Given that it's Tennessee, something like this might be a launching pad for a state rep to move up the food chain and run for higher office. This turned up on local TV news today, so I fired up the google:
State Rep. Kelly Keisling, a first-term lawmaker from Byrdstown, passed along a conspiracy theory email to constituents this week and rapidly reaped the sort of political firestorm that only the Internet can deliver.Some aide found this exercise of imagination on a "conservative blog" in Florida, and decided it was worth passing along through the representative's official state email account. Something about Obama staging a fake assassination attempt as an excuse to impose martial law. There was this caveat:
What I’m going to report here is only a rumor that presently can’t be confirmed. But it is of such magnitude that it must be made known if only to prepare America for a possible terrible eventuality. And while it has not been confirmed, neither can it authoritatively and convincingly be denied, certainly not in a United States where our Constitutional rights are under constant attack.
Some spokesperson said it was a mistake, that he regrets the error. The (Nashville) Tennessean noted:
(Sidenote: His official legislative website is one of the few with an easy-to-use form to receive his newsletter. His subscribers are sure to shoot through the roof.)Where they provided the link, but I shall refrain. They're probably right that it's growing his networking contacts. Despite the outrage and subsequent apology, this sounds like a guy who - in Tea Party world - might be an up-and-comer. This from the article forwarded via the Representative's official email account:
The more we talk about the potential for a staged, bogus presidential assassination that would trigger massive civil unrest and possible martial law, the stronger is our defense against it actually occurring. The nation will be watching. Patriots everywhere will be on alert. The Obama administration will be under scrutiny more intensely than ever before. It doesn’t have the guts to take on millions of Americans when we’re ready for anything.His district is NW of Knoxville, along the Kentucky border. It's part of TN-03, which currently is represented by a freshman Republican, Chuck Fleischman (47), who went for the open seat when Zack Wamp tried to run for Governor in 2010. Who knows what kind of ambitions Mr. Keisling has, but this is just the kind of thing to make him a darling of the high-energy, motivated crazies.
Maybe he's crazy like a fox. Sad times we live in that this kind of thing might benefit someone who promotes this kind of crap.