Are Oklahoma Elected Officials and Tea Party Groups Planning a Civil War?

April 13, 2010

(ChattahBox)—-On November 19, 1863, Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address and with a single sentence, established the concept of a unified nation that would no longer be based on states’ rights. He defined the Civil War as “a new birth of freedom— and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” Yet, nearly 150-years later the old Confederacy rhetoric of nullification, secession and state sovereignty is making a return within right-wing militia groups, tea parties and even with far-right extremist lawmakers. The angry electorate have been whipped up by hate and fearmongering from Fox news’ pundits, Congressional lawmakers, such as Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and fear of our first black president, during a recession and a high unemployment rate. But the latest example of the so-called “tenther” movement is the most chilling. Oklahoma tea party groups are actually conspiring with Republican state lawmakers to create an armed state militia, for the sole purpose of preparing for armed resistance against the federal government’s encroachment of states’ rights

According to a report by the Associated Press, Oklahoma tea party leaders “frustrated by recent political setbacks,” have been in contact with right-wing Republicans in the Oklahoma legislature to create a new “volunteer militia to help defend against what they believe are improper federal infringements on state sovereignty.”

The Republican lawmakers involved, are State Sen. Randy Brogdon and State Rep. Charles Key. Brogdon is running for governor and he is seeking tea party support. Brogdon is known for his radical right-wing extremism and he supported a measure to allow Oklahoma to opt out of the healthcare reform law, because he views it as an unconstitutional infringement of states’ rights. During the debate on the measure, he made a racist remark, referring to President Obama’s race, by perpetuating black stereotypes. “Are we going to have to purchase fried chicken tomorrow for dinner?” Brogdon asked.

Brogdon defends the formation of a state militia to combat the overreach of the federal government:

The founding fathers “were not referring to a turkey shoot or a quail hunt. They really weren’t even talking about us having the ability to protect ourselves against each other,” Brogdon said. “The Second Amendment deals directly with the right of an individual to keep and bear arms to protect themselves from an overreaching federal government.”

The local tea party leaders pushing for a state militia, Al Gerhart founder of the Oklahoma Constitutional Alliance and head of the Sooner Tea Party and J.W. Berry of the Tulsa-based OKforTea group, are just as blatant with their anti-federal government and anti-Obama rhetoric.

Berry is promoting the state militia with the motto: “Buy more guns, more bullets.” And according to Thing Progress, Berry’s online postings are filled with paranoid and violent anti-Obama rants:

“Berry, the tea party leader who first solicited support for the militia, has posted rants against President Obama: the “Muslim President” — a “reincarnation of Pol Pot” who is trying to imprison Americans for resisting health reform. One ominous posting from Berry says that his militia should “launch a thousand guerrilla attacks on the plans that these people have to ruin us and our country.”

And Gerhart is just as extremist with his violent and incendiary anti-fed and anti-Obama rants. Referring to the plan to form an armed militia, he said “Is it scary? It sure is.” “But when do the states stop rolling over for the federal government?”

Gerhart’s Oklahoma Constitutional Alliance group is an umbrella organization for over a dozen local tea party groups and radical right-wing groups, such as the Oklahoma Chapter of the John Birch Society, Reclaiming Oklahoma For Christ and the Black Robed Regiment a group of patriot fundamentalist pastors, who believe in arming Christians in schools and churches.

And Gerhart’s postings on his Sooner Tea Party blog are peppered with violent infused anti-government statements, such as “Get ready fellow Oklahomans, the calvary is forming up, and we are it!” “Folks, we already have the power to stop Obama in his tracks. The Tenth Amendment is the key,” he wrote on November 8, 2009, under the name algerhart. And on the same date, Gerhart posted a plan to battle against the encroachment of the federal government, specifically the healthcare reform bill:

“We will also have Sheriff Mack speak to the legislators, to show them that it isn’t only the governor that can call out the state militia, that a posse is the state militia in another name. The end game is all of this is threefold, to stand up the sheriffs, the legislators, and the people to get ready to stop Obama Care and Cap and Trade at the Oklahoma border. This is legal, it is possible, and much of the ground work has been laid,” he wrote.

This merging of tea parties, right-wing state lawmakers, radical Christianity, militia groups, conspiracy theories and state sovereignty anti-federal government rhetoric is quite disturbing. And talk of this new state militia comes just days before the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, one of the most destructive acts of domestic terrorism on American soil, killing 168 innocent people and injuring 680.

The bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building by Timothy McVeigh, an anti-government militia extremist, occurred during a resurgence of anti-government sentiment and a rise in militia patriot groups, very much like what’s happening in today’s toxic political climate.

A truly frightening development.


23 Responses to “Are Oklahoma Elected Officials and Tea Party Groups Planning a Civil War?”

  1. Hominid Views » Blog Archive » First Election Test for Health Care Reform on April 13th, 2010 9:59 pm

    […] It looks like the Teabaggers will have to ratchet it up a notch…. […]

  2. ec on April 13th, 2010 10:02 pm

    so…they believe that the rest of us would fight to keep Oklahoma?

  3. Bud Pagel on April 13th, 2010 10:03 pm

    Whoever wrote the above article is as bad as the people they are bashing. What a one sided story full of hot air.

  4. Prudence on April 13th, 2010 10:34 pm

    I’ll keep it brief:

    1) If, as you say, the Civil War appropriately redefined the nature of the federal system of government, we must have a serious discussion about repealing the 10th Amendment to the Constitution. We can’t just live as if it doesn’t exist.

    2) This is one of the most horrific examples of spin masquerading as news that I have ever seen. Yes, there are fringe elements in the Tea Party. Yes, a few have talked about secession. There remains a responsibility for individual states to push back against the federal government when it appears to overstep it’s bounds. This check was explicitly described by Federalists, and the Bill of Rights was added as a precondition to ratification of the Constitution to allay the fears of the Anti-Federalists.

    “The price of freedom is eternal diligence.”

  5. Dave on April 13th, 2010 10:41 pm

    But Sue, the seeds of what you fear so much is in you as well. Notice how you categorize and totalize what you dislike about those “right-wing extremists,” “radical Christianity,” “tenthers,” “militia patriot groups,” racists, conspiracy theorists. Your own take pieces together one person with one “umbrella organization,” to show how the next civil war is forming in Oklahoma. Such fear-mongering from Fox? How about your own fear-mongering here? You transgress worse, in my opinion, feeding on any critique of Obama as though it represents a quack bent on defending his views with a gun. But — the most egregious — was your very trite comparison to a domestic terrorist. You’re willing to charge the tea partiers in Oklahoma with the same impulses as McVeigh, oh, but you *aren’t* extremist yourself? Sorry, but *most* people in Oklahoma and throughout this country are just simply not going to let civil war break out. Before it comes to that, watch the voters rise up and do something about it. Or, maybe you view your fellow countrymen with suspicion and distrust, perhaps, as outsiders and not as intelligent and responsible as you?

  6. MsSwin on April 13th, 2010 11:23 pm

    Imagine what would have happened if Gov. Wallace had at his disposal his own personal state militia when the National Guard was called in to protect the black children attending public school there for the first time. Does anyone believe he would not have used this militia to ‘protect’ what he felt were state rights?

    I can only hope as these tea party groups grow more and more radical that they will be seen for what they are and that mainstream America will fully reject them as not representing the full interest of the UNITED States of America.

  7. Brenda Stewart on April 13th, 2010 11:43 pm

    Every State should have a properly trained and disciplined militia, as provided for in our Constitution.
    State militias are not primarily for the protection of the State against the Federal Government, but would serve as a “stop and think” warning whenever Washington promotes another anti-people, anti-American issue which claims to be binding on all the people in the country.
    Must everything in this great country be nationalized? What happened to individual freedoms? Enough is enough.

  8. Morely Dotes on April 14th, 2010 12:13 am


    ” This is one of the most horrific examples of spin masquerading as news that I have ever seen.”

    Apparently you’ve never watched Faux, er I mean Fox News.

    And the price of freedom is eternal _vigilance_, At least get your quotes right when you’re trying to use them to support your bigotry and ignorance. Otherwise people will think you’re a KKK douchebag who dropped out of 3rd grade in Alabama.

    – US Army Mechanized Infantry, Bradley Commander (20+ years of active service, retired, but still upholding my oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic).

  9. dempseysdad on April 14th, 2010 12:22 am

    Hohaahhh EC, you are profound.
    Let them go peacefully. Of course like all foreign residents they must have a visa to gain entrance to the US, making sure that they have compelling reason to return to OK like all other aliens. Charge a high tariff for all goods entering OK. Close the ship channel to Tulsa. And of course they are on their own as far as protection from all of the groups that they imagine are out to get them.

    I am a former resident of OK (16 years) and was glad to get out with my wits about me.

  10. Fitzlight on April 14th, 2010 12:31 am

    People please read the constitution. All states are allowed by the constitution to form a state military that is under only the control of the state governement and completely free from all federal government control so as to be able to protect it’s self from the federal government if it trys to use the federal army to force it’s will upon the states. Abraham Lincoln acted contrary to the constitution when he used federal troops against those states that had chosen to break from the union and to form their own union. Lincoln was not a hero he was the greatest of law breakers of his time. Those states had the right to form their own state military and to protect themselves from attack by federal troops given to them by the very constitution that Lincoln took an oath to protect and to defend, but instead he acted against that constitution and the rights of the people and so begin the slow breaking apart of our constitution to where today as one person said, “The constitution is just a piece of paper.” During Katrina the national guard worked with the FBI and local police to break into people’s homes and to force them from their homes against their will and took away their guns which they had a right to own and to have and they even beat up an 80 year old woman because she dared to show them her small gun. The national guard is not under only direct control of the state government but it is also under the control of the federal government so therefore it does not meet the conditions to be a state controled military. I served in both the federal army and the Texas army guard=National guard so I know and understand how both work.

  11. Dan on April 14th, 2010 1:16 am

    This whole thing and possibly whole country seems to be unraveling. It seems that the USA may have to drop the U. I am from the UK and have lived in the US for 14 years, all totally legally. I am deeply concerned with how far this situation will go. It seems as though the US is sliding out of control back to days of hatred and fear. I have lived with a nationalized health system in the UK, it had great points and dreadful points. I doubt however, any true resident of this country wants or needs in this tough economy a potential armed standoff no matter what side they stand on. While America bickers among itself, China is set to eclipse the US as the dominant world power.

  12. Frank on April 14th, 2010 1:56 am

    “Imagine what would have happened if Gov. Wallace had at his disposal his own personal state militia when the National Guard was called in to protect the black children attending public school there for the first time. Does anyone believe he would not have used this militia to ‘protect’ what he felt were state rights?”

    LOL, somebody needs to read a history book.

    Gov. Wallace did indeed use the Alabama National Guard in an effort to prevent a black student from entering the University of Alabama. When FEDERAL troops also showed up, he altered it to be “symbolic.”

    So no imagining required. It actually happened – it is just that the govenor blinked.

  13. chip on April 14th, 2010 4:50 am

    To all of you States rights revisionist crackpots.
    Read the The United States Constitution.
    Section 8 – Powers of Congress

    The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

    To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

    To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

    To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

    To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

    To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

    To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;

    To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

    To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

    To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

    To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

    To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

    To provide and maintain a Navy;

    To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

    To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

    To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

    To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And

    To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
    Sorry yahoo’s,we already fought that war and you lost.

  14. KOJohnson on April 14th, 2010 6:12 am

    “On November 19, 1863, Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address and with a single sentence, established the concept of a unified nation that would no longer be based on states’ rights.”

    What? Have you never heard of the Constitution of the United States? It constitutes a federation of free and independent states, like the E.U. The federal government has rigorously and strictly limited powers, all of which were deputed to it by those sovereign states that joined the federation, and are entirely free to leave it at any time. A state is a state: Oklahoma, France, Georgia, Italy–all are sovereign states.

    Also, notice that the Constitution does not permit the federal government to maintain a standing army–that was, you may notice, one of the key points in the Declaration, too, that provoked the Revolution itself. The states in their sovereignty may and must keep a well-regulated militia; but the federal government cannot lawfully maintain an army of its own. Again, read the Constitution.

    The notion that a president can override the whole of constitutional law, or change it, in a speech is patently absurd, preposterous on its face. What the Lincoln administration did was lay waste to the states, kill 20 percent of the population, and impose a government that has no written constitution on millions who had emphatically rejected it. You know, like Stalin did.

    Check the facts: read the laws. What the Lincoln administration did is obvious, but you’ve been taught that it was right and good–and legal. There’s your problem, Sue. There’s your problem.

  15. StokeyBob on April 14th, 2010 6:33 am

    We didn’t need much organization for the love-ins in the sixties when we would all meet in the local parks. We still managed to get the issues of the day discussed.

    I feel the reason behind most of our troubles and the need for TEA Parties is the government’s ability to print up whatever money it wants to get their way.

    Maybe this will help make the danger of fiat money clear.

    Imagine you and me are setting across from each other. We create enough money to represent all of the world’s wealth. Each one of us has one SUPER Dollar in front of him.

    You own half of everything and so do I.

    I’m the government though. I get bribed into creating a Central Bank.

    You’re not doing what I want you to be doing so I print up myself eight more SUPER Dollars to manipulate you with.

    All of a sudden your SUPER Dollar only represents one tenth of the wealth of the world!

    That isn’t the only thing though. You need to get busy and get to work because YOU’VE BEEN STIFFED with the bill for the money I PRINTED UP to get YOU TO DO what I WANTED.

    That to me represents what has been happening to the economy, and us, and why so many of our occupations just can’t keep up with the fake money presses.

    They have been beating us with our own stick!!!!1

  16. susan rulason on April 14th, 2010 9:07 am


  17. Chadius333 on April 14th, 2010 11:12 am

    Hi. I’m from Oklahoma and after reading this article, I just felt the need to apologize. Please know that not everyone in this state is is a right-wing nut job, some of us are actually normal, rational human beings. A large percentage of our population are uneducated and the Republicans take full advantage of it for the sake of re-election. We won’t be forming a state militia, hell, we can’t even organize the resources to fix the pot-holes in our roads… let alone assembling a militia with the resources to take on the U.S. military. Basically, what will happen is that certain Republican candidates will “support” this, thus winning the favor of a (sadly) large percentage of the voting population. With this support, they will then be voted into office and then the whole militia thing will be forgotten. However, if I’m wrong and we do end up trying to form some crazy anti government militia, all I can so to those “patriots” is good luck taking out those Blackhawks with your deer rifle and enjoy being arrested and sent to prison for treason. Again… sorry about my crazy state.

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  19. Ben on April 14th, 2010 3:38 pm

    I don’t see what the big deal is.

    23 other states already have “state recognized” militias.

    Oklahoma is already bordered by two states that have “state militias” That being Texas and New Mexico. Indiana also has one. It’s called the ISM (Indiana sedentary militia.) AKA “Indiana Guard Reserve”. The southern section of the ISM is trained at Camp Atterbury. Right along with the Indiana national guard.

    All the other state militias seem to be relatively respectable groups of people.
    The proposed Oklahoma law just resembles what we (in Indiana) already have.
    So what is the big deal?

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  21. Btok on April 19th, 2010 7:35 pm

    Paul Joseph Watson
    Monday, April 19, 2010
    Bill Clinton, the Southern Poverty Law Center and almost the entire corporate media are not letting a good opportunity go to waste today – by dancing on the graves of 168 victims and exploiting the 15th anniversary of the false flag Oklahoma City Bombing to demonize their political enemies, the Internet, and anyone who dares to express dissent against the federal government.
    The propaganda putsch coincides with FBI head Robert Mueller stating that right-wing extremist groups and anti-government militias now represent as big a terror threat as Al-Qaeda, as the whole apparatus of the war on terror is shifted to target Americans increasingly angry at the egregious corruption in government and the global economy as their standard of living plummets and their pension funds are under threat of seizure.
    Take a look at this:

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  23. Dave on June 25th, 2010 1:48 pm

    To Frank: George Wallace did not have the support, the physical presence, of the Guard. He had Alabama State Troopers. The Guard was federalized by Pres. Kennedy and used to force Wallace to step aside and allow black students to attend the University, a needed and necessary move.

    To Chip: Your comments to so-called states’ rights revisionist crackpots are in error. A list of Constitutionally-granted powers only highlights the fact that the federal government is supposed to be limited essentially to regulation of commerce between states, to foreign relations, and to defence. That list does not include INCOME tax, and certainly not even a hint of the power to create a national health care system. Additionally, your ignorance of the history of states’ rights is apparent: “that war” was far from the only effort from 1787 to 1860 to resist a federal government that was never intended to overpower the rights of sovereign states. Google “Hartford Convention”.

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