Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips organized the national Tea Party Convention in 2010 where keynote speaker Sarah Palin cried, “America is ready for another revolution!” Phillips now argues that the Tucson massacre is part of the “war” between the left and the Tea Party. Managing the online forum at Tea Party Nation, he has encouraged his members to argue that accused killer Jared Loughner is a “liberal lunatic” in order to fight against “the masters at the dark arts of media and politics” who are trying to “take over our country.” Railing against the specter of gun control reform, Phillips warns that “we cannot allow liberals to use this tragedy to try and continue to strip our rights.” By Monday afternoon, he was arguing that “liberals want to destroy liberty and freedom in this country.” Agreeing with a member who believed the massacre is good for liberals, Phillips said that “the left benefits from this”:
“It is a war,” Phillips explained in another comment posted Sunday morning, between the Tea Party and “the left” who want to “destroy the freedoms that we have”:
Fed by Phillips’ violent rhetoric, his members are now planning to engage in “guerilla warfare,” and warn of “bloodshed imesurable” against the “commies” who “have infiltrated every aspect of our society.” “If the lib’s in the current administration continue with their foolishness,” one darkly warns, “I could become violent.”
In past months, elements of the conservative movement have quietly distanced themselves from Phillips and the Tea Party Nation, and at least one other Tea Party group responded to the Tucson massacre with calls for political unity.
Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), who said in 2009 that health care reform is a bigger threat than “any terrorist right now in any country,” shares the Tea Party Nation position that Loughner is a “liberal lunatic.” “He appears to be a communist,” she told the Winston-Salem Journal. “His beliefs are the liberal of liberals.” (HT: Brian Beutler)