Will Oregon Republicans denounce those who call for violent overthrow of the United States?

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Late last week, I came across this nutty site called "The Patriotic Resistance", a right-wing revolutionary social networking site that claims 261 members here in Oregon.

And then, this weekend, a lunatic in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania killed three police officers. Among his reasons? He had bought in to the silly rhetoric on the right that President Obama wants to take away people's guns. And he'd been egged on by hanging around these sorts of right-wing resistance websites. From the Pittsburgh-Post-Gazette:

Richard Andrew Poplawski was a young man convinced the nation was secretly controlled by a cabal that would eradicate freedom of speech, take away his guns and use the military to enslave the citizenry. ...

Believing most media were covering up important events, Mr. Poplawski turned to a far-right conspiracy Web site run by Alex Jones, a self-described documentarian with roots going back to the extremist militia movement of the early 1990s. ...

"For some time now there has been a pretty good connection between being sucked into this conspiracy world and propagating violence," said Heidi Beirich, director of research at the Southern Poverty Law Center and an expert on political extremists. She called Mr. Poplawski's act, "a classic example of what happens when you start buying all this conspiracy stuff."

Now, let's be fair. Plenty of people are reading these websites and aren't shooting up cops.

But the people who create these websites and push the violent rhetoric about overthrowing the government by force - well, they deserve some responsibility for what happens when some of their already-unbalanced readers get destabilized and start shooting.

The Oregon chapter of that silly Patriotic Resistance group appears to be led by Joan Calhoun of Langlois, Oregon. At least, she calls herself the "Oregon State Director".

On her profile, she says her biggest concern about the Obama presidency is "onset of totalitarianism".

And last week, she cross-posted a column by J.B. Williams that reads in part:

65 million Americans were smart enough to vote against the people now dismantling America, individual right by individual right. What if all 65 million were also courageous enough to take a serious (but peaceful) stand against the current march into unbridled Marxism, by standing together, refusing to fund one more minute of the evil in Washington DC? ...

If the people fail to take peaceful action by defunding the evil befalling our nation, only violent options will remain. If they wait until they are broke, living a soup line existence, stripped of their Second Amendment rights, then they will have waited too long and they will no longer have the power to reverse any of it.

These sorts of comments appear all over the site. On the one hand, noting that they are an "idea-based" resistance, arguing for peaceful action - but on the other, using revolutionary language and warning of impending violence.

You know, as a Democrat, the last eight years were pretty tough. We were cheated out of a presidential election. We watched the president manufacture a false case for a unnecessary war. We learned of torture committed in our name. We watched a major American city drown before our eyes. And we saw the power of federal prosecutors used to exact retribution on political opponents.

Through all of that, did we progressives ever call for the violent overthrow of the United States? No.

Instead, we organized. We created a new kind of political media. We created a national progressive radio network. We created new national and grassroots organizations. We invested in our state and local parties.

And we committed ourselves to one simple idea: If we work hard, organize the grassroots, find great candidates, make millions of small donations, and communicate our ideas clearly, the American people will come around; we'll win elections; and we'll get another chance to govern.

I have no doubt that there are plenty of Oregon Republicans that are similarly working hard and getting organized. But my question is this: Will the responsible Oregon Republicans denounce these dark demons that stoke the fires of revolution? Will they work to calm the fears of grassroots conservatives and pull them back from the lunacy of the violent fringe?

Comments

  • Orbusmax (unverified)
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    You 'blue wavers' have such a selective memory. Almost on a daily basis since the Iraq war, left-wing websites declared Bush a war criminal, who was as bad or worse as Saddam and either needed to be hauled to The Hague or executed. Not to mention all the hate and anger displayed on shows like Olbermann's and Maher's, repeating the same vile. That is the epitomy of calling for a violent overthrow of the govt., and you socialist left wingers practice it all the time. Your snake oil peddling doesn't fool everyone.

  • (Show?)

    Well, you're confusing two very different things.

    There were a bunch of lefty blogs that called Bush a "war criminal" and either called for his impeachment and/or prosecution. And whether he is or isn't, calling for his impeachment or prosecution is a far different thing than calling for the violent overthrow of the United States.

    And even if you were totally correct, are you arguing that two wrongs make a right? Are you really defending these lunatic fringers with the argument "you do it too! nyah nyah!" -- really?

  • (Show?)

    No, they'll say it isn't are problem.

  • throowrocks (unverified)
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    [Off-topic comment removed. -editor.]

  • Unrepentant Liberal (unverified)
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    No they won't disown and disavow them because the fear; fear of communists, marxists, socialists, democrats, women, black, brown, asian people, gays, Jews, Catholics, Mormons, the dark, the light, freedom, tall people, short people, their own shadow, majority rule, "those people"......... fear of literally everything and everybody in the world is the bread and butter of conservatism and is the true ugly, fetid soul of the republican party.

    Only their little band of 'true believer' are the true patriots defending their misinterpretation of the Second Amendment.

    To deny the crazy paranoid wackjobs who advocated violence against 'the other' is to deny their own belief system.

  • BOHICA (unverified)
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    Bush is a war criminal.

    • U.S. Federal Law 18 U.S.C. § 2441 (War Crimes Act of 1996) makes committing a war crime, defined as: “…a grave breach in any of the international conventions signed at Geneva 12 August 1949, or any protocol to such convention to which the United States is a party…” punishable by fine, imprisonment, or death.

    F) Convention III, Art. 5: “Should any doubt arise as to whether persons, having committed a belligerent act and having fallen into the hands of the enemy (are prisoners of war under this Convention), such persons shall enjoy the protection of the present Convention until such time as their status has been determined by a competent tribunal.”
    Nuremberg Tribunal Charter Principle VI: “The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law: (a) Crimes against peace: Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties; (b) War crimes: …murder, ill-treatment…of civilian population of or in occupied territory; murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war,…plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages… (c) Crimes against humanity: Murder, extermination…and other inhuman acts done against any civilian population…when such acts are done…in execution of or in connection with any crime against peace or any war crime.”

    The list is a long one and no need to list them all. Treaties are the "Supreme Law of the Land" (Article VI US Constitution) and the Bush administration has violated a whole host of treaties.

    "Rules must be binding. Violations must be punished. Words must mean something." President Obama Prague April 5, 2009

    Except when it is the US and the violations are about torture and other war crimes.

    The "left wing blogs" did not call for his execution, the law does. All we have asked for is investigation, indictment and prosecution.

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    Please, I just have to say for the record that Joan Calhoun is not a known relative.

  • Richard (unverified)
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    I bet I can find far more nutty left wing sites than you can nutty right wing sites. Hey I found one right here.

    Peace

  • Jason (unverified)
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    Kari,

    C'mon, man. 261 members should be the first sign that the group is wacko. And for you to even suggest that a majority of Republicans are supportive, or somehow connected is insidious at best. I don't even pay attention to those kinds of groups - they aren't worth my time.

    Do you really have that much disdain for those of us who adhere to conservative principles that you'd search for garbage to attack us?

    You're making a mountain out of a molehill.

  • Schnook (unverified)
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    Please recall, that shooting case with the Unitarian Church. Right Wingnut shooter left a bookshelf at home with a bunch of the usual right wingnut faves; Ann Coulter, Savage Weener- et. all.

  • (Show?)

    The fact that Orbusmax doesn't see a fundamental difference between labeling Bush a war criminal (thus calling for a use of the court system for justice) and the violent overthrow of the U.S. government a la Tim McVeigh types is telling. And a testament to just how blindly some who've placed themselves in the righty fringe will follow.

    The use of the court system is not congruent to a violent overthrow. It's asking for an adherence to the law.

    The excerpt above from Ms Langlois is a peek at the twisted mentality of this movement.

  • (Show?)

    Jason wrote:

    And for you to even suggest that a majority of Republicans are supportive, or somehow connected is insidious at best.

    You should spend a little more time watching what your "leaders" are saying - from Congresswoman Michele Bachmann to Fox News commentator Glenn Beck... they're not ignoring these guys, they're egging them on.

    Sure, if it was just a bunch of wackos in their basements, that would be one thing -- but just as in 1993-1994, this stuff is getting encouraged by well-known conservatives in media and politics.

    Do we have to wait until another Tim McVeigh blows up another federal building to hear well-meaning conservatives denounce the wackos?

  • Orbusmax (unverified)
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    Are you really defending these lunatic fringers with the argument "you do it too! nyah nyah!" -- really?

    No, I'm pointing out the fact you guys have no problem ignoring similar behavior when it's your side. And your side didn't just call for impeachment - there were calls for prosecution outside of our country, and execution of a sitting U.S. president in the middle of a war. Along with various "bush is a terrorist" outbursts, which is exactly what the enemy was saying. That's sedition. This went on for over 5 years, and I never saw a lengthy post on this site calling out your side. Your a hypocrite, just like most blue-wavers.

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    OK, Mr. Orbusmax... I'm quite sure that you could find some stupid commentary out there.

    But why are we talking about me? Even if you're right - and I'm some raving hypocrite, does that make The Patriotic Resistance and its ilk OK by you?

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    No, I'm pointing out the fact you guys have no problem ignoring similar behavior when it's your side.

    What "similar behavior"? Which social networking site run by liberals has been calling for the violent overthrow of the government under GW Bush? Which elected Democrats and high profile spokespeople were doing this?

    And your side didn't just call for impeachment - there were calls for prosecution outside of our country, and execution of a sitting U.S. president in the middle of a war.

    Which groups supported this? Name them. Sure you can find fring-y individuals who write stupid stuff..but groups containing hundreds of people? Show me.

    Along with various "bush is a terrorist" outbursts, which is exactly what the enemy was saying. That's sedition. This went on for over 5 years, and I never saw a lengthy post on this site calling out your side. Your a hypocrite, just like most blue-wavers.

    So you believe that calling Bush names is exactly the same as an organized push for armed resistance against the United States of America. Fascinating.

  • Babaloun (unverified)
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    This issue isn't that Bush is a war criminal, more important is that Peru... Peru ...has managed to try its corrupt President, the first to do so in the Americas, where the crimes were committed, but we still cannot.

    So, are all overthrow website right-wing, by definition? Has the left lost all its violent types by redefining them as conservative? Where do you place entities like "The Republic of Jefferson" (I'm not calling them violent)? To answer the question, though, this is back to the point about the Reps not being a bunch of feckless chappies, but having pulled off exactly what they wanted. In that view, they are trying bring about a financial collapse to precipitate out totalitarian action by government. This is yet another, "and how is this NOT advancing that agenda"?

    I guess we agree to the extent that we're both saying that they can't be that dumb. Prob. is, that always leaves you with an enigma, spontaneous action, and people so misguided in their view that it's hard to see how they get out of bed in the morning. And then they manage to become some of the most powerful people in the world. Very inexplicable. These blogs probably have nothing to do with any coordinated effort.

    But wouldn't we all love a "Cascadia", that ran from San Francisco, along the coast, to Vancouver, BC? Actually, a 360 Pacific rim nation wouldn't be a bad idea, either. Aussies, Kiwis, Californians and Oregonians have more in common that we do with midwesterners.

  • Buckman Res (unverified)
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    There is something inherently sleazy about trying to make political hay from the sad, tragic deaths of three police officers by a disturbed mind that had little ability to “reason”.

    This isn’t the first time I’ve read something on BO that’s made me want to take a shower.

  • (Show?)

    And your side didn't just call for impeachment - there were calls for prosecution outside of our country, and execution of a sitting U.S. president in the middle of a war.

    Interesting that "the rule of law" was so terribly important when it was a Democrat in the White House. But when it was a Republican, suddenly "war" negates it all. Funny but I seem to recall something about "wag the dog" when Clinton sought to use the military against al Qaeda terrorists.

    Hypocrites indeed. It's pretty difficult to square "rule of law" with violent overthrow of the government. But then that assumes that conservatives actually give a flying rat's backside about "rule of law" as opposed to using it as a convenient rhetorical weapon...

  • (Show?)

    David Neiwert, who has spent years studying,documenting and writing about extremist right-wing groups, is asking questions along the same lines as Kari is here.

  • alcatross (unverified)
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    What is this? Kari 'McCarthy' starting a 60th anniversary 'turnabout is fair play' response to the great 'Red Scare' of the early 1950s? What's next? Government monitoring of what websites Republicans visit? Requiring Republicans to take oaths of allegiance?

    "Will the responsible Oregon Republicans denounce these dark demons that stoke the fires of revolution" - substitute 'Democratic (Truman) Administration' for 'Oregon Republicans' and this could have been lifted directly from old Joe's book 'McCarthyism, the Fight for America'... Who is stoking whose fears here, Kari?

    Why should 'responsible' Oregon Republicans give these nuts any credibility or additional publicity? Do you know for a fact the majority of the members of this group are Republican? Or are you just trying to tar Republicans with your innuendo here. There are other groups of people besides Republicans out here who oppose Obama Administration policies, you know...

    FYI, there is not a whole mass of illiterate, weak-minded 'grassroots conservatives' out here quaking under their beds with their Bibles, shotguns, and laptops surfing right-wing radical websites waiting to be told what to do next. And even if there were, today's GOP is about the last place they'd look for guidance.

  • (Show?)

    I'm going to print this article and start handing it out to anyone I see wearing an Emma Goldman t-shirt from now on.

  • Anonymous (unverified)
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    Guilt by fake association - cute, Kari. Nice smear. Very McCarthyist.

    About what I expect from you and this site -- your side is in charge and yet somehow everything is the fault of the Republicans.

  • Scott in Damascus (unverified)
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    Actually, it is guilt by real association.

    In a study done by the Southern Poverty Law Center, in the 10 years since the April 19, 1995, bombing in Oklahoma City, in fact, the radical right has produced some 60 terrorist plots. These have included plans to bomb or burn government buildings, banks, refineries, utilities, clinics, synagogues, mosques, memorials and bridges; to assassinate police officers, judges, politicians, civil rights figures and others; to rob banks, armored cars and other criminals; and to amass illegal machine guns, missiles, explosives, and biological and chemical weapons.

    Here is the list:

    http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?aid=549&printable=1

    This is just a sample list of the extreme right-wing nutbags. This doesn't include the list of armed moonbats who walk into places of worship such as the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church motivated by a desire to kill liberals and Democrats.

  • (Show?)

    Why should 'responsible' Oregon Republicans give these nuts any credibility or additional publicity? Do you know for a fact the majority of the members of this group are Republican? Or are you just trying to tar Republicans with your innuendo here. There are other groups of people besides Republicans out here who oppose Obama Administration policies, you know...

    Because responsible progressives are denouncing it. Right here, right now.

    So do you denounce it, alactross? Or is all that excuse making in your comment going to be your dodge?

  • Kim a. (unverified)
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    http://www.miamiherald.com/living/columnists/leonard-pitts/story/966216.html Think it's timely that you're bringing this subject up, Kari. Read this commentary by Leonard Pitts Jr. of the Miami Herald (one of my favorites)about the rise in hate groups in the U.S. as noted by the Southern Poverty Law Center. I think we're just seeing the beginning of an epidemic.

  • alcatross (unverified)
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    Scott in Damascus said: Actually, it is guilt by real association.

    And the 'association' with 'responsible Oregon Republicans' is exactly where?

    If we're going to use your gauzy methodology. Then I can claim Democrats are guilty by association with the most prolific terrorist organization in US history - the FALN. From 1975 to 1983 approximately 130 bombings were linked to it.

    And lest you think this is ancient history, please recall Clinton's controversial pardoning of 16 FALN terrorists before he left office - and Obama's Attorney General's support for the clemency.

  • (Show?)

    Recalling the tone and tenor of the McCain-Palin rallies in the fall campaign, this hardly seems surprising or shocking. The allowed and encouraged vitriol and paranoia that was fomented at these events, leads to concerns outlined above. There are nutjobs all over the human spectrum but I don't recall any footage of Obama supporters calling for McCain's head or assassination. McCain showed at least some discomfort at the rhetoric, while Palin knew they were among her most fervent supporters.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFp-ZQ1BWZc

    Local news had a story stating that gun shops and target ranges couldn't keep enough ammunition on the shelves.

  • (Show?)

    Good point about the McCain-Palin rallies, DH. Those "real America" speeches were more offensive than anything I can recall from a major party nominee in decades. And don't forget Governor Huckabee's crack at the NRA rally about somebody taking a shot at Obama.

    The inability of the right to gracefully handle the "loyal opposition" role stems from their deep-rooted sense of entitlement. Their simplistic moral framework of "with us or against us" is more fuel on the fire.

    For good measure let's admit we have similar groups on the left who act out from a sense of unwavering moral certainty and inability to compromise--the "ELF" campaign of vandalism certainly fits that. But since the demise of the anarchist and communist movements you don't find a lot of left-wing advocates for murdering those with opposing views, even in coded speech.

  • Boze Noze (unverified)
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    Kari, Where was your indignation over the Oakland Cop Killer that had ties with "fringe marxist groups" that promote the violent overthrow of capitalism? Do you see right wing groups planning marches to support this mentally unbalanced individual in Pittsburg like the left wing groups did in Oakland? Where was the BO post on that subject? Give me a break.

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    Why don't we just admit that there are more than enough nutjobs and whackos on both sides of the political divide to go around. Whether it is anti-government militias on the right, or eco/animal rights terrorists on the left, no one side has any right to claim any sanctimonious purity on the topic.

    FYI: Bi Mart has ammo on sale. Gotta stock up to protect myself from all of fruitcakes.

  • Bill McDonald (unverified)
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    I have to admit I hate this tactic, Kari. I used to have an endless stream of right wing commenters on my blog demanding that I denounce this or that and if I didn't drop everything and jump through the hoop, I'd get the, "See, I knew you supported this! I knew it!"

        It's very annoying and presumptuous as if we're all sitting around waiting for orders on what we should respond to that day. I always felt manipulated - I was already busy. I felt like saying, "If you want me to jump though a hoop, fine, but I'm going to bill you for it."
    
       All I really see that you've accomplished is to get this group a bunch of publicity and maybe even help with their recruiting drive. What's the point?
    
  • David Hickson (unverified)
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    Self-styled conservatives like Alcatross are, by definition, traitors under federal law. It is that simple. By offering up even tacit support for rightwing plots and efforts to commit treason and overthrow the government he and others like that have forfeited all rights they might have once had. Also, once and for all, there is no goddamn equivalence between calling for war criminals to be held accountable under the law and calling for the assassination of elected officials. Traitors like Bachmann should be arrested, tried and punished according to the law, which calls for execution in cases of treason. And calling for an armed revolt on television against a lawfully elected government - the first in over eight years I might add - is the very definition of treason. So, get off your high horse Alcatross and go down and turn yourself in at the Portland FBI office. They'll be happy to see you. They might even offer you a pair of steel bracelets, which is far more than people like you deserve. Filthy traitor.

  • My Karma Ran Over Your Old Billy Goat (unverified)
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    Posted by: alcatross | Apr 7, 2009 10:36:37 AM

    What is this? Kari 'McCarthy' starting a 60th anniversary 'turnabout is fair play' response to the great 'Red Scare' of the early 1950s? What's next? Government monitoring of what websites Republicans visit? Requiring Republicans to take oaths of allegiance?

    note to alcatross: the progressives left the party in 2000 when the people running the party decided they had lost the election because they didn't lie, cheat, spin and steal like the reps. Nearly 10 years on, this is now par, not the exception. one consolation is that it hastens the end of two party rule.

  • alcatross (unverified)
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    Jamais Vu says: The inability of the right to gracefully handle the "loyal opposition" role...

    Oh... and all of the vitriol and paranoia fomented by the Democratic 'loyal opposition' during the entire Bush presidency is a model of grace and tolerance. Right- But now that some is aimed at Obama - it's 'Republican hate speech'...

  • (Show?)

    Paranoia, alcatross? Maybe you ought to go reread the Onion's January 2001 classic on the subject: Bush: 'Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over'

    Understand - that article was supposed to be a joke. It turned out to be absolutely 100% accurate right down the line, including this fake-quote from Rush Limbaugh: "Once again, we will enjoy mounting debt, jingoism, nuclear paranoia, mass deficit, and a massive military build-up."

    An even the Onion didn't anticipate we'd get into random torture, or spying on the phone-sex calls our own U.S. soldiers stationed in Iraq were having with their wives.

    I think the short answer Kari's rhetorical question, "Will the responsible Oregon Republicans denounce these dark demons that stoke the fires of revolution?" one of those simple answers to simple questions: NO.

    Or rather, "what exactly are these so-called 'responsible' Oregon Republicans of which you speak? Are they like a snark or a jackalope? Because all I see are hate filled bigots who clearly have adopted an ideology that stands in contrast to just about every American ideal put forth by our founding fathers.

  • PanchoPDX (unverified)
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    How ridiculous to conflate a crazed gunman in Pennsylvania with people who never met him.

    I've never met an Oregon Republican that wouldn't condemn civilians shooting people (esp. policemen) unless it is somehow justified by self defense.

    This Patriotic Resistance group doesn't seem to be advocating that people begin shooting anyone to make a point. It looks like they are trying to prevent a slide into Marxist (totalitarian) government through peaceful protest.

    At worst they are telling people that if they don't speak up now then they better prepare for a day when simple protests won't be enough to protect your freedom under an oppressive government.

    They aren't saying that day has come yet, and hopefully we can all agree that we don't want it to come to that point. I'm hoping that Obama the Realist (the one most of America thought they voted for) does not become Obama the Ideologue.

    I didn't vote for Obama but he's my President. I hope he doesn't follow in Bush's footsteps but I see frightening parallels. 9/11 gave Bush the authority to grow the government enormously (at the cost of personal liberty) to prosecute his War on Terror. Obama seems poised to use the financial meltdown to the same kind of thing - engaging in a War on Free Markets with a significant cost to personal liberty.

    I'm afraid of politicians who see an opportunity in every crisis (and I resent bloggers who see an opportunity in every tragedy).

    This country was born of revolution against a government that was far less oppressive than the one this group fears may come about. It doesn't make someone a "dark demon" or a "traitor" to recognize that we'd probably need another revolution someday if our Government became totalitarian.

  • Bill McDonald (unverified)
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    Kari, The more I look at that headline on your post the more ridiculous it appears: Will Oregon Republicans denounce those who call for violent overthrow of the United States?

      And I don't mean fun, "it's beautiful outside today" ridiculous. I mean Sean-Hannity-style ridiculous. Is this where you got that? I can remember Sean saying things like, "Reverand Wright said this about America. Do you denounce  it?"
    
     But wait, you throw in a little fair and balanced here too: "Now, let's be fair. Plenty of people are reading these websites and aren't shooting up cops."
    
     Gee, thanks for clearing that up.
    
     I'm going to make a giant leap here since I'm not an Oregon Republican, but I would guess that they are not in favor of overthrowing the United States government. And if they don't denounce others who are, maybe they're busy. Maybe they're outside on the lawn listening to Sean Hannity.
    
  • Unrepentant Liberal (unverified)
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    What I would like to hear and haven't, is responsible voices on the right saying, "You know, we might have gone a little overboard on that "Obama is a Muslim terrorist" sort of talk and while we're at it could we stop accusing him of being a communist, socialist, fascist anti-Christ dictator sworn to Satan and dedicated to ripping each and every fire arm from our cold, dead, freedom loving hands." Haven't heard anyone say anything like that and I'm not holding my breath waiting.

    Instead we have the right wing media machine of Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter, O'Reilly, crazy flakes eating Glenn Beck,along with Michele Bachman and the entire republican party just reciting the most unimaginable lies about Obama and the Democrats day after day after day even though their charges have been proven to be baseless.

    Tragically, people like Richard Poplawski, Jim David Adkisson and Timothy McVie actually believe these lies. In each of these cases right wing thought and media fed their paranoia and anger to the point where they were willing to murder innocent men, women and children in cold blood.

    Progressives? No such record of blood. And the right wing media machine just keeps on lying, day in and day out.

    Their followers think they are Paul Revere riding to spread the warning that "The Redcoats are coming, the Redcoats are coming." In reality, they are the unmedicated, homeless, paranoid schizophrenics, standing on the street corner screaming at the top of their lungs at imaginary devils flying around their heads like bats. Only, they have guns. Lots and lots of guns.

    Somebody on the right needs to be an adult; somebody needs to stand up and say,"Enough." I'm waiting.

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)
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    Glenn Beck is not a republican. At best he is a libertarian and certianly more of a TV/Radio personality than an effective speaker for any movement.

    Kari, come on; 261 out of HOW many registered Oregon voters? The mere size of the movement (miniscule) speaks to the fringe status. I don't remember anyone asking the BO crowd to disavow the eco-terrorists firebombing business, homes and vehicles over the past 6-7 years. Lets be reasonable here.

    I thought Obama was about discovery of those thangs that UNITE us rather than those that divide us? Or am I wrong?

  • BOHICA (unverified)
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    I remember something about the clarion call to "denounce and reject" a certain Chicago minister back in 2008.

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    Just an aside, but don't make light of the "small" number of supporters they have. A motivated person with 260 followers could bring this country to its knees w/o much effort.

  • RD (unverified)
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    Geez, Kari. I have a great deal of respect for you as a writer, but that said, this post reeks of Hannity, Limbaugh, and O'Reilly. There is absolutely no connection between this group of nuts and the Oregon GOP.

    Why should Oregon Republicans denounce this group? This post would make just as much sense if you said "Will Oregon Democrats denounce...," because there's just as strong a connection. Meaning, of course, that there is no connection.

    Today, there's only one difference between you and Rush Limbaugh: you're smart enough to know better. You should be ashamed.

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    Here's why this is important: In 1993 and 1994, after Clinton was elected, the same thing happened. And as the militias arose, the GOP looked on with amusement -- acting as if these crazies were merely odd and goofy, like some kind of modern civil war reenacters.

    It only took until April 19, 1995, though for everyone to learn just how serious this is. These lunatics are not funny, they're not amusing, they're not just "really patriotic". In fact, they're the exact opposite.

    I can appreciate good Republicans feeling insulted by the implication that they have anything in common with 'em. But that's exactly why they should be crystal clear and denounce the crazies.

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    I am sitting here shaking my head in amazement as I agree with Kari two (2) days in a row. Is there a full moon or something.

    If you want to see some bat-shit crazy far-right fundie militia types, head to Mesa, AZ. Met some of them that glommed onto the border watch groups. The hatred of "the left" and Obama in particular is astonishing. DO NOT TAKE THESE PEOPLE LIGHTLY.

  • Vincent (unverified)
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    Guilt by association was bad when people were demanding Obama denounce Bill Ayers, wasn't it?

    What's changed?

  • Bill McDonald (unverified)
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    That's it. There's a giant swirling mass of emotions out there with way too much anger. The way the GOP used it, to stir up hatred for Obama, was chilling. The best thing we can do is diffuse the situation. President Obama gets that, which is why he's trying to diffuse tensions with the Arab world.

      The tone of this post is from the other approach. It's from the "make waves" school. It's from the vast ocean of crazy that we're trying to navigate across.
    
     I've never seen a rational story with the word "denounce" in it. It's like "strident" - not necessarily on whack job street, but not too many exits away.
    
       If I just tried to figure out who you were, Kari, from reading this one title, I'd have my "crazy nut-job" warning light flashing like a strobe. The violent overthrow of the United States government? Is that what we're debating here?
       This post sounds crazy.
    
  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    The whack job who murdered the Pittsburgh cops was quite open about his crazed anti-Semitic conspiratorial views etc., and about repeating the memes being flogged by the likes of Glenn Beck. Check out the websites of the Anti-Defamation League or the Southern Poverty Law Center, for example.

    And don't bother responding to the wingnuts. They're equating the loony anonymous ravings of "leftists" on websites like Portland Indymedia--read by, oh, a couple of dozen people--with the nationally broadcast ravings of Beck, Savage, etc., heard by millions.

  • Unrepentant Liberal (unverified)
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    Glenn Beck is a Libertarian the same way I am a purple spotted people eater. He is a right wing nut job who appeals to and eggs on those on the paranoid and violent edges of society while on a supposably 'reputable news network.'

    It is healthy to disagree with whomever is in power. However, all the while Bush was in there was not so much as a peep from them in disagreement. To threaten violent overthrow of our government under the present circumstances is treasonous.

    I have always thought Bush should be water boarded. Since it's just like fraternity hazing and not torture, it shouldn't be a big deal.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    Bill McDonald--there are various flavors of stirring up resentment. There's the Bogdanski flavor, which has a sense of humor and some set of facts behind, even if I dislike what he does with this; and then there's the wingnut flavor, unencumbered by facts, humor, ethics or anything else.

    Your characterization of Kari is off base. You seem to think the wingnut hate-mongering is just fun and games. It ain't.

    The institutional GOP will never disavow the wingnut hatemongers. Firstly, a small fraction of the institutional GOP is identical to the hatemongers; but more importantly, a large majority of the institutional GOP sees its goals advanced by pandering to the hatemongers.

  • Joe Hill (unverified)
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    The reason the foot soldier wingnuts don't denounce the violent wingnuts and the dark-forboding-calling-for-violence-wingnuts was put rather elegantly by Bertolt Brecht:

    "You can't expect fair conduct on a sinking ship."

    The Republicans and conservatives in general experience themselves as being on a sinking ship and that smell hanging in the air is the acrid scent of urine as they can't hold it in anymore.

    Their despair is justified and overdue. The teflon myth of the "free market" has been exploded, at ruinous expense to us all, and from now on those who prattle on about the correcting action of the "invisible hand" ought to be accorded the same measured respect given to those who believe in the Easter bunny. The administration that tried to convince us that torture was OK if we didn't talk much about it is now furiously, desperately trying to convince its remaining acolytes to please God please don't let them make the memos public. But the memos will be made public, and one way or another, there will be some accountability. Even the weird invented language e.g. "war on terror" (can you declare war on a state of mind?) is being tossed unceremoniously overboard.

    So as they contemplate going underneath the waves once, twice, thrice, they're not going to denounce anyone who bellows, "I'm on your side! Don't give up the ship!" no matter how deranged, how simple, how swollen with ignorance and lumpen anger. Oh no. They're going down. And they need the noise.

  • Bill McDonald (unverified)
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    Joel, Please don't pull the blog thing and talk about my "characterization of Kari" when my point was about this post - not about him. I've read Kari's stuff for a while now and I thought this was below his normal game.

      Now that President Obama is in office and Dick Cheney is out, can't we return to the national character that made America great? You know...when Americans were the cool guys in the movie.
    
      This post is much more in the tradition of "Fear! Fear! Fear!" There's a cell in Oregon that could violently overthrow the country! Over 200 of them!
        Look,  I'm not taking anybody lightly - I just think Obama's tone is much more productive. This post is more reminiscent of Dick Cheney's work.
    
      We've just witnessed the results of the GOP strategy to themselves and to the country. Why would you want  to follow that?
    
  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    quoting Bill McDonald: "If I just tried to figure out who you were, Kari, from reading this one title, I'd have my 'crazy nut-job' warning light flashing like a strobe."

    Kind of sounds like punishing the messenger bearing bad news.

  • (Show?)

    This post is much more in the tradition of "Fear! Fear! Fear!" There's a cell in Oregon that could violently overthrow the country! Over 200 of them! Look, I'm not taking anybody lightly - I just think Obama's tone is much more productive. This post is more reminiscent of Dick Cheney's work.

    No, that's not what this post is about. Not from my reading, anyway.

    This post is about a group of people in Oregon strongly and consistently calling for the violent overthrow of the federal government based on their trumped-up rightwing ideals. It's an ask for sane Republicans to denounce this and step up to say that this isn't right.

    This guy from Pittsburgh was part of an online community run by lunatic conspiracist radio host Alex Jones. Like many members of the far-right fringe, he allegedly visited Jones’ Web sites and posted some pretty scary shit on the white supremacist message board, Stormfront--allegedly under the name "Braced For Fate".

    Max Blumenthal has a great deal of information on this guy here. The shooter was allegedly using all this Glenn Beck/AlexJones/Hannity/Savage stuff and falling right into step with other commenters.

    It's entirely appropriate to call this stuff out. And the mainstream GOP should actively work against it and oppose it. But they're not. In fact, FOX is stoking it.

  • Steve (unverified)
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    I got it - Why don't we have Chris Matthews have one of those big telethon things he does and invite Repubs and Demos. He can ask the Repubs if they will sign a paper denouncing these fools and then he can ask the Demos if they will sign a paper denouncing pork? While we're at it, lets have both parties publicly denounce Satan!

    This whole thing is smokescreen now that people see the Dems do as little for this country as the Reps have. So keep piling on the Repubs and not talk about the great successes Demos are having.

    Why not stick to your knitting and wake Teddy K and help him figure what his plan is for Oregon?

  • Sarah (unverified)
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    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Sarah

    http://adoptpet.info

  • Bill McDonald (unverified)
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    Joel, That's classic. That's the part I was hoping you'd read over. Let me restate it a little more clearly: If I didn't know it was Kari and I stumbled on this title I'd wonder if this was whack-job territory. The tone seems a little out there.

      My hope is that we can hold everything together long enough to get past all this. There is a lot of hatred out there and there's a flavor of "careful what you say" - the old Ari Fleisher bit.
    
      We should always have the freedom to express ourselves - I think these horrible reactions we're seeing have much more to do with the economic stress society is under, than the words on a website.
    
      I'm going to apologize for seeing this post differently. To me it had that Sean Hannity touch where you have to jump though the hoop to prove yourself or face the scorn of the powers that be. That's not America at its best.
    
  • (Show?)

    A couple of points. First, it's not the equivalent of Kos who's calling for violent overthrow, it's members of congress like RAchel Bachmann. Second, there is a vicious streak in today's GOP. It's worth asking local Republicans if this is the vision they hold. Asking if you agree with your own party is hardly McCarthyism.

  • Bill McDonald (unverified)
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    Carla, Excuse me for not responding to your point that this wasn't Cheney-esque.

       In one of the comments, Kari said, "It only took until April 19, 1995, though for everyone to learn just how serious this is."
    
      That's the Oklahoma City bombing. Isn't this quite similar to the pressure Bush and Cheney laid on us? "Listen, the Oklahoma City bombing changed everything. You respond like we want you to or you're helping make America vulnerable to another attack. These sites should be run off the internet. What right does Alex Jones have to question the US government? We've kept America safe from another Oklahoma City bombing but if you don't denounce these people - his followers - when we tell you to, another one could happen again."
    
      I'm not saying it reeks of it. Just a strong whiff.
    
  • Sarah (unverified)
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    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Sarah

    http://adoptpet.info

  • StephanAndrewBrodheadForCongress (unverified)
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    What a stupid, stupid article!

    The party of the Weather Underground. What a Ridiculous attempt at revisionist history.

    "I have no doubt that there are plenty of Oregon Republicans that are similarly working hard and getting organized. But my question is this: Will the responsible Oregon Republicans denounce these dark demons that stoke the fires of revolution? Will they work to calm the fears of grassroots conservatives and pull them back from the lunacy of the violent fringe?"

    You are so ridiculous! My word, you are a fool!

  • alcatross (unverified)
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    Kari says: I can appreciate good Republicans feeling insulted by the implication that they have anything in common with 'em. But that's exactly why they should be crystal clear and denounce the crazies.

    I'm sorry, Kari... 'I can appreciate good [Democrats] feeling insulted by the implication that they have anything in common with [Communists]. But that's exactly why they should be crystal clear and denounce the [Communists]' echoes too much of Joe McCarthy for me.

    I looked through the website in question here some - and, while it's not my cup of tea, I disagree with your characterization that 'revolutionary language and warnings of impending violence' appear throughout the site. Granted there's stuff there that you (and I) may not agree with or particularly like - but inciting violent overthrow of the United States Government is not the dominant or even a minor theme of this website. There are some nutty posts, sure - but nothing nuttier than some of the posts I saw on Daily Kos and similar websites at the height of liberal angst while Bush was in office. I've even seen some posts here on Blue Oregon I've looked sideways at...

    Further, besides just perhaps evidently making you feel better, I don't see what such a denouncement would tangibly accomplish even if it was warranted. The crazies that perpetrate violent acts do not attend local neighborhood Republican party meetings - and they're not going to be influenced by an Oregon GOP press release.

  • dartagnan (unverified)
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    How ridiculous to conflate a crazed gunman in Pennsylvania with people who never met him.

    Not ridiculous at all, really. Media ranters like Limbaugh, Coulter, Beck and Savage and political figures who call Obama a "socialist" and a "communist" and a friend of terrorists and say he is taking away Americans' "freedoms" (without ever specifying how) create a toxic political and emotional environment that breeds violent wackos just as a fetid swamp breeds malarial mosquitoes.

    Words mean things, and ideas have consequences. After listening to a steady drumbeat of hate and fear for years, or maybe decades, a certain (hopefully small) number of unstable individuals are going to be moved to act.

  • (Show?)

    That's the Oklahoma City bombing. Isn't this quite similar to the pressure Bush and Cheney laid on us? "Listen, the Oklahoma City bombing changed everything. You respond like we want you to or you're helping make America vulnerable to another attack. These sites should be run off the internet. What right does Alex Jones have to question the US government? We've kept America safe from another Oklahoma City bombing but if you don't denounce these people - his followers - when we tell you to, another one could happen again."

    Here's the problem, in my view.

    There's a very fundamental difference between speaking out against what the government is doing...and calling (inciting ) for the violent overthrow of the government.

    Just like there's a difference between standing on the sidewalk in front of an abortion clinic to protest the actions inside...or standing outside and consistently threatening those who go in and out with bodily harm.

    One is an entirely protected form of free speech. The other is not.

  • Sid Leader (unverified)
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    The state of Oregon threw Tom Metsger in prison for hate speech that led to a murder in SE Portland three blocks from my first house.

    Time for Pennsylvania prosecutors to charge Beck, Hannity and Weiner for the same.

    Beck is right. The end is near.

    For him and his like.

  • Bill McDonald (unverified)
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    Dartagnan, The Washington Post has an article today about the 8 mass murders killing 57 people in the last month. Maybe as you suggested, the steady drumbeat of hate and fear in the words the killers heard all accumulated in the last 4 weeks and they all snapped, but many experts feel it's related to the economy.

      Of course, that won't stop political operatives of various stripes from cashing in with some spin. As alcatross noted, it's doubtful this group in Oregon will change their thinking based on a Blue-Oregon ordered press release from the Republican Party to denounce them,
    

    so Kari is using this murder of 3 police officers in Pittsburgh to try and make political points.

       The article claims that the Pittsburgh killer was recently discharged from the Marines, but there's no percentage in blaming his actions on them or the stress of returning to this job market.
    
       If he was the only one, you could make a better case that this was accumulated hate speech - that he was swayed by the awesome personal charisma of Glenn Beck,(?) - but since there were 7 of these incidents in a month, it probably has more to do with the economy.
    
      But go ahead and try. It's no different than how liberals were blamed for being terrorist appeasers anytime something happened that could be spun that way during the Bush/Cheney years.
    
       I think we'd be better off if we respond more like the Greatest Generation during the Great Depression, and spend our time trying to help each other get through this, rather than spreading even more charged-up language about the violent overthrow of the United States government. Maybe if we see someone in trouble, we can try and help rather than wait 'til they snap.
    
  • Richard P. Burke (unverified)
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    Dear All,

    There are a few crackpots on the left, and a few crackpots on the right. The left and the right always try to highlight the crackpots on the other side to discredit their mainstream opponents. That's all this article is trying to do. Usually, how earnestly people apply this strategy is a fair indicator of how scared they are of the larger movement.

    The truth is, black helicopter crackpots aside, fiscal conservatives are organizing at the grass roots to take peaceful political action consistent with the best traditions of our nation. I'm involved in that myself. They're training and mobilizing grassroots volunteers to take meaningful political action. The failure of fiscal conservatives to do this in the past explains why we experienced the disaster of George Bush (who was NO fiscal conservative) and are now experiencing what promises to be the disaster of Barack Obama.

    Republicans rose quickly in the 1980s and 90s by organizing in this way, and Democrats rose in the 2000's by doing so when Republicans dropped the ball. Fiscal conservatives will rise quickly by organizing now, and lame attempts to paint the entire movement with the paintbrush of few extremists will only discredit those who engage in such tactics in the long run.

    Have fun.

    Richard P. Burke Dir. of Grass Roots Development Americans for Prosperity

  • hart williams (unverified)
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    IOKIYAR, evidently.

  • Bill McDonald (unverified)
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    I'm deeply suspicious that Blue Oregon has yet to denounce the Somali pirates and though I have no real proof or belief that they are for the Somali pirates, I'm going to wonder why they don't denounce them especially when I demand that they do. We went through all this when anti-war protesters were accused of putting the troops at risk by the same people who had just put the troops at risk. That meant the people who were actually doing their best to keep Iraq from happening, kept having to say they supported the troops - when avoiding Iraq would have been the ultimate in supporting the troops. It's that same call for someone to say something publicly as proof of their allegiance to whatever their opponents have in mind. Translation: I'm pretty sure the Republican Party is not for the violent overthrow of the United States government. (I do love it when Newt calls for a 3rd party - you've got to love that, but I digress...)

     Let's get past the North Korea-like pledge season, but only after Kari denounces these Somali pirates. We're waiting....
    
  • (Show?)

    Republicans rose quickly in the 1980s and 90s by organizing in this way, and Democrats rose in the 2000's by doing so when Republicans dropped the ball. Fiscal conservatives will rise quickly by organizing now, and lame attempts to paint the entire movement with the paintbrush of few extremists will only discredit those who engage in such tactics in the long run.

    So then you'll have no trouble at all denouncing those who are advocating for the violent overthrow of the U.S. Government instead of the red herrings you tossed up here in comments...right, Mr. Burke?

    The gimmick complaints in this thread asserting that conservatives are being persecuted for peaceful organizing are just flat BS. They're being asked to push back and denounce those who are verbally inciting the violent overthrow of the government.

    This ain't rocket science...stop pretending it is.

  • Idaho River Journeys (unverified)
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    OK. During the Clinton years Reps knowingly perverted the course of justice to indict him. How is that not treason? A political party that manufactures evidence to overthrow the elected government is guilty anyway you cut it. It's relativizing all that, that leaves us with the question you ask today.

  • zigloo warmer (unverified)
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    Bill McDonald,

    Thank you for keeping them intellectually honest.

    You should expect to have your I.P. banned by Kari if you continue your anti-B/O Jihad.

  • Emma Goldman (unverified)
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    If I can't dance on both your graves, I don't want your revolution.

  • State of Confusion (unverified)
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    (can you declare war on a state of mind?)

    Are you kidding? Being American is a all a state of mind and wars on competing states of mind. The cold war fought a definition. And throughout our history, we have violently opposed intellectualism at every turn.

    Hell, we prefer to fight states of mind.

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