At what point will the Republican leadership have the guts to step up and say, stop?

During two recent Obama events, we've seen a protester with an assault rifle slung over his shoulder, and another where a man wearing a holstered gun is carrying a sign saying "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants." God knows what we haven't seen. And while both may have been within the law, their message was clear -- and we've already seen what an amped up rightwinger on a mission from God is capable of.

As Josh Marshall at TPM pointed out:

Let's be honest with ourselves: the American right has a deep-seated problem with political violence. It's deep-seated; it's recurrent and it's real. And it endangers the country. It just makes sense to say something the first time they hit the sauce and not wait for things to get really out of hand.

The question is, will the Republican leadership, in their ongoing quest to kill health care reform, continue to either ignore these implied calls for violence, or worse yet, cheer them on? Because pretending that these Republican fringers are simply disgruntled citizens concerned about the public option is as dishonest as the talking points the Republican Party has been peddling. But the consequences are potentially much more dire.  

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Aug 18, 2009 at 06:40 PM PDT.

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