Opinion Brief

GOP candidate: Violent overthrow of government is 'on the table'

We have a right to get rid of Obama's government, says Tea Party favorite Stephen Broden, "by any means necessary." Is this kind of rhetoric dangerous?

The video: Texas GOP congressional candidate Stephen Broden has found himself in the spotlight after suggesting that the government may well need to be overthrown. In an interview this week, Broden was asked if he was actually calling for violence against the government when he told a crowd of Tea Party supporters last year that the "tyrannical" Obama administration might justify a "revolution." If any government destroys our liberty, Broden replied, "we have a right... to get rid of it by any means necessary." Under further questioning, the self-described "constitutionalist pastor" said that this option was "on the table" this year, though "it is not the first option." Republican Party officials denounced Broden's remarks, but did not withdraw support for him.
The reaction:
Many of us have warned of "serious unpleasantness ahead" if the Tea Party's "planned takeover of the government" somehow doesn't happen, says David Neiwert at Crooks and Liars. Clearly, this Tea Party candidate agrees with me. The Tea Party is actually a "positive force in American politics," says Peter Wehner at Commentary. But its leaders and allies must make clear that this kind of "incendiary rhetoric" has no place in what is otherwise a "responsible political movement." Watch the interview with Broden here:

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