Things that will end badly: State-approved militias
Frustrated by recent political setbacks, tea party leaders and some conservative members of the Oklahoma Legislature say they would like to create a new volunteer militia to help defend against what they believe are improper federal infringements on state sovereignty.
Tea party movement leaders say they’ve discussed the idea with several supportive lawmakers and hope to get legislation next year to recognize a new volunteer force. They say the unit would not resemble militia groups that have been raided for allegedly plotting attacks on law enforcement officers.
“Is it scary? It sure is,” said tea party leader Al Gerhart of Oklahoma City, who heads an umbrella group of tea party factions called the Oklahoma Constitutional Alliance. “But when do the states stop rolling over for the federal government?”
Great idea, team! I really hope they follow Digby’s advice and call this one McVeigh’s Law.
I would have loved to see Conservative’s response if the left pulled this shit during Bush’s reign. “No, no. Nothing weird is going on here. We’re just forming state militias designed to actively undermine a government we refuse to recognize as legitimate. Carry on.”
I’m guessing it would have taken lawmakers around 30 seconds to declare martial law and roll the tanks down Main Street.
At least all the fine details seem responsibly fleshed out.
Thus far, the discussions have been exploratory. Even the proponents say they don’t know how an armed force would be organized nor how a state-based militia could block federal mandates. Critics also asserted that the force could inflame extremism, and that the National Guard already provides for the state’s military needs.
Well, randomly firing guns at perceived threats like census workers is one way to block a federal mandate, I guess. And yeah, forming militias like the ones the worst domestic terrorist in American history belonged to* may “inflame extremism”.
But since Republican lawmakers are apparently hellbent on refusing to tell their constituents to grow up and accept the fact that they lost a democratic election, forming militias is the only area left to explore.
Most teabaggers identify as conservative. The GOP is now running on a platform of blockading the democratic system, and refuses to acknowledge that a majority of American people elected the Democrats for a reason (namely they wanted a change from Republican leadership), so all that hate and panic need to go somewhere. It needs an outlet.
Waiting a few years to vote for a new president seems like it’s out of the question, so forming militias is the only way to go!
In much the same way that I thought Lynndie England was unfairly scapegoated for what was pretty clearly systemic rot within the military (disseminated via top-down leadership), Tea Party panic is also transparently a symptom of irresponsible leadership within the Republican Party.
If any Oklahoma lawmakers are seriously considering getting behind the idea of militias, then they must be held responsible for the ensuing violence. Of course, these teabaggers could be blowing a lot of smoke, and no one is seriously thinking about adding their name to this ridiculous (but dangerous) legislation. But what we’ve seen thus far from the GOP is that they’re willing to fan the flames of hysteria for the sake of scoring paltry political points, so I put nothing past them.
Some OK Republicans do appear to be testing the waters:
State Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso, a Republican candidate for governor who has appealed for tea party support, said supporters of a state militia have talked to him, and that he believes the citizen unit would be authorized under the Second Amendment to the Constitution.
The founding fathers “were not referring to a turkey shoot or a quail hunt. They really weren’t even talking about us having the ability to protect ourselves against each other,” Brogdon said. “The Second Amendment deals directly with the right of an individual to keep and bear arms to protect themselves from an overreaching federal government.”
Right. I’m 99% sure the Founding Fathers weren’t talking about undermining the federal government, either.
Once again, consider if a liberal said this during the Bush years. Would Brogdon have applauded their tenacity and patriotic fervor, or would he have screeched for the anarchist to be locked up?
* While McVeigh admired militias, he never actually got around to joining one, namely because he thought they were “too moderate” (ha, ha). He should have hung around for Hutaree. McVeigh would feel much more at home with today’s militias.