Don’t put violence ‘on the table’

DON’T PUT VIOLENCE ‘ON THE TABLE’…. No sooner do I publish an item about a House Republican candidate and politically violent rhetoric than an even more striking example comes up.

In Texas’ 30th congressional district, Republican candidate Stephen Broden was asked to explain comments he made regarding launching a “revolution” against the United States government. His response wasn’t compelling.

“If the government is not producing the results or has become destructive to the ends of our liberties, we have a right to get rid of that government and to get rid of it by any means necessary,” Broden said, adding the nation was founded on a violent revolt against Britain’s King George III.

Watson asked if violence would be in option in 2010, under the current government.

“The option is on the table. I don’t think that we should remove anything from the table as it relates to our liberties and our freedoms,” Broden said, without elaborating. “However, it is not the first option.”

How gracious of him. He hasn’t ruled out a violent overthrow of our government, but he’s not ready to take up arms against the United States as a “first option.”

I feel safer already.

For what it’s worth, Broden appears to be a longshot in his race against incumbent Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D), but the fact that his violence-related rhetoric hasn’t been enough to cause the Republican Party at any level to denounce Broden isn’t exactly encouraging.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.