Urging Violence on Protesters: Still a Bad Career Move, for the Most Part

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 23 2011 3:00 PM

Urging Violence on Protesters: Still a Bad Career Move, for the Most Part

MADISON, Wisc. -- At 12:01 a.m., Adam Weinstein of Mother Jones published a story about his interactions with a Twitter user, JCCentCom, who also happened to be Indiana Deputy Attorney General Jeff Cox.

[W]hen Mother Jones staffers tweeted a report that riot police might soon sweep demonstrators out of the Wisconsin capitol building—something that didn't end up happening—one Twitter user sent out a chilling public response : "Use live ammunition."

From my own Twitter account, I confronted the user, JCCentCom . He tweeted back that the demonstrators were " political enemies " and " thugs " who were "physically threatening legally elected officials." In response to such behavior, he said, "You're damned right I advocate deadly force." He later called me a " typical leftist, " adding, " liberals hate police. "

... In his nonpolitical tweets and blog posts, Cox displays a keen litigator's mind, writing sharply and often wittily on military history and professional basketball. But he evinces contempt for political opponents—from labeling President Obama an " incompetent and treasonous " enemy of the nation to comparing "enviro-Nazis" to Osama bin Laden, likening ex-Labor Secretary Robert Reich and Service Employees International Union members to Nazi "brownshirts" on multiple occasions , and referring to an Indianapolis teen as " a black teenage thug who was (deservedly) beaten up " by local police. A "sensible policy for handling Afghanistan," he offered, could be summed up as: " KILL! KILL! ANNIHILATE! "

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The Indiana Attorney General’s office announced Wednesday afternoon its deputy attorney general is no longer employed by the agency.

This came around the same time that Rep. Michael Capuano, D-Mass., was telling a union rally (held in solidarity with Wisconsin union workers) that "every once and awhile you need to get out on the streets and get a little bloody when necessary." Capuano's apologized; only Cambridge, Mass. voters can fire him, so he's safe. This morning, I was on a conference call where Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., said Gov. Scott Walker had "basically talking on the posture of a dictator." His job's safe, too.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.