Just take a look at the poster to the left of Terry’s "Anti-Sotomayor Tour" and tell me there isn’t an irresponsible undercurrent of violent thought running through it.
I want to amplify what Kyle at Right Wing Watch said about this: the right has gotten no traction on Sotomayor thus far. Which means what to them? Paltry fundraising numbers.
Randall Terry, for one, isn’t going to let this slow him down and so he is taking his "Defeat Sotomayor" effort on the road for a twelve city tour which is scheduled to culminate in Washington DC just as the hearings are getting under way (the photo below comes from this accompanying flyer [PDF and graphic content] proclaiming "To refuse to filibuster is to bow in abject obedience to the Angel of Death"). . .
I bring this to the public’s attention not to give Terry more publicity but because, frankly, I think the US Marshall’s Service ought to have a long talk with him.
As a sitting federal judge on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, Sotomayor is entitled to protection from the US Marshalls, who take threats to judge security very, very seriously.
That this has been a long-term strategy for PR points with the rabid GOP base has not gone unnoticed. But it makes for a helluva lot of work for US Marshalls who are charged with protecting federal judges across the country. In fact, they just opened a new facility in Virginia to track threats nationwide it’s gotten so pronounced.
And for local sheriffs departments and state troopers who have to protect state judges from rampant lunacy and threats? Those folks are already overworked and underbudgeted as it is.
And yet, here comes Randall Terry tromping around and stirring up the multitudes of his unstable flock with a call from the Angel of Death. Tell me that doesn’t say "big threat" in neon letters to you after the murder of Dr. Tiller.
I’m sure folks here remember Judge Reggie Walton from the Libby case. He had this to say in a recent interview about threats and the source thereof:
But Walton has his own theory on why the volume of threats has increased. "I think the unfortunate reality is our society has become so partisan … that when you have hot-button issues, people take it to the extreme."
He places some of the blame on talk show hosts. "The type of vicious attacks sometimes that you see coming from certain players in the media, I think contributes to the problem."
When asked what can be done about the situation, Walton responds: "It will take societal change, I think," and heaves a deep sigh.
For the record, most states have laws on the books which make it a felony to threaten a judge or other public officials in a way that is designed to prevent them from doing their duties or any number of other threatening behaviors. And federal law prohibits it as well (18 U.S.C. 115 and 18 U.S.C. 119).
Which is exactly what I see Randall Terry — who makes a point of a stop in front of the clinic that Dr. Tiller used to work at before he was brutally murdered in his own church during a Sunday service — doing with this tour. If Terry won’t learn any lessons about civic responsibility to not incite violence, directly or indirectly, the US Marshall’s Service might just have to help him learn that lesson through enforcement of the rule of law.
Maybe the name Hal Turner will ring a bell with Terry?