Rachel Maddow's MSNBC special on Timothy McVeigh this past Monday night did not come a moment too soon. As Maddow explained in the introduction to her show: "Nine years after his execution, we are left worrying that Timothy McVeigh's voice from the grave echoes in the new rising tide of American anti-government extremism."
After months of hysterically warning viewers that cheerful, well-dressed tea partiers carrying "I Can See November From My House" signs could suddenly erupt into wanton violence, MSNBC finally had proof: Timothy McVeigh.
How about a special on the KGB to help us understand what makes Henry Waxman tick? We're just trying to seek answers ...
On her April 14 show, Maddow gave a "War of the Worlds" report on gun rights activists whom she claimed were planning tributes to Timothy McVeigh's bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City. "On the anniversary of the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City by Timothy McVeigh," she said, "there will be two marches on Washington."
After reminding viewers that McVeigh was "an anti-government extremist with ties to the militia movement" (his only "ties" being that he tried to join the Michigan Militia, but was rejected Maddow said one of the groups, the Second Amendment March, had "been holding armed rallies at state capitols from Kentucky to Montana to Virginia -- anti-government marches and rallies at which participants are encouraged to wear and display their guns."
So if I have this straight, the pro-Second Amendment marchers were both armed ... AND displaying guns!
Having received an "A plus" from the Department of Redundancy Department, a deadly earnest Maddow continued: "Also on the occasion of the Oklahoma City bombing anniversary," there would be an Open Carry rally.
Participants, she said, "are being encouraged to bring guns" (you know, just like the guns Timothy McVeigh used to shoot up the federal building in Oklahoma City).
True, April 19 is the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. It's also the anniversary of Lexington and Concord.
Once upon a time, the skirmish that sparked the Revolutionary War was a date that every schoolchild knew. When British soldiers moved to seize the gunpowder and arms of voluntary militias, armed citizens defended themselves, firing upon the British in "the shot heard 'round the world" -- as Ralph Waldo Emerson put it in his "Concord Hymn."