Missouri’s Senator Claire McCaskill stated yesterday that if Congress votes “wrongly” on the extension of tax cuts, the people should “take up pitchforks.” The St. Louis Beacon reports:
“I don’t know how anyone can keep a straight face and say they are for deficit reduction while they insist on a permanent tax cut for the wealthiest Americans, completely unpaid for,” McCaskill said of the GOP stance. “If they think it’s OK to raise taxes for the embattled middle class because . . . (Democrats) don’t give more money to millionaires, it really is time for people in America to take up pitchforks.”
Talk of “tak(ing) up pitchforks” sounds, unless the discussion is about farming (and it clearly wasn’t in this case), a good deal like what the CSGV’s Josh Horwitz calls “Insurrectionist rhetoric.” Granted, pitchforks are not generally thought of as being among the most effective implements of revolution, but what can one expect of someone who, according to Human Events, once said, in response to efforts (so far unsuccessful, at that time) to legalize concealed carry in Missouri, that:
It’s startling to realize this concept (right-to-carry) came within three votes of passing in the Missouri Senate. Imagine the carnage that could have been wrought by would-be Dirty Harrys…
More recently, McCaskill voted against gun owners’ ability to transport firearms in their checked baggage on Amtrak trains. Not surprisingly, her positions on firearms have earned her “F” grades from both the NRA and Gun Owners of America. HighBeam Research quotes the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre, during her unsuccessful campaign for Missouri Governor, saying this about her:
“She doesn’t trust law-abiding citizens with firearms,” the NRA executive told about 70 people at a lunch-hour gathering. “I believe we as law-abiding citizens shouldn’t trust her anywhere near the power of the governor’s office of this state.”
Given her longstanding hostility to private firearm ownership, I imagine Josh Horwitz is going to be willing to give her a pass about her “insurrectionist rhetoric,” as I expect the Brady Campaign will do, as well. And that strikes me as a bit odd, given the furor raised by those organizations, over Sharron Angle’s reference to “Second Amendment remedies,” during her attempt this year to win Harry Reid’s U.S. Senate seat away from him in Nevada.
Take, for example, what Horwitz said in the Huffington Post back in June, about Angle’s words, in an article named after that expression:
Angle is known for a number of bizarre statements and policy positions, but of perhaps greatest concern is her advocacy for armed insurrection. In January, she told conservative radio show talk host Lars Larson the following, “You know, our Founding Fathers, they put that Second Amendment in there for a good reason and that was for the people to protect themselves against a tyrannical government. And in fact Thomas Jefferson said it’s good for a country to have a revolution every 20 years. I hope that’s not where we’re going, but, you know, if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying my goodness what can we do to turn this country around?
The Brady Campaign’s Dennis “What People?” Henigan also got into that act in the Huffington Post:
Although Chris Cox’s statement about the NRA’s refusal to endorse Reid mentions only his support of President Obama’s two Supreme Court nominees, it may well be that Reid’s recent attack ad against Angle’s Second Amendment nuttiness also played a role. Angle has become infamous for her interpretation of the Second Amendment, which she has said is intended to ensure that the people have the means to engage in armed revolt “when our government becomes tyrannical,” suggesting that the time to employ such “Second Amendment remedies” may arrive if politicians like Harry Reid are not voted out of office.
Henigan revisited that theme a couple weeks later.
When Sen. McCaskill says “it really is time for people in America to take up pitchforks,” she actually goes well beyond what Angle said. Angle, as I have pointed out before never “endorsed” violence against the government–she warned of its possibility, should the government continue on its course of ignoring the limits on its power put in place by the Constitution. Sen. McCaskill, on the other hand, says that the “wrong” vote by Congress should incite the people to take up arms.
And yes–pitchforks are “arms,” when the user intends them to be. Just ask the Carpenter family.