Gun sales up
Gun shows increased attendance
Guns displayed at rallies to protest the president
Threats of violence to the president up by 400%
Threats to members of congress and their families
Acts of violence at congressional offices
Shouting down members of congress at district meetings
Shouting out at the president during a joint session of congress
Shouting out at a fellow representative during debate
Violent rhetoric from Sarah Palin
Violent rhetoric from Glenn Beck
Shooting of police officers at the Pentagon
Shooting at the Holocaust Museum
Hate sites growing in number on the internet
Hate speech on social networking sites, such as facebook
Hate speech posted to comment sections of news blogs
Hate speech on major media outlets
Perhaps the statistics are new, but the tactics are not.
The T Party and the complicit GOP are simply following the plays laid out by George Bush and Dick Cheney for the last eight years: bully, threaten, use violence instead of negotiation, and win at all costs — if that means cheating, lying, threatening, or attacking.
Now that the GOP is out of power, their supporters are merely doing what they think they’re entitled to do — because of the role model of their last president.
Why should the T Party — the core of the Republican base — have respect for the constitutional process of law making when their president called the Constitution “just a goddamned piece of paper” while flagrantly breaking laws and violating constitutional provisions?
The Bush Administration was the Administration that could not tolerate words on a T-shirt, to the point of arresting the wearer, expelling her from the congressional gallery, or barring them from attending town hall meetings.
The Bush people are the ones who exposed a covert CIA agent to possible death — simply as a political vendetta. We still have no information on the consequences to assets recruited by Plame’s group.
I don’t want to do a rehash of the Bush Administration, but I think it’s important to remember what kind of person was president of this country for eight years. Whether legitimately elected or not, he had strong supporters, he was a role model for some people, and he set a new standard for political behavior. Giving reporters the finger, publicizing photos of the of slain sons of Saddam Hussein while forbidding photos of our own lost soldiers’ flagged-draped coffins, invading and plundering an unarmed nation, ignoring warnings about the World Trade Center.
What we are experiencing now with the T Party — perhaps we should call them the B Party — is an extension of Bush, without Bush as the figurehead. They are continuing the same toxic behavior that for years was sanctified by the high office of the presidency. Only now they are footloose with no figureheads but the wolf-killing, self-absorbed Sarah Palin and the unstrung Glenn Beck to express their hostile instability.
This is what the GOP has become after many years of doing exactly what they want, in spite of the will and welfare of the American people. This is the GOP after decades of focus-grouped discourse, brutal policy, commercialized belligerence, and unchecked corporate aggression. We are seeing what is produced by politics that do not respect the public, the constitution, or the principles on which this country was founded.
The T Party is a very small group of fanatics who are willing to use terrorist tactics in trying to force their will — a will that is not even their own, a will that has been designed by corporate interests — on the rest of the country. They are driven by hostility and a feeling of powerlessness because the legitimate tools of social change will never give them an advantage. So they have begun to threaten to use — and in some cases, use — the tools that inflict harm.
It’s time for all of us to call these people what they are. They are domestic terrorists. And until we bring this truth to the front pages where it belongs, we will continue to see an escalation in violent rhetoric and violent action. And people like Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck will continue to rake in blood money from their corporate sponsors.
UPDATE: The gas line at U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello’s (D-VA) brother’s home has been cut by a group of T Party criminals. The FBI is investigating.