Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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August 12, 2010

'THAT KIND OF TALK IS DANGEROUS'.... Choosing the craziest thing Sharron Angle has said can be a fun parlor game, but it's challenging to pick from her greatest hits collection. By any reasonable measure, though, Angle's remarks about armed insurrection against the United States government have to be right up there.

The Nevada Senate hopeful has, more than once, gone down this road. She's warned of Americans resorting to "Second Amendment remedies," and a month prior, declared, "[T]he nation is arming. If we don't win at the ballot box, what will be the next step?" Asked to defend the remarks, Angle has literally run away from journalists.

With this in mind, a new campaign ad from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) strikes me as very effective. It features Nevada police officer Bill Ames marveling at Angle's "Second Amendment remedies" rhetoric.

"It's crazy, but what she's actually talking about is armed resistance," Ames tells voters. "Look, I'm a member of the NRA, and a Republican. But that kind of talk is dangerous, and way too extreme."

It's a powerful indictment from a credible voice. I'm sure the Angle camp will come up with some kind of response, but a spot like this seems pretty devastating.

Steve Benen 9:25 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (24)

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Comments

If I were "Planters," I'd be concerned about my stock.
Republicans are giving 'mixed nuts' a bad name.

Posted by: c u n d gulag on August 12, 2010 at 9:31 AM | PERMALINK

All of the current teabagger candidates, and I include Toomey vs Sestak from my state, will be laid low by their own words. Their supporters are in a blind rage because Obama is, well, Obama, and their crazed rhetoric does not sell well outside of their private universe. What got them nominated will ensure their defeat.

Posted by: BillFromPA on August 12, 2010 at 9:32 AM | PERMALINK

". . . a spot like this seems pretty devastating."

It should be, Steve, but to Angle's supporters, it won't be. Sedition is what they are voting for, and this is merely validation that Angle is their leader.

Posted by: Joel on August 12, 2010 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

The Democrats have an abundance of material to work with for the midterm elections. This "Over the Line" ad from Majority Leader Harry Reid is a good example of what all Democrats should be doing.

When you string together all of the wacky comments from the new teabagger candidates and the obstructionists currently in the congress, the ads practically right themselves.

Posted by: Ladyhawke on August 12, 2010 at 9:36 AM | PERMALINK

steve, a list should be published of all Republicans who have endorsed Angle.

Other games:
1) best adjective to complement Angle. I think weird Angle is better than obtuse Angle, but I'm sure there are better still to come.

2) best zinger; and so many more.

Posted by: Johnny Canuck on August 12, 2010 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

Joel @ 9:34am:
It should be, Steve, but to Angle's supporters, it won't be.

You're not aiming the ad at Angle supporters: they're spoken for. The idea is to give casual, less-informed, less ideological voters a simple reason to not vote for Angle: she's using irresponsible, dangerous rhetoric.

Posted by: amorphous on August 12, 2010 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

All this proves is that there are crazy people on The Right as well as The Left.

The "professional Right" wants armed sedition. The "professional Left" wants greater federal regulation of interstate commerce, specifically addressing heath care and insurance markets. Two sides of the same crazy coin.

Posted by: square1 on August 12, 2010 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK

Joel questions whether pointing out that Angle is 'way too extreme' is a smart tactic, because her 'supporters' are excited by her crazy extremism.

This raises the fundamental question: should we who are not right wing extremists confront them and call them out, or should we ignore the crazy talk so as to try to appease the wackos.

Clearly we should we use the wacko's dangerously crazy rhetoric to peel off as many moderate right voters as possible.It is not only an effective political tactic, it just happens to be the right thing to do.

I for one still trust the fundamental ability of the American electorate to come to its senses. Besides, we have no other choice.

Posted by: robert on August 12, 2010 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

" I'm sure the Angle camp will come up with some kind of response,"

"When i was young and irresponsible, I said some things i regret. Besides, i was drunk at the time."

Posted by: DAY on August 12, 2010 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

square1 As I I've gotten older I sure have gotten good at spotting a bullshit artist and you rank right up there.
You actually have the audacity to equate trying to fix the problem of paying for spiraling healthcare costs to armed insurrection where people would be killed by their own countrymen. That is utter and complete bullshit!

Posted by: Gandalf on August 12, 2010 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

Does anyone else think the Wing Machine will now set about destroying this guy?

Posted by: AnotherStrayCat on August 12, 2010 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

How is the vote for Angle rationalized in the mind of a Nevada voter in November? Well there will be a built in ABR vote (anybody but Reid) based on his negatives, but how about the others?

What idiot would cast his vote for a candidate running to be part of governance who wants to destroy government itself? To me the rodent voter comes to mind - those voters who would soil their own nests simply because they don't know any better! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on August 12, 2010 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

I could be wrong, Gandalf, but I read square1's comment as snark.

Posted by: Gregory on August 12, 2010 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

The "professional Right" wants armed sedition. The "professional Left" wants greater federal regulation of interstate commerce, specifically addressing heath care and insurance markets. Two sides of the same crazy coin.

Wow
Watta azzumption
The perpetual motion concept sold again as the ponziitus queens of no , finding relief in a typical rovian judo flip flop throw called ,
"I know you are but what am I" .
Good stuf good stuf keep them postcards and letters coming folks .

Posted by: FRP on August 12, 2010 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK
It should be, Steve, but to Angle's supporters, it won't be.

Its not directed at Angle's real dedicated supporters. Its aimed at two constituencies: the loosely-attached Republican-leaning voters that aren't really aware of some of the more extreme things Angle as said to make them think again and peel some of them off (whether they vote for Reid or stay home), and its aimed at Democratic-leaning voters that aren't particularly reliable voters, to discourage them from staying home.

Posted by: cmdicely on August 12, 2010 at 10:51 AM | PERMALINK

@robert, cmdicely et al.

Good points. I stand corrected.

Posted by: Joel on August 12, 2010 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

"The "professional Right" wants armed sedition. The "professional Left" wants greater federal regulation of interstate commerce, specifically addressing heath care and insurance markets. Two sides of the same crazy coin."

Great snark, Square. ROFL. But you should put on identifiers for those like Gandalf who can't see that it's satire. Or is Gandalf double-snarking? I'm so confused!

Posted by: bdop4 on August 12, 2010 at 11:02 AM | PERMALINK

Whether or not it's effective with its target audience as a campaign ad, I think it's important that it's out there for the purpose of normalizing political discourse. It's important to our society that regular people are seen rejecting the crazies as too extreme. Early and often.

Particularly this year the GOP has been nominating crazy people who in past years would have been laughed out of fringe party candidacies, and pretending they deserve to be treated with the same seriousness and respect we give to a serious major-party candidate. It's not enough that we all roll our eyes. It's important that mainstream people say "That's just whacko." And be seen saying it. That's how we, as a society, establish what is accepted "normal" behavior.

And Sharron Angle ain't normal.

Posted by: biggerbox on August 12, 2010 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

Gandalf - I am pretty sure Square1 meant that as snark. If not, its inconsistent with his prior positions, and could be off his medication (yes, I am kidding).

Posted by: Scott F. on August 12, 2010 at 11:09 AM | PERMALINK

Didn't SCOTUS recently write that the Second Amendment exists to provide a remedy to tyranny of government?

Either Angle is in the mainstream of thinking about the Second Amendment or five justices of the SCOTUS are outside the mainstream.

Posted by: Animals of the Fo'c'sle on August 12, 2010 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

I bet we're about to find out what sort of countertops Bill Ames has in his kitchen.

Posted by: low-tech cyclist on August 12, 2010 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

As I I've gotten older I sure have gotten good at spotting a bullshit artist...

...but it seems your sarcasm detector is on the fritz! ;)

Posted by: doubtful on August 12, 2010 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

Am I the only one who sees the similarities between the rhetoric of these Second-Amendment coots---and the rhetoric of the Taliban right before they took over in Afghanistan?

Maybe it's time for law enforcement to ask Angle to "defend her remarks...."

Posted by: S. Waybright on August 12, 2010 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

He ain't stupid - considering cops are likely to get in the middle most often.

Posted by: ET on August 12, 2010 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK
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