The far right fringe has been coming out into the open in North Carolina politics more and more of late.
In case you missed it (and who wasn’t glued to their computer screen on the Fourth?) yesterday’s edition of the Weekly Briefing reports on some pretty amazing goings on at the big “anti-Obamcare” rally that our friends at Americans for the Prosperous convened here in Raleigh last Saturday. Among the featured speakers was the Executive Director of a group called the Foundation for Free Society – a fellow who dredged up the old pre-Civil War, slave state notion of “nullification” as his recommendation for the path that health care reform opponents should pursue.
This comes just weeks after we reported on Speaker Tillis’ sit down with some similar folks – at least one of whom thinks the 14th Amendment to the Constitution was unlawfully adopted.
Now, today, one of our readers sent word that another event took place at the General Assembly on May 30 at which the head of a Montana-based group known as the Oath Keepers named Stewart Rhodes addressed a gathering in one of the main legislative hearing rooms. A fellow who attended the meeting with Tillis and who later commented on our story about it, posted Rhodes’ talk here.
Sane people who watch the speech will likely have two distinct impressions:
1) The guy actually makes some good points about the threats to civil liberties posed by various post-9/11 federal anti-terrorism laws. These laws do provide many grounds for serious concern.
2) Unfortunately, the talk also features some serious paranoia and a lot of worrisome talk about across-the-board “nullification” in which, in Rhodes’ vision, states, individuals and even law enforcement and military personnel would not enforce laws that folks like the Oath Keepers deem to be counter to the Constitution. When pressed as to what will happen if mere refusal to enforce and acts of civil disobedience are inadequate, he says this toward the end of the Q&A section of the speech:
“Eventually, there will come a point where it is so bad, has gone so far, that we’ll be forced to fight another revolution. That’s…we’re on the short track. it’s not that far away.”
And then this:
“If they continue on this path, they will have destroyed the Constitution completely. It’s almost there now. And if that happens, then they will have destroyed what created their offices. They’ll have wiped out the office of the President, the office of the Supreme Court, and of Congress. That’s how I see it and then we will revert back to being sovereign states at that point.”
And finally this fun little nugget :
“[I advocate]…going to the military, going to the guys in the NSA and the CIA and saying you have a duty to say ‘no.’ Cause if you go down the road of being a secret police, like the Stasi or the Gestapo, and start behaving like that then American veterans are gonna’ shoot you. They just are. And I hate to be blunt about it but that’s what’s gonna’ happen.”