“Gather Your Armies”

“Gather Your Armies” June 17, 2010

I’m just going to post this and let others comment — I think most would be able to figure out my views on it.

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  • It’s amazing how acceptable violence is on the right. Could you imagine an African-American left-wing candidate calling for bloody revolution in the streets? Could you imagine the reaction? But today, violence is the life blood of the American southern white right-wing movement.

  • Ronald King

    My stomach was feeling good until I saw that.

  • Rodak

    Well, they aren’t all southern, MM. Look at the Michigan Militia, or at the goings-on in the mountain states.

  • jh

    LOL Boy if hated that one you might hate this one LOL


    Bama ads have been fun this year. I think everyone is tryog to get more creative as they go along. It sort of been a theme in a lot of different races

  • phosphorious

    He did say “impeach,” right?

    If the GOP takes back the house in November, first thing they will do is impeach Obama.

    They’re that insane.

  • MM’s point is worth carefully watching. It’s true, and it scares the hell out of me.

  • Some of the neo-cons, basing off of Machiavelli, like the idea of elections as a way for the people to use their revolutionary tendencies in a non-violent way. this would seem to be a good example of that idea-calling the people to revolution but without the actual violence. Not a prudent thing, to say the least, but I think that’s the idea driving a lot of this.

    • Michael

      This video points to violence, not just gathering supporters for a non-violent revolution- hence “armies.”

  • jh

    “hence “armies.”

    I think that is meant as armies of supporters. We use this militarty imagery in politics all the time.

    I think the mainpoint of the ad was to remember it. Well it has doen that purpse.

    • jh — not just “armies of supporters” because they are referencing the revolutionary war here.

  • phosphorious

    Why didn’t all of these people support Ron Paul in 2008? They are acting as if they have been disenfranchised.

    Obama won by a comfortable margin. . . wider than Bush ever did. And yet they act as if there was a coup or something.

    You had a chance to vote libertarian in 2008. Why didn’t you?

  • Rodak

    The gun imagery in the rightwing rhetoric is both obvious and ubiquitous. The special on the New Right that Chris Matthews put together and aired for the first time last night, gathers much of it together, and demonstrates just how much of it there is; where it is being used; by whom; and in what kinds of contexts it is being applied. The only thing at all comparable in my experience is the Black Panther movement of the late ‘sixties. But that is comparable only in the use of the 2nd Amendment to intimidate. The Panthers were a fringe group, more like a militia than a political party. If the Tea Parties want to be taken seriously as representing the mainstream, it would seem to me that they need to purge a whole spectrum of their current numbers. The GOP didn’t have to think long about it when David Duke declared that he was going to run for office as a Republican, to tell him, “Oh no, you ain’t.”

  • David Nickol

    I think that is meant as armies of supporters. We use this militarty imagery in politics all the time.


    Well, on the one hand, I don’t imagine this guy really wants to lead an armed rebellion. But the video opens with the camera focused on a gun, and about halfway through there is another shot of the gun.

    And what do we make of these qotes from Sharron Angle of Nevada, who is running against Harry Reid?

    “You know our Founding Fathers, they put that Second Amendment in there for a good reason and that was for the people to protect themselves against a tyrannical government. And in fact Thomas Jefferson said it’s good for a country to have a revolution every 20 years. I hope that’s not where we’re going, but you know if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying, ‘My goodness, what can we do to turn this country around?’ I’ll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out.”

    Angle: I feel that the Second Amendment is the right to keep and bear arms for our citizenry. This not for someone who’s in the military. This not for law enforcement. This is for us. And in fact when you read that Constitution and the founding fathers, they intended this to stop tyranny. This is for us when our government becomes tyrannical…

    Manders: If we needed it at any time in history, it might be right now.

    Angle: Well it’s to defend ourselves. And you know, I’m hoping that we’re not getting to Second Amendment remedies. I hope the vote will be the cure for the Harry Reid problems.

  • Phillip

    I suspect given Obama’s actual performance and that of the Democratic leadership in general, all it will take is ordinary Americans going to the polls in 2010 and 2012 to undo the past two years.

  • jh


    I am not a tea party person and too be honest I am like you Not living in Alabama and seeing the multiple issues going on on a local basis

    That being said I am much more concerened about how people on the left and the right seem to want to void the Law to get their desired result.

    I see this on the left and right. Or call it the desired label you want for Catholic politics

    On the left making up laws which on the whim to put white house lawyers in war crime trials because they wrote memos or Nationalize BP assets without legal justification

    On the Right I see it on the cheerleading of denying birth certificates to kids born of illegal aliens in AZ.

    What is funny is both folks on all sides seem to be basing this on not what the letter of the law says but what they want it to be. THe result is we go down a path that is scary on all counts
    Both deny the law but cover up it in some “justice’

    That is both funny and scary.

    To be honest when I look at the left and the right and how it is done in Catholic circles I want to say pox on all their houses.

    It is funny observing both left and right Catholic blogs how they wish to use raw poltical power to get their aims.

    Gosh I wish everyone would just calm down a little

    Thankfully I think there is a great middle that leans both left and right that interacts with each other that don’t seem to be to each other the mortal enemy of each other.

  • Harry

    He is absolutely right!

  • Well that wasn’t minimal on the symbolism.

  • phosphorious

    I suspect given Obama’s actual performance and that of the Democratic leadership in general, all it will take is ordinary Americans going to the polls in 2010 and 2012 to undo the past two years.

    This is a mistake conservatives are making. Obama’s “performance” has been fine. He hasn’t had any major screw-ups. I would have liked to see him undo all the Bush policies having to do with torture and civil rights (and if there isn’t improvement here , i won’t vote for him.)

    But he is not incompetent, as Bush was. You don’t like his policies, but they are not poorly thought out and poorly executed.

    For example. . . conservatives HATE the Health care reform legislation. But Obama got it passed, something no democrat had been able to do for decades of trying. Against implacable hostility, he got it passed.

    That’s an accomplishment. It took skill and intelligence. I relaize that you don’t like the bill (although it is similar the one proposed by Mitt Romney) but that doesn’t mean that Obama has “screwed up” or that his “performance” is somehow bad.

    And this si what bothers me about conservatives. . . they have no idea what competent leadership looks like.

    • phosphorius — sorry — I didn’t see your comment — it got lost in a lot of other ones — until just now!

  • Henry:

    While the armies invokes the revolutionary spirit, which involved actual violence, it’s a campaign ad. The armies he wants will carry pamphlets and yard signs, not guns. If anyone actually revolted against the US, this candidate would be one of the first to condemn them. Indeed, I doubt he has the same stomach as the Founding Fathers to risk actually building something new and would fear violence, even if he unwisely tries to use it for votes.

    • Michael,

      Well, the commercial begins with — impeachment — but then says he would do more if he had to — the implications are there, for those to see. The whole “I took an oath to defend this with my life” which led to the “armies” points to more than mere rhetoric. Combine this with the angry rhetoric and the expectation of real revolution within the tea party movement, this is either extremely naive because it will encourage real violence if people don’t get their way, or indicative of “I’m with you.”

  • Yup, we got some Catholics here defending this ad. Same folks who condemn “liberation theology.” Ain’t that cute?

  • I don’t understand why there is so much doubt afloat that these people are talking about a real revolution and phantasizing about using real weapons to bring it about. The same types had no problem believing all of this about the New Left in the ‘sixties.

  • David Nickol

    While the armies invokes the revolutionary spirit, which involved actual violence, it’s a campaign ad. The armies he wants will carry pamphlets and yard signs, not guns.


    I don’t have time to document it, but it as memory serves me, guns at Tea Party rallies have not been unknown. Second Amendment “enthusiasts” are constantly fighting for the right to carry weapons in places like churches, airports, and parks.

    To amplify on what Rodak has said, if you are old enough to remember the 1960s, you’ll remember slogans like “Off the Pigs!” Although there were some shots fired between 1960s radical groups and the police, there really was no organized campaign to kill policemen. Yet I don’t think many people who defend the Tea Party now and their talk of revolution and “Second Amendment remedies” would have dismissed the slogan “Off the Pigs” as the equivalent of campaign rhetoric.

    I seriously doubt that people like Sharron Angle of Nevada or Rick Barber are truly prepared to start a violent revolution if they don’t get elected. I doubt that Texas Governor Rick Perry is seriously going to attempt to secede from the union. But these people are clearly talking about violence, revolution, and secession. They are not using metaphors, just like 1960s radicals weren’t using metaphors when they said, “Off the Pigs!”

  • Alex

    Human anger is not divine wrath. Human compassion is likely divine love.

    I see much of the first in Tea Partiers, and frankly almost none of the second.

  • Mark Gordon

    The clear implication of this ad is armed rebellion. It suggests that the present Administration is illegitimate and an even greater tyranny than that of George III, against whom the original colonists rebelled. Thematically, the ad consists of a contemporary American “patriot” justifying himself to, among others, Samuel Adams, the revolutionary firebrand from Boston. Visually, the focuses twice on Adams’ pistol. The ad is borderline seditious, but that’s a line the contemporary Tea Party has negotiated very deftly (and cynically).

  • Rodak
  • But but but I learned over at The American Catholic that violence committed by white men is a thing of glory. Is it not?

  • digbydolben

    Almost all self-respecting governments in human history would have treated this ad as an incitement to treason and would have arrested the perpetrator as a traitor and imprisoned him. I predict that it will have to come to that in America: there is very little common interest left there.

  • digbydolben

    And, also, let’s just be honest for a minute about those “sacred cows”–our very violent and racist “Founding Fathers,” whose theological notions were steeped in heresy: they would have SUPPORTED a violent revolution made by WHITE MEN. You should recall the term from the Declaration of Independence: “our posterity”; they reserved the freedoms and privileges they were fighting for to PEOPLE LIKE THEMSELVES–not to blacks, not to Native Americans, not to women, and NOT TO CATHOLICS.

  • And not even to white men who weren’t property owners.

  • Yeah, when I see stuff like this praised by white Catholics, as well as the cult to the Founding Fathers, I always think of the Dave Chappelle skit about the blind black Klansman. Though it is almost as sad, it is not nearly as funny.