on Obama. The same Obama about whom, you may recall, you were recently saying he shouldn’t break the law, but what he should do is the very law-breaking thing that he actually did.

      You are a man without a point, and you sure spend a lot of words getting there.

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    • Anson,

      I reviewed the exchange between you and King B. And for the life of me I don’t see what you are so upset about, to the point of “ignoring” him from now on. Did he call you a nasty name? Did he insult your loved ones? Nope. His crime was, I guess, saying that “your team,” no matter how odious the team member’s behavior, always has a built-in excuse: it’s Obama’s fault.

      If your skin is that thin, I don’t see why you write opinions on your blog or in the paper or here. You used to criticize me for banning from this blog the disreputable Geoff Caldwell. And Geoff Caldwell has said ten-thousand times, no, a hundred-thousand times, no, a million times worse things about me than King B has ever said about you or anyone else on this blog. (But that still wasn’t why I banned Caldwell; it was his lack of seriousness about the issues; he just wanted me to waste my time responding to him.) 

      King B made a legitimate point about how no matter what, everything is Obama’s fault. Even when he does what Republicans want him to do, it suddenly becomes the wrong thing to do. When he adopts Republican ideas, they are no longer ideas worthy of Republican support. And so on. And then you imply, regarding the cop-killings in Las Vegas, that such an extreme reaction is in response to Obama’s actions of supposedly not obeying the law. Are you kidding me?

      You claim more generally that we have an extremist Tea Party because of Obama’s “decidedly left wing administration,” which you say is “more left wing than seen in America at least in our lifetime.” Those of us on the real Left don’t have the slightest idea what you mean. He is about as centrist, in most respects, as they come. Sure, at times he has talked like a fairly committed Rooseveltian liberal, but his actions have been fairly restrained, with a few exceptions. One of those exceptions was his embrace of Elizabeth Warren, a true progressive. I would have you compare her with Obama and you will find her to be much more closer to your “left wing” characterization than the President. And I understand why Obama is much more restrained, given the ocean he is swimming in.

      Finally, the Tea Party as we know it today (there are earlier versions dating back to the early 20th century, for sure) did not jump into existence because of any leftish policies of Obama. I will remind you that the first Joplin Tea Party was held on April 15, 2009. The organization for that and similar events had begun long before that. Thus, since Obama took office on January 20th of that year, you can hardly say that his policies had anything to do with the rise and vitriol of the Tea Party movement. Other than the stimulus package, which historically Republicans had supported when they were in charge, there wasn’t much to point to. It was the man himself that aroused such anger in those folks. And you can look at him and wonder all day why that might have been, but it wasn’t because he had done anything one could call “more left wing than seen in America at least in our lifetime.”

      Duane

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  7. Distractions are the staple diet of concern trolls:

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/gop-distraction-meme

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    • Great article, Juan. The source for all of the scandals and distractions is, of course, the idea that The Scary Negro has no business in the White’s House.

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