Spend about 10 minutes reading the news and you'll find a growing and ominous grumbling about those "radical" Tea Party types. I find it very alarming when the mayor of NYC vocalizes the suspicion that the person responsible for the car bomb in the city was likely "somebody with a political agenda that doesn't like the health care bill." Most reasonable Americans might jump to the conclusion that radical Islamists were involved, and, once again, such suspicions would have been correct.
Instead, there seems to be a concerted effort to demonize those who think that the State is getting a bit too big. If Big Brother says it often enough, does that make it true? Americans should be worried when riot police are called out when people peacefully assemble. I don't have a problem with riot police being placed on alert, or even being brought to the area. But to place them as if ready to battle docile, unarmed citizens singing patriotic songs calmly?
Even more shocking is when an Army officer edits an emergency response exercise to include TEA PARTY protesters as potentially violent. It's bad enough when the President criticizes those who speak out against the government by saying "it undermines democratic deliberation" and that "it coarsens our culture, and at its worst, it can send signals to the most extreme elements of our society that perhaps violence is a justifiable response." I would expect him to get his panties all in a bunch over being called a socialist. But when you start to see Army officers buying into the notion that anyone who speaks out against the government is a threat to democracy, we are in big trouble.
In six months, the entire House, a third of the Senate, and 36 governors are up for election. I think we are beyond squabbling about tax rates and gays in the military. We have some serious constitutional issues at stake. I pray we resolve these concerns, specifically the threat to our Bill of Rights, in a peaceful manner.