As I noted on Tuesday, Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle has made a series of statements over the course of this year suggesting that if things don’t change soon voters will take up armed violence against the government. It’s classic dog whistle politics: ‘I’m not saying it should happen, just saying what might or will happen if people don’t shape up and support my kind of politics’ — a clear message to supporters to a reasonable amount of deniability for everyone else. In other words, Angle’s not threatening the rest of us, it’s more like she’s selflessly putting herself forward as a way to head off the coming storm.
Now the Las Vegas Sun took a look at this today. And they asked Angle spokesman Jerry Stacy to explain just what precisely she meant. I would have expected Stacy to characterize Angle’s rhetoric as in some way metaphoric. But he didn’t. He simply stressed that she’s not “advocating for a revolution.” But in the Sun’s paraphrase, he “didn’t back away from Angle’s comments that trouble could be brewing.”
Normally, I tend to discount when one candidate’s supporters act badly. After all, you can’t control or be responsible for all your reporters. But with this kind of rhetoric, is it really a surprise that some of Angle’s supporters have been making threats to the right-wing third party candidate they believe could hand Reid a victory over Angle?
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.