The Republicans have been saying that all those people showing up at town hall meetings are just average people who are exercising their rights to peaceably assemble. That’s fine; I’m all in favor of that. But like anything, there are some folks who are there for more than just promoting a civil discourse. As a follow-up to this post, TPM looks into the background of the men who showed up at President Obama’s speech in Phoenix.
Ernest Hancock, the online radio host who staged an interview with an assault rifle-wielding associate at the Obama event in Arizona yesterday — and was himself armed with a 9 millimeter pistol — was a vocal supporter and friend of right-wing anti-government militia members who were convicted of conspiracy and weapons charges in the 90s.
And in an interview today with TPMmuckraker, Hancock said he still believes the Viper Militia case was “manufactured” by the same government that manufactured Waco and lied to its people about 9/11.
Like I said, they’re citizens, and they have every right to exercise their rights. But I doubt they were there to discuss the finer points of premium reimbursement and pre-existing condition insurance coverage. And if the GOP thinks these folks are just “average,” it makes you wonder what they think the definition of the “fringe” is.