Last updated on 2013.02.17
And now he calls critics of his voting record "terrorists":
Senate Majority Leader Russell Olson didn't mince words when I asked him about the people sending out robocalls and postcards attacking him and others.
"I think they're terrorists. They want to ambush and never say who they are," Olson said [David Montgomery, "Terrorists and Nazis," Political Smokeout, August 20, 2012].
Absurd. The CIA follows this statutory definition of terrorism:
The term "terrorism" means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents [CIA, "Terrorism FAQs," updated July 13, 2012].
I have my disagreements with the thesis of the robocalls, postcards, and e-mails criticizing Olson and his SDGOP leadership pals for their voting records. However, by no responsible stretch of the imagination can anything the anonymous critics have done be called violence. The voting record attacks are more truthful than the demonstrable lies we are hearing from Mitt Romney on President Obama's offer of flexibility to states on welfare requirements.
Rep. Stace Nelson, a Republican running for District 19 House, has publicly criticized other Republicans for not closely following the Republican platform. His attacks align with those made in the anonymous robocalls and mailings. He ridicules Senator Olson's "terrorism" cries:
On the other side, Rep. Stace Nelson, R-Fulton, took offense to the use of the term "terrorist."
"Oh my goodness. That's ridiculous. That diminishes the actual terrorist threat," Nelson said. "If Sen. Olson feels that someone questioning his voting record is a terrorist... we're supposed to be representing the individual voters. That comment is offensive to me" [Montgomery, 2012.08.20].
Rep. Nelson inkles toward his own hyperbole, telling Montgomery that Olson and the GOP leadership enforce the party line with tactics like "the stuff you see in Third World countries and Nazi Germany." Yes, we can all shout "Godwin's Law!" But check the wording: Nelson doesn't say "Olson is a Nazi"; he says the GOP leadership exhibits similar behaviors. Olson skips the like and says of his critics, "They're terrorists." There's a subtle difference, but it matters.
Russ, calling anything you don't like "terrorism" is as intellectually and politically irresponsible as calling anything you don't like "Communism" or "socialism" or "Marxism." You mislead and miseducate the citizens you serve... and you make yourself sound stupid.
Update August 21, 22:14 MDT: Interestingly, Rep. Nelson has not weighed in on whether his friends at Liberty TV displaying Mein Kampf are Nazis.