Such violent imagery and invective, once largely confined to blogs and talk radio, is now spreading among Republicans in public office or aspiring to it. Last year Michele Bachmann, the redoubtable Tea Party hero and Minnesota congresswoman, set the pace by announcing that she wanted “people in Minnesota armed and dangerous” to oppose Obama administration climate change initiatives. In Texas, the Tea Party favorite for governor, Debra Medina, is positioning herself to the right of the incumbent, Rick Perry — no mean feat given that Perry has suggested that Texas could secede from the union. A state sovereignty zealot, Medina reminded those at a rally that “the tree of freedom is occasionally watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots.” [These folks have a mighty lose definition of tyrant]
Stout was echoing Palin’s memorable final declaration during her appearance at the National Tea Party Convention earlier this month: “I will live, I will die for the people of America, whatever I can do to help.” It’s enough to make you wonder who is palling around with terrorists now.
I would not mind a reasonable center-right party in the US to balance against a center-left. Democracy requires competition and accountability. Right now, we have one feckless, disunited party that runs when it sees its own shadow, and another party that is simultaneously trying to prevent anything from happening while pandering to those who are delusional. We could blame Obama for not exerting strong enough leadership, but I wonder if he has tried but we did not hear him through the whining of the left and the rage of the right.