Saturday, April 25, 2009

Daniel Knight Hayden: The new face of the Republican Party

The Tea Bag movement has proven to be a disaster for the already badly damaged Republican Party. The Republican Party couldn't resist the temptation to associate itself with this movement, and indeed tried to co-opt it as its own. The Republican Party is so desperate to recapture some of the excitement it used to generate for its base, that it uncritically threw its arms around the Tea Bag movement without stopping to consider who some of these people were: militia, secessionists, mentally unbalanced, and even--it seems--potentially violent.
Daniel Knight Hayden, 52, was arrested by FBI agents who identified him as the Twitter user CitizenQuasar. In a series of tweets beginning April 11, CitizenQuasar vowed to start a "war" against the government on the steps of the Oklahoma City Capitol building, the site of that city's version of the national "Tea Party" protests promoted by the conservative-leaning Fox News.

"START THE KILLING NOW! I am willing to be the FIRST DEATH!," read a tweet at 8:01 PM that day. "After I am killed on the Capitol Steps, like a REAL man, the rest of you will REMEMBER ME!!!," he added five minutes later. Then: "Send the cops around. I will cut their heads off the heads and throw the[m] on the State Capitol steps."

Hayden's MySpace page is a breathtaking gallery of right wing memes about the "New World Order," gun control as Nazi fascism, and Barack Obama's covert use of television hypnosis, among many others.[Wired, April 24, 2009]
This is the new face of the Republican Party: angry and potentially violent extremism. Thankfully no one was hurt in this incident. It wasn't necessary for any police officers to give their lives to protect the public from a demented right wing terrorist, not this time. Not like Pittsburgh.

I frankly find this precipitous decline of the Republican Party surprising. Not so very long ago the party of Reagan would wrap itself in the American flag and pose as ultra-patriots. No longer. Now the Republican Party embraces violent rhetoric, threats of secession and civil war, and domestic terrorism. The Republican Party is the party of torture, teabagging and "No."

If this pattern of behavior persists, I predict a complete collapse of the Republican Party in the mid-term elections next year. Democrats will be justified in calling out their Republican opponents for their disloyalty to our nation. In the meantime, Democrats should make certain to put Republicans on the record. Republicans should be called on to make their positions clear: do they support violence against other Americans? Do they support violent secession and civil war?

Don't let Republicans conceal their lack of patriotism. Make Republicans say out loud that they contemplate the betrayal of their nation and violence against their fellow Americans. Then let American voters hold them accountable.

Hat Tip to Chris Guy at Fred2Blue for bringing this story to my attention.


spotter said...

I had a different reaction. I think they're trying to encourage an attack on Obama. Otherwise, it's hard to explain the rhetoric coming from supposedly mainstream politicians.

Bobby Dobbs said...

Dan Hayden is a libertarian.

icowdave said...

He can't be a Republican. He believes Bush was behind the 9/11 attacks. He's just a crazy who is paranoid and hates anyone in government. I can't even say he's a libertarian, really.