Washington state has proven a national leader of sorts from technology to music to coffee, but I sure as hell hope our reputation as a trendsetter doesn't extend to the realm of political violence.

Republicans have worked hard to sow fear and anger this election season, and if recent events in the Washington Senate race are any indication, their rhetorical hyperbole is having an unsurprising effect. On October 14, a man was arrested for threatening Patty Murray supporters with a meat cleaver outside a debate in Spokane. Four days later, a man was arrested outside Walla Walla County Republican headquarters for assaulting a young woman who was protesting Dino Rossi, hitting her with "force." And just a few days ago, a man was sentenced to a year and a day in prison for threatening to kill Sen. Murray.

Huh. That's starting to look like a pattern.

And with Republicans nationwide already laying the groundwork, as usual, for bogus charges of massive Democratic voter fraud, and with some GOP politicians still unapologetically reserving their right to resort to "Second Amendment remedies," is it really unreasonable to start worrying about how the more unhinged elements of the Teahadist movement might react should their victory at the ballot box prove smaller than promised?

I mean, if Dino Rossi supporters are resorting to violence now, just imagine what they might do after he loses in November.