Greg Sargent points out we have some very dangerous people on the political ascendant:
“She ought to be shot.”
Yesterday I noted here that candidates like Michele Bachmann and Sharron Angle aren’t content to keep politics in the realm of a good faith clash of visions or ideologies: They have a perpetual need to hint that Dems are up to something nefarious and even vaguely criminal.
The hints of this are everywhere: Bachmann says the $26 billion in state aid is money that will be “laundered” through unions for use by Dems this fall. Angle says the BP escrow cash is a “slush fund” and hints at “Second Amendment remedies.” Multiple other extreme GOPers call the escrow fund a “shakedown.” And on and on.
The resulting atmosphere is such that you get episodes like this one, in which a perfectly normal-seeming consitutent, a business owner, told Dino Rossi, the GOP candidate for Senate in Washington, that both the state’s Dem Senators should be “shot”:
One woman, the owner of two gyms and a temporary-employment agency, was venting about a pro-union bill supported by Murray when she blurted out: “She ought to be shot. Murray and (Sen. Maria) Cantwell ought to be shot.”
Rossi quickly pointed out a reporter in the room, and then said, “That’s not really what you meant.” The businesswoman quickly agreed: “I didn’t mean that.”
To his credit, Rossi quickly got the woman to disavow what she’d said. And I don’t want to make too much of one episode. But we’re heading into another summer silly season where even more is arguably at stake than last summer. And the escalation of rhetoric from the likes of Bachmann and Angle shows no signs of abating, despite the GOP establishment’s awareness that it plays into the Dem strategy of painting the GOP as hostage to extreme elements.