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The Wing-Nut Code: What Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin Are Really Saying to Their Followers

You thought they were just unhinged. But here's what they're really saying to the armed and dangerous.

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Coburn said this after Gregory noted that Timothy McVeigh, who killed more than 160 people when he blew up the Oklahoma federal building, bore the Jefferson "tree of liberty" quote on the T-shirt he wore that day -- the same quote on the sign that armed man in New Hampshire held to greet the president.


Timothy McVeigh's T-shirt

Finally, it must be noted the code is not always necessary to send the signal. There are sins of commission, and sins of omission, such as that of Sen. Charles Grassely, R-Iowa, who simply stood by as an audience member at one of his town-hall meetings on health care reform last month called for an armed intervention on the White House.

Audience member Tom Eisenhower said that Obama was "acting like a little Hitler," and suggested that others gather up their guns and join him for a visit to Washington.

Grassley didn’t condemn the man or his suggestions but went on to rationalize Eisenhower’s anger, calling health care reform "the straw that broke the camel’s back," especially in light of the "General Motors nationalization" and the "nationalization of banks."

Adele M. Stan AlterNet's Washington bureau chief.