Republican Congressional Candidate: Violent Overthrow Of Government “On The Table”

Republican Congressional candidate Stephen Broden is, well, crazy:

WASHINGTON – Republican congressional candidate Stephen Broden stunned his party Thursday, saying he would not rule out violent overthrow of the government if elections did not produce a change in leadership.

In a rambling exchange during a TV interview, Broden, a South Dallas pastor, said a violent uprising “is not the first option,” but it is “on the table.” That drew a quick denunciation from the head of the Dallas County GOP, who called the remarks “inappropriate.”

(…)

In the interview, Brad Watson, political reporter for WFAA-TV (Channel 8), asked Broden about a tea party event last year in Fort Worth in which he described the nation’s government as tyrannical.

“We have a constitutional remedy,” Broden said then. “And the Framers say if that don’t work, revolution.”

Watson asked if his definition of revolution included violent overthrow of the government. In a prolonged back-and-forth, Broden at first declined to explicitly address insurrection, saying the first way to deal with a repressive government is to “alter it or abolish it.”

“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.”

Video:

Not surprisingly, local Republicans are distancing themselves from this guy, and it seems doubtful that he’ll win election in what is a majority Democratic district.

And, no, we are nowhere near the point where violence is justifiable.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2010, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Bonnie_ says:

    And somehow giving a sermon where you cheer the slaughter of helpless Americans at the World Trade Center is not crazy at all. I am continually amazed at what the leftist media will ignore or approve when spoken by someone of the left, and sadly amused at what they emphasize and blow out of proportion when spoken by someone from the right.

    Of course armed revolution is on the table. That’s exactly what the 2nd Amendment means. It has nothing to do with protecting your home against burglars or hunting ducks. The 2nd Amendment was specifically designed to allow the people to be more powerful than their government and to be able to overthrow tyranny should it take hold.

    We’re not there yet, and we’re a long way from the point of armed revolution. But it’s always on the table. Nothing to see here, people.

  2. Alex Knapp says:

    And somehow giving a sermon where you cheer the slaughter of helpless Americans at the World Trade Center is not crazy at all.

    I, too, am appalled that Pat Robertson is still considered a respectable Christian leader.

    Of course armed revolution is on the table. That’s exactly what the 2nd Amendment means. It has nothing to do with protecting your home against burglars or hunting ducks. The 2nd Amendment was specifically designed to allow the people to be more powerful than their government and to be able to overthrow tyranny should it take hold.

    The 2nd Amendment exists because many of the Founding Fathers, notably James Madison and George Mason, believed that the biggest threat to the liberty of the Republic was a standing military. The alternative, in their minds, was to maintain the colonial tradition of a small, professional officer corps which could call up local militia in the event that a defense of the country was needed. The purpose of the 2nd Amendment was to ensure that the populace was well-armed so that the government could not use that as a pretext to establish a standing military.

    History being full of the quirks that it is, America ended up a country with the largest standing miilitary in the world AND a tradition of gun ownership.

    But I guarantee you, search all you like, none of the Framers of the 2nd Amendment listed “ability for armed revolution” as one of the reasons for its adoption. You will note that the Constitution does anticipate armed insurrection against the government, but does not view it positively. In fact, it considers it to be treason.

  3. Plenty to see here, @Bonnie_. If Broden had said that violent revolution was on the table to ensure that a government that routinely tramples on civil liberties and denies Americans basic rights like healthcare, a full and free education, and non-discrimination, I’d be willing to bet you’d call him a dangerous lunatic whose rhetoric bordered on treason. But because you like the policies he’s advocating, you’re willing to gloss over the fact that he’s willing to consider KILLING PEOPLE to implement his political preferences.

    There is no need for violent revolution when democracy functions, when the government is responsive to citizen grievances, and when there is a reasonable rate of turnover amongst our national leaders. We’re looking at one of the highest rates of turnover in Congress about to happen; we change Presidents every 4 or 8 years; the courts are open and so is the marketplace of political ideas. The tree of liberty is well-watered and needs no blood.

  4. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Funny, when Bill Ayers advocated the same thing he gets a professorship at one the the nations universities. Oh, thats right, he earned it. Hypocrite.

  5. mantis says:

    Of course armed revolution is on the table. That’s exactly what the 2nd Amendment means.

    Really? That’s what the 2nd Amendment means? Let’s have a look, shall we?

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    A well regulated militia is necessary for the security of a free state. Hmm, that somehow doesn’t sound like the same thing to me as “if you lose an election, start killing people and overthrow the government.” YMMV

  6. Mithras says:

    Republican base = Neo-Confederates. In fact, nearly all of the grievances of the far right making up the core of the GOP are directly related to the Civil War and its aftermath. These are people who don’t believe in the concept of the United States for, by and of anyone except people they deem sufficiently like themselves. This has been evident for a long time and for Republicans who don’t share their views but enjoyed the political benefits of allying with them to start clutching their pearls now is the height of hypocrisy. This is what your party is made up of. Don’t like it? Perhaps you should do something about it.

  7. Mithras says:

    A national poll conducted in March showed that 57 percent of Republicans, and 32 percent of Americans overall, believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim. 45 percent of Republicans, and 25 percent in the overall survey, think Obama was “not born in the United States and so is not eligible to be president.” 38 percent of Republicans, and 20 percent of Americans overall, agree that Obama is “doing many things Hitler did.” And 24 percent of Republicans, and 14 percent overall, agree that Obama “may be the antiChrist.” 67 percent of Republicans believe Obama is a socialist, an opinion held by 40 percent of those surveyed.

    Voters lacking a college education are much more likely to hold the most extreme beliefs about Obama.

    When substantial portions of your party believe that the President is a socialist Muslim who is mimicking Hitler, of course they’re going to think that revolution is appropriate. It’s exactly analogous to calling abortion “murder”. It’s legally and morally justified to use deadly force to prevent murder, therefore people kill doctors. And if you believe that the President and his party are the embodiment of everything you consider the enemy of your country, of course you’ll contemplate armed resistance. You reap what you sow.

  8. John S says:

    About those Founding Fathers:

    “The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive…”

    “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

    — Thomas Jefferson

    Any questions?

  9. mantis says:

    “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

    Duly elected representatives governing lawfully performing their duties according to the Constitution are not tyrants.

    P.S. The South lost the war.

  10. reid says:

    “I, too, am appalled that Pat Robertson is still considered a respectable Christian leader.”

    Heh. Was Bonnie referring to Rev. Wright? If so, “cheering” is a very slanted way of interpreting what he said. But then it’s clear she’s a bit on the right extremist side, so no surprise.

  11. reid says:

    Imagine the outrage if the Democrats nominated actual communists that said similar things about violent overthrow? Because that would be about the equivalent on the left of these far-right kooks. The media isn’t doing a very good job of putting these extreme views in perspective. The Fox factor at work, I guess.

  12. Carl B. Sullivan, Jr. says:

    Mr. Mataconis,

    Two requests, please: (1) focus upon what BRAVATRAVELS has to say; and (2) take yourself back to the Sedition Act of 1918, then forward into the 2007 Patriot Act and Jane Harman’s anti-terrorism bill. Now, what if Axelrod or another loon in the Administration called Geo. Soros and Bill Ayers and told them to come down on Juan Williams with both feet. That could render PBS and NPR “government actors.” If so, federal crimes were committed. Enemies’ lists didn’t start with Joe McCarthy or President Nixon and the Army-McCarthy Hearings and Watergate happened. Now, we are in “The First Dip of Blood Post-911 World.” Talk to your colleague who was in the Airborne. And BTW, PBS and NPR get massive federal grants. This is a fact, not an opinion.

    Thanks,

    CBS

    +2 BRAVATRAVELS

    OK,
    If I see a Mexican I get scare because he may be from the drug cartel.
    If I see a Jew I get scare because he may want my money.
    If I see a Dominican I get scare because he may be a drug dealer.
    If i see a Colombian I get scare because he may be dealing cocaine.
    If I see a a black man I get scare because he may rob me
    If I see a white man I get scare because he may be a racist tea-bagger.
    If I see an Italian I get scare because he may be a mobster.
    If I see a wall streeters I get scare because he is going to rob me.
    If I see a republican I get scare because he may go back to power..

    If we choose to be bigots we all can be.

    Juan Williams is a great journalist but he should check himself and apologized for his insensitive and discriminatory comments. It is unreal that we are scared of Muslims. I am scared of a government that allow corporations to have rights as if they were citizens and a country that is more worry about Jackass the movie than the education of our youth. Rethink America… Freedom of speech does not mean freedom to discriminate.

  13. Alex Knapp says:

    John S –

    Please describe, in detail, the role Thomas Jefferson played in crafting the Second Amendment to the Constitution. In particular, please elucidate the context of your quotes as being made in favor of the adoption of said Amendment.

  14. michael reynolds says:

    I love the idea that a slave-owning elitist like Jefferson believed goobers and bubbas should grab them some guns ‘n kill off the gubmint.

  15. sam says:

    Yo, Carl, Buddy, y’all are in right church, but the wrong pew.

  16. DC Loser says:

    @Michael Reynolds – just as ridiculous as the 4th Grade Virginia textbook that suggested the Confederate government would give guns to blacks to fight for them.

  17. Juneau: says:

    @ Transplanted Lawyer

    …denies Americans basic rights like healthcare, a full and free education, …

    These are not rights, buddy. They’re perks to living in an advanced and productive society. Rights are what you possess, without someone having to “give” them to you. You know, such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

    I’m curious, are your “rights” only for Americans, or are they for everyone? In other words, does everyone on earth deserve healthcare and a full and free education? “Cause there is not enough money in the universe to provide that for every living breathing person, so you’ve got a really, really, big “preference” issue there with the limited resources to pay for these “rights.”

    This is why a true “right” is not given by the state – true rights are a “birthright” possessed by a human being from the first moment. And notice, they don’t require confiscating wealth from one person and giving it to another.

  18. c.red says:

    I don’t think most of the hard right (or hard left, to be fair) really want to violently overthrow the government, but I sometimes wonder if they don’t have it in their minds that they wouldn’t mind seeing it happen.

    It almost seems they see it as this glorious event that happens over some summer weekend, maybe a few patriots tragically, and heroically, killed by the evil fascist federal government, but all the corrupt government officials rounded up and punished and then everything goes back to the way only with a smaller chastised Federal Government and lower taxes, and we have a whole a bunch of new hero patriots.

    I just can’t help wonder how many people have any idea the likely results of any serious armed revolt against the Fed.

  19. Juneau: says:

    @ Alex Knapp

    John S –

    Please describe, in detail, the role Thomas Jefferson played in crafting the Second Amendment to the Constitution. In particular, please elucidate the context of your quotes as being made in favor of the adoption of said Amendment.

    This has nothing to do with the Jefferson quote provided by John S. Jefferson’s role and input in the 2nd Amendment language (or lack of it) does not detract from his sentiments as expressed in the quote. He obviously believed that gaining liberty was one issue; maintaining it was another. And that, in maintaining liberty, from time to time bloodshed would be necessary to prevent tyranny from taking liberty away.

    Do you seriously think he was talking about tyrants on foreign shores? That would be a real stretch, as there is a word for defending liberty against foreign tyrants; its called war. Jefferson didn’t use the word war and , after having just come through a revolution, I’m sure that he knew exactly what he was stating.

  20. Alex Knapp says:

    Juneau –

    Rights are what you possess, without someone having to “give” them to you.

    So your assertion is that rights are a fundamental attirbute of human beings? Are they biological in nature?

    You know, such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

    Life is something that you’re given by your parents. Liberty is the absence of constraint by others, meaning it’s only possible in a social context, and therefore not inherent. The pursuit of happiness is only possible with the development of the cognitive capacity to determine what makes one happy and plan out what one needs to do to pursue it. This is something that is developed and is also, therefore, not inherent.

    Moreover, it’s necessary to have a social order that circumscribes even the “rights” you propose. After all, if I have a mental illness in which I am made to be happy by killing other people, protecting the “right to life” of others requires constraining both my liberty (by commiting me to prison or mental institution) and my pursuit of happiness (by not allowing me to kill people).

    Rights are very useful concepts in legal and social contexts. But the claims that they are somehow inherent to the human condition or have some sort of indepdent existence tends to break down under the application of any sort of rigorous examination, either philosophically or empirically.

  21. Alex Knapp says:

    @Juneau –

    John S cited Jefferson as support that the Second Amendment was intended to keep an armed citizenry in place in case it was necessary to overthrow the government. Since Jefferson had nothing whatsoever to do with drafting the Second Amendment, this is a false claim.

    Moreover, it’s worth noting that Jefferson also expressed the sentiment that violent revolution should take place generationally, and that one generation did not have the ability or authority to impose laws on succeeding generations. Not only did Jefferson soften these stances as he got older, these expressions of opinion were vehemently opposed by most of the Founding Fathers–most notably Adams, Washington, and Hamilton.

  22. iggymom says:

    Talk about talking remarks out of context….show the entire remarks and you get a different story completely. The U.S. Constitution does have clauses for armed revolt to a tyranical government.

  23. mantis says:

    The U.S. Constitution does have clauses for armed revolt to a tyranical government.

    Which ones?

  24. Liberty60 says:

    So I am wondering….If the banksters and Chamber of Commerce and Koch Brothers end up buying all the elections and frustrating the will of the People, maybe a violent overthrow of the government isn’t such a bad idea after all.

    Like Woody Guthrie once said, “I will gladly carry a gun for my country, but I can’t tell you which way it will point.”

    Not sure if this is what the GOP, Mr. Broden and Ms. Angle have in mind.

  25. sam says:

    Ah, TJ and his animus against a strong central government executive. Tell me, scholars, where is the Louisiana Purchase authorized in the Constitution?

  26. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    ” But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

    It’s not the Constitution that provides for the overthrow of government, it’s the Declaration of Independence. The 2nd Ammendment just makes it easier.

    And y’all can make fun of Broden all you like but know this, his sentiments are widely shared by many in this country today, especially in flyover country.

  27. anjin-san says:

    > Any questions?

    Why do people who are obviously not very bright try to interpet the work of someone as brilliant as Jefferson?

  28. An Interested Party says:

    “And y’all can make fun of Broden all you like but know this, his sentiments are widely shared by many in this country today, especially in flyover country.”

    Those same sentiments were shared by traitorous Confederates in the 1860s…they lost the war, by the way…

  29. anjin-san says:

    > absolute Despotism

    The GOP is poised for significant gains in the upcoming election. The Democrats who lose their offices will pack up their stuff and go home (or become lobbyists). The Republicans who win will take over the offices in question.

    How exactly is this “absolute despotism”?

  30. mantis says:

    It’s not the Constitution that provides for the overthrow of government, it’s the Declaration of Independence.

    Sure. King George III’s government.

    The 2nd Ammendment just makes it easier.

    Not really. The colonies had already defeated the British.

  31. sam says:

    “And y’all can make fun of Broden all you like but know this, his sentiments are widely shared by many in this country today, especially in flyover country.”

    Flyover country is perfect terrain for the 82d and 101st Airborne, just in case y’all are thinking of insurrection.

  32. tom p says:

    “Flyover country is perfect terrain for the 82d and 101st Airborne, just in case y’all are thinking of insurrection.”

    Ya know, I am sick and tired of people saying the 2nd Amendment is an americans first defense against a tyrannical gov’t. ARE YOU STUPID?????????????????

    The 2nd amendment is about a populations ability to defend itself when it’s govt is too far away (read again, the “Last of the Mohicans”)

    Folks if the Marines First Brigade, First Regiment wants to come in…

    What are you going to do?

    Short answer: DIE.

  33. Juneau — my point was to use “shoe on the other foot” reasoning — what would your reaction to this have been had it come from a left-wing perspective? Sorry you misunderstood me.

    But non-discrimination IS a right. It’s called the “equal protection clause.”