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.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.
"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]
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.