I don’t even know where to start with this new Post story about the ‘controversy’ and coup at FreedomWorks. When I first saw the claims about an ‘armed coup’ led by Dick Armey, I was thinking ‘okay that’s kind of a weird metaphor’. But it turns out it wasn’t a metaphor. He actually led an armed coup. And he may not even have been the bad guy.
The day after Labor Day, just as campaign season was entering its final frenzy, FreedomWorks, the Washington-based tea party organization, went into free fall.
Richard K. Armey, the group’s chairman and a former House majority leader, walked into the group’s Capitol Hill offices with his wife, Susan, and an aide holstering a handgun at his waist. The aim was to seize control of the group and expel Armey’s enemies: The gun-wielding assistant escorted FreedomWorks’ top two employees off the premises, while Armey suspended several others who broke down in sobs at the news.
The partnership came to a crashing end when Armey marched into FreedomWorks’s office Sept. 4 with his wife, Susan, executive assistant Jean Campbell and the unidentified man with the gun at his waist — who promptly escorted Kibbe and Brandon out of the building.
“This was two weeks after there had been a shooting at the Family Research Council,” said one junior staff member who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media. “So when a man with a gun who didn’t identify himself to me or other people on staff, and a woman I’d never seen before said there was an announcement, my first gut was, ‘Is FreedomWorks in danger?’ It was bizarre.’”
There’s quite a bit more in the piece, which you should read. But I have a hard time getting past this incident.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.