NM-02: Talking About Guns, Tinsley Says He Has a "Rude Awakening" for Obama

Ed Tinsley, the GOP's Congressional candidate in NM-02 who's running against Democrat Harry Teague, has been caught in the act again. Tinsley's latest inflammatory remarks -- and what can be perceived as a threat to Barack Obama -- came at a recent candidate forum in Roswell. Tinsley was asked about his views on gun ownership and the Second Amendment. Instead of talking about his or his opponent's positions on the issue, Tinsley launched into a disturbing attack on presidential candidate Barack Obama, as you can see in the video clip above. Ed Tinsley said:

Well, I'll say this, somebody that certainly doesn't get it is Barack Obama when he says that our district clings to our guns and our religion out of frustration.  I have a rude awakening for him and we'd love to have him as a guest at our ranch.

Check out Tinsley's demeanor when he says the words "rude awakening." What do you think he has in mind when he says it? What do you think his words are meant to convey?

Making such statements is getting to be a disturbing habit with Ed Tinsley. This isn't the first time he's demonstrated a penchant for brutal and violence-tinged rhetoric. For instance, in 2002 when running in the GOP Congressional primary in NM-02, Tinsley was asked about his views on the death penalty. He answered,

"I would certainly like to take the people out and drag them behind my horse until their head popped off."

The Albuquerque Journal printed the quote and Steve Pearce, Tinsley's primary rival back then, used it against him. Pearce -- no shrinking violet in the inflammatory rhetoric department himself -- ended up winning the primary and the Congressional seat. (Pearce is now running for U.S. Senate in New Mexico.) The voters of New Mexico's Second District evidently didn't cotton to cruel talk like that back then, and I doubt they'll do so now.

Last month, Tinsley earned Worst Person in the World status on Keith Olbermann's Countdown and gained notoriety across the web for his nasty and personal statement at a candidate forum in Las Cruces -- where he said of his Dem competitor, Harry Teague,

"How am I supposed to call my two nephews over there [in Iraq] right now ... and tell them I'm running against a guy who will cut your throat!"

You can read about that incident in my previous posts on Democracy for New Mexico here and here.

In an election cycle when genuine threats to Obama are not uncommon, it's downright scary to have a candidate for the U.S Congress make a statement that, at the very least, takes a threatening tone towards the Democratic presidential nominee. What is in Ed Tinsley's head -- and in his heart -- if he can make the kind of statements I've cited without blinking an eye? Tinsley likes to talk about All-American values, but his remarks seem to reveal a much darker view of the world -- a place where vigilante might makes right and fear tactics are employed without shame. Maybe that's why Dick Cheney will be down in Harry Teague's hometown of Hobbs later this month to raise money for Tinsley. Two Darth Vader peas in a pod.

We certainly don't want a Congressman from New Mexico who talks like a reckless bully (and would vote like one too). We'd be much obliged if you could help Harry Teague get elected to represent NM-02. Click here to donate to the cause.

Tags: Barack Obama, Dick Cheney, Ed Tinsley, guns, Harry Teague, New Mexico, NM-02, Second Amendment (all tags)



This guy is sleaze, but don't go too far

A "rude awakening" does not imply violence... at least not at the core.  The speaker can add the implication through tone or context (if he pumped the action on a shotgun when he said it, then I'd be more worried).

I think this guy is just a colorfully mysogynistic douchebag.  I don't think he intends actual threats when he says these things.

by Dracomicron 2008-09-09 08:22AM | 0 recs
Re: NM-02: Talking About Guns, Tinsley Says He Has

So what do you think he means by "rude awakening: specifically? How would he rudely awaken Obama?

The point is not whether he means physical violence to Obama, but that he is using inflammatory, bullying language that has no place in the discourse -- which he has done in the past.

by barbwire 2008-09-09 08:26AM | 0 recs
Not much to be done about it

All we can really do is report on it (as you've done) and disapprove.  Eventually it'll reach critical mass and he'll be Santorum'd out of office.

I have no idea what he means by "rude awakening."  I know I've used that term when describing someone coming into abrubt and unsubtle confrontation with facts that are contrary to their beliefs.

by Dracomicron 2008-09-09 09:21AM | 0 recs
Re: NM-02: Talking About Guns, Tinsley Says He Has

I hear you but I wonder what he'd be showing Obama at his ranch ....

by barbwire 2008-09-09 12:53PM | 0 recs


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