Montana Republican Very Sure The Constitution Says He Can Murder All The Socialists

State/Local Politics
Montana State Legislature

If there is anything the Right loves, it is making up weird shit about the Constitution. Traditionally, this is confined to thinking that criticizing them or not giving them a platform violates their First Amendment rights or pretending the Second Amendment gives them the right to overthrow the government and definitely has nothing to do with a standing army, but every once in a while, they do get creative.

And Montana State Rep. Rodney Garcia is nothing if not creative.

On Saturday, after listening to a speech by former Secretary of the Interior/former Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke, Rep. Garcia shared his super normal fears that the socialists are everywhere and invading the government and his glove compartment, and hiding under his bed. He explained that the Constitution says that the punishment for being a socialist is prison or the death penalty.

It does not — but nevertheless, he is sticking to his guns and, when asked to clarify his statement by a reporter, responded:

"So actually in the Constitution of the United States (if) they are found guilty of being a socialist member you either go to prison or are shot," Garcia said.

Where? Well, if you have to ask, you'll never know.

Asked to clarify if he thought it was fair to shoot or jail a socialist, including those who live in Montana, Garcia said yes.

"They're enemies of the free state," Garcia said. "What do we do with our enemies in war? In Vietnam, (Afghanistan), all those. What did we do?"

Asked if that was an appropriate response to his opponent from the last election cycle, Garcia said "according to the Constitution, I'm telling you."

It is not, for the record, in the Constitution. The Constitution does not even mention socialism, and socialism was not even a thing until well after the Constitution was written. In fact, it was not even a word (at least as we define it now) until 1822. If this were actually a thing, we probably would have seen more of it during the Cold War.

Also, pretty much no one in our government is an actual socialist. This includes Bernie Sanders, because being a Democratic Socialist is not, in fact, the same thing as being an actual socialist. Garcia's former opponent for his seat, Amelia Marquez, is also a Democratic Socialist — which seems to be what has inspired Garcia to go full John Birch Society.

Garcia said he views what he sees as an influx of socialism in Montana as a "very dangerous" situation and that socialism has destroyed countries like Venezuela.

"They're teaching that to kids. Thank God my grandkids know it's wrong because I teach them. And it's a very dangerous situation," Garcia said.

Yes, first it's "Sharing is Caring" and then it's The Communist Manifesto. It's a slippery slope! Also, every iteration of socialism is Venezuela.

Garcia added he believes socialism is growing, citing advertising he says is done by socialists on Facebook.

If Rep. Garcia believes everything he sees on Facebook, that could explain a lot here. First it's "the Constitution says we can murder all the socialists," next he'll be claiming the earth is flat and asking us to join some private group wherein he'll try to sell us chintzy leggings. We've seen this movie before.

The Montana Republican Party has issued a statement condemning Garcia's idiotic remarks:

"The Montana Republican Party wholeheartedly condemns the comment that was made and under no circumstance is violence against someone with opposing political views acceptable," said Spenser Merwin, the MT GOP executive director. "It's disappointing that this isolated incident took away from the weekend's events which showcased the strength of our statewide candidates and the importance of the upcoming election."

That is nice and all, but still, I probably won't be planning any trips to visit Rebecca any time soon. Just to be on the safe side.

(Programming note!: We will not be having a book club today! Dok will pick that up next week — so if you haven't actually read the book yet, you get a bit of a reprieve. If you'd like to get a copy, the book is Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War, by Michael Isikoff and David Corn, and if you buy a copy from that link, Wonkette will get a nice little kickback. In the meantime, if you missed last week's book club, you can read it here!)

[Billings Gazette]

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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse


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