When I want to find out what rational (well, mostly rational) Oregon Republicans are thinking I go to Oregon Catalyst. When I want to have a laugh at the antics of the far-right lunatic fringe I go to NW Republican.
Lately, though, some of the posts there have been more scary than funny. Like the one by "zeo12" titled: "Here comes [sic] the Democratic election thefts."
"In a year like this, almost all of the close races normally go to the party that is surging," the post begins. "This year, it's the Republicans, the good guys, who are surging strong, maybe stronger than any time in recent history. Therefore, if the Democrats win ANY of the races that are currently polling close, then Republicans have good cause to suspect voter/election fraud."
"Zeo" then discusses some alleged Democratic shenanigans going on in the Nevada Senate race between incumbent Democrat Harry Reid and Tea Party darling Sharron Angle:
"It adds up to what looks like an attempt to steal a critical election from ... Angle. Liberals by definition have no fixed principles, political or moral. They view their election as what is 'good for the nation,' therefore, in their minds, it doesn't matter how they get power or hold onto it. The ends justify the means. However, if Angle, who is slightly ahead in the latest polling, 'loses,' then this country could be in for some real trouble."
What is "zeo" hinting at when he talks about "some real trouble"? In case you can't figure it out, "zeo" includes a quote from a source he/she doesn't identify:
"The American social compact is based on the confidence that elections are honest and that we all agree to abide by the honest results. When the people suspect that they are denied the right to protest and redress by the ballot, they will quickly turn to other means."
You might have a different interpretation, but the way I read it "zeo" is saying:
1. Since they are "surging," if Republicans lose any close races in this election it almost certainly will be the result of fraud.
2. Therefore, if they do lose, Republicans are not obliged to abide by the results and will be justified in using "other means" to get their way.
Ever since last spring, the media - both the Faux Noise gang and the supposedly more legitimate ones - have been spinning the narrative that Republicans are going to win huge. People like "zeo" have become convinced there's just no legitimate way that's not going to happen. They're also convinced that Democrats/liberals are The Living Embodiment of Evil ("by definition" having "no fixed principles, political or moral") so if they win it probably will be by fraud.
We've already seen by their reaction to the election of Barack Obama that the Tea Party crowd doesn't handle defeat well. How they'll respond if they're defeated in this election - or even if their victory doesn't quite measure up to their inflated expectations - is unsettling to contemplate.
Okay, people who think like "zeo" probably are a minority, even within the Republican Party. (Anyway, I hope so.) But even one wacko with a grudge and an arsenal of weapons can do a hell of lot of damage.
Huffington Post blogger Mike Lux has posted a list of acts of politically inspired violence perpetrated by right-wingers since the election of Obama. "These are just the actual acts of violence," he writes. "In the meantime, we have people coming to town hall meetings and presidential rallies with assault weapons, Republican Senate candidates talking openly of having to use 'Second Amendment means' in case regular politics doesn't work, [and] Republican governors (both Rick Perry and Sarah Palin) meeting with secessionist groups with ties to racist leaders."
I've got kind of a sick feeling that if this election doesn't go the right-wingers' way, we ain't seen nothin' yet.