WHEN THE RIGHT’S RHETORIC TURNS VIOLENT…. In the wake of last month’s shootings in Tucson, it was common for folks on the left to suggest the right relied too often on violent rhetoric. Conservatives, invariably, were outraged.

There is, however, a rationale behind the assumptions. For example, incidents like these come up from time to time.

On Saturday night, when Mother Jones staffers tweeted a report that riot police might soon sweep demonstrators out of the Wisconsin capitol building–something that didn’t end up happening–one Twitter user sent out a chilling public response: “Use live ammunition.”

From my own Twitter account, I confronted the user, JCCentCom. He tweeted back that the demonstrators were “political enemies” and “thugs” who were “physically threatening legally elected officials.” In response to such behavior, he said, “You’re damned right I advocate deadly force.” He later called me a “typical leftist,” adding, “liberals hate police.

Only later did we realize that JCCentCom was a deputy attorney general for the state of Indiana.

If there’s a compelling defense for a state deputy attorney general to recommend use of “live ammunition” and “deadly force” against pro-labor protestors, I can’t think of it.

On a related note, Jay Bookman reports this morning that the Service Employees International Union will hold a rally in Atlanta today, at Georgia’s state capitol. Conservative activists have been encouraged to attend — with firearms.

Update: The Indiana deputy A.G. has reportedly been fired.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. 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.