Of course the Oklahoma Tea Party should form a militia! Of course they should. This is a capital idea.
It’s been delightful to see how this story has played out since last Monday, when it first ran. Apparently it raised enough eyebrows that at least one key figure in the story, State Senator and Gubernatorial hopeful Randy Brogdon (R-
Fundamentalist WastelandOwasso), has backed off the statements he initially made for it:
Brogdon … 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.
— The Associated Press, via Salon.com
The Founding Fathers had this all planned out! It went like this:
- Establish a federal government.
- Encourage citizen militias to overthrow said federal government and then, presumably …
- Establish a new federal government.
- … so that new militias can overthrow that one too.
Isn’t it great? Instead of a regulating body, we can just shoot stuff! And people!
Aaaanyway, by Wednesday Brogdon had backed down on the idea, saying he was merely suggesting that a state guard could help out in emergencies, like the blizzards last winter. Which also makes perfect sense, since everybody knows the best way to help a stranded motorist out of a ditch is to shoot him. Brogdon called the story “predesigned” in another Oklahoman article, by which I assume he means it’s an attempt by the
nonexistent dreaded liberal media to make him look like some sort of whack job. (Not to get off on a tangent here, but I love how, when you say something completely batshit crazy, it’s the fault of the person quoting you, rather than, y’know, you. Who said the batshit crazy thing.)
Sooner Tea Party head Al Gerhart, also quoted in the AP story, denied in Thursday’s Oklahoman that he’d mentioned anything resembling a militia:
“What this group was talking about was reorganizing and reactivating this state guard,” Gerhart said. “What is so controversial about this group talking about that?”
— The Oklahoman, Thursday, April 15, 2010
I believe the controversial statement that Al Gerhart in particular made was this:
“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?”
— Associated Press, Monday, April 12, 2010
In fairness, the AP story doesn’t say whether or not Gerhart or anyone else mentioned the state guard. Regardless of whether he merely suggested to the AP reporter that restoring the state guard was all he was interested in, when it’s tethered to a statement like the above, and when guns are active in the discussion, it’s pretty dishonest to claim there’s no insinuation of armed revolt of one kind or another.
Among several ironies present here is that these guys who’ve ostensibly got their panties in a bunch about too much government are suggesting the best way to combat this overabundance of government is with another government agency. This makes perfect sense to anyone who huffs a lot of gold paint.
So how do you know for sure that your idea is, indeed, insane right-wing paranoia whipped to a froth? I’m gonna say it’s when not one but two Oklahoman pieces — one of them from the actual editorial board, the other hilarious — say so. Kind of stunning to see the press function as it should once in a while, but there you have it.
Photo by David Glover