As reported by the New York Times, during a speech on Saturday, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin openly suggested physical violence and armed rebellion against the government of the United States if Hillary Clinton were to win the upcoming election. There have already been calls to impeach Bevin.
Although the governor quickly backpedaled, claiming he was speaking about the sacrifices the military makes, any reading of his actual words makes clear that isn’t what he was saying at all. Instead, Bevin seems to have been speaking directly to the “basket of deplorables” that Clinton recently and controversially mentioned in a speech.
According to The Atlantic, during his speech at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, Gov. Bevin said, “Do you think it’s possible, if Hillary Clinton were to win the election, do you think it’s possible that we’ll be able to survive, that we’d ever be able to recover as a nation?” Bevin went on:
I do think it would be possible, but at what price? At what price? The roots of the tree of liberty are watered by what? The blood, of who? The tyrants to be sure, but who else. The patriots.” Whose blood will be shed? It may be that of those in this room.
In a year in which the Republican presidential nominee has actually been able to imply, without suffering consequences, that his opponent should be assassinated, it’s perhaps not surprising that Matt Bevin advocates armed rebellion should Hillary Clinton legitimately when the 2016 election.
Moreover, this is the same Matt Bevin who, as a candidate for governor of Kentucky, supported Kim Davis in her illegal refusal to grant marriage licenses to gay couples. So it’s clear Gov. Bevin has no problem ignoring federal or state laws in support of his extremist right wing agenda. But now he’s taking it a step further, joining many of the “deplorables” in advocating violence to achieve their ends.
Hillary Clinton endured a firestorm of criticism and hatred following her statement only days ago in which she suggested that a sizable proportion – 50% she called it at the time – of the Republican Party and of Donald Trump supporters were just such “deplorables.” But if Gov. Matt Bevin is any indication, Clinton may have underestimated the percentage.
Trump supporters have both threatened and committed violence across the country during his campaign. These “deplorables” have assaulted protesters, threatened candidates, and otherwise demonstrated that they have no respect for the democratic process or rule of law. Donald Trump himself once said that he would gladly pay the legal fees for a supporter who violently attacked a protester.
Will Donald Trump step forward and denounce Gov. Bevin for attempting to incite violence and threatening a treasonable rebellion against the legitimately elected government of the United States? Not a chance. Trump undoubtedly fully supports the governor’s comments. After all, only a few months ago he suggested something quite similar with his comment about “Second Amendment people.”
In response to Gov. Bevin’s outrageous and seemingly treasonous comments, some within Kentucky – such as Democratic candidate Nancy Jo Kemper – are already suggesting that Gov. Bevin be impeached. Such demands would not be unprecedented for Matt Bevin, since the speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives was already considering impeachment proceedings against Bevin because of other indiscretions by the governor.
While many had assumed that the Tea Party extremists within the Republican Party were on the decline over the last few years, Donald Trump’s ascendancy to the top of the ticket makes it clear that isn’t the case.
Current and former Tea Party members have flocked to his banner and many like Gov. Matt Bevin of Kentucky and Gov. Paul LePage of Maine now feel free to say virtually anything. After all, the Republican Party nominee for president says violent, threatening, outrageous things, so why shouldn’t they?
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)