Blame Bush not Obama
"The DHS/Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) has no specific information that domestic rightwing* terrorists are currently planning acts of violence, but rightwing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues. The economic downturn and the election of the first African American president present unique drivers for rightwing radicalization and recruitment." - Opening statement in last April's DHS report entitled. "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment."
I've been getting emails and email attachments and have engaged in flame wars on other web sites with stunningly ignorant right wingers and self-styled "centrists" who insist that the "radical left" is just as culpable for stirring up partisan passions and they even include in their net of righteousness bloggers like me who typically have a daily readership that doesn't much exceed 300. In the wake of every right wing-fueled shooting, we've been hearing a steady stream of either, "He must've been a liberal plant" or, "Here we go. The leftists are going to tie him to us, now!"
Let's not forget James Adkisson's preferred reading list and which right wing website posted an article on Obama's supposed ineligibility to run for president by the alleged Holocaust Memorial shooter.
I'm so sick and tired of entertaining their "You're just as guilty as the other side" arguments that it isn't even worth refuting anymore. There's a world of difference between a mentally unbalanced Muslim convert who's alarmed at the Bush-era crusades in the Middle East and shoots a soldier in retaliation than your typical liberal blogger or columnist who is much more content to get out the vote to remove Republican incumbents.
My aim today is to show that hard line conservatives are so stupid, so bereft of irony and so pretzel-twisted with xenophobia, racism and just plain virulent hatred that they don't realize their reasons for inciting violence and rebellion toward the Obama administration actually started with their own right wing political heroes.
Ironically, page three of the DHS report states,
The current economic and political climate has some similarities to the 1990s when rightwing extremism experienced a resurgence fueled largely by an economic recession, criticism about the outsourcing of jobs, and the perceived threat to U.S. power and sovereignty by other foreign powers.
Anyone who follows the news with a greater than cursory interest knows that massive job outsourcing only began with Clinton's NAFTA but was ramped up under the Bush administration, which largely contributed to our economic recession and frighteningly high unemployment rate. Add ill-advised tax breaks in 2001 and 2003, two unwinnable quagmires costing us over $125 billion a year, the devaluation of the dollar, a laissez faire approach to Big Business that had resulted in the $11+ trillion TARP bailout (not $700 billion as has been universally reported) and you have just some of the reasons for our sorry economic state. The crusade in Iraq and embrace of torture also squarely puts on Bush's Dallas doorstep the very real possibility that our sovereignty and power has been endangered.
The State Department's latest terrorism report for last year shows that while terrorist attacks had declined worldwide since 2007, there was a marked uptick in such violence in both Pakistan and Afghanistan, two allies in whom the Bush administration had shown the least amount of interest in pacifying. It should come as no surprise that as the war is winding down in Iraq, the deployment or redeployment of Iraq veterans to both of those countries will surely place the lives of those US troops in danger.
In other words, the reasons for right wing extremists to revolt in the 90's remain largely unchanged today but many of their reasons can be traced back eight years to the last Republican administration. Throw in their alarm of our civil liberties being taken away and giving rise to a fascist state and they're also better describing the Bush II administration than the Obama administration that is guilty of nothing more serious than in maintaining the toxic status quo established by Bush.
So if right wing extremists are so concerned about US sovereignty being attacked by forces from without that they're willing to attack it from within, they have to look a bit beyond President Obama's first 150 days in office.
Of course, there's no way to blame George W. Bush at all for the virulent racism toward Obama that we'd seen ever since it looked as if the young Illinois senator would be a serious contender. However, much of it can be traced to the endless parade of lunatics such as Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Glen Beck all the way down to E.D. Hill and her ridiculous "terrorist fist bump."
Things weren't much better on the campaign trail when McCain/Palin supporters would call Obama a "terrorist" and even to "kill him!" and Palin did absolutely nothing to quell such murderous hatred. McCain, it can be said, didn't exercise leadership and to get a handle on the deteriorating situation soon enough.
We'd heard that Obama wasn't born in this country. He was a Muslim. He's been linked to organizations that have sponsored Islamic terrorism. He's not patriotic. He's a socialist. He's a fascist. He doesn't wear a flag lapel pin. All these lies went virtually unchallenged in the mainstream media and were respectfully given house room on every major news channel during the campaign as if they were legitimate counterpoints.
Therefore, in a nation of over 300,000,000 people, is it beyond the realm of possibility that at least one highly motivated and committed individual wouldn't be listening to this constant stream of alarmism and feel it his patriotic duty to do something about it?
Right wing extremists obviously don't care for the facts any more than they care to listen to refutations of their lunatic conspiracy theories. The mainstream media that's shown a clearcut conservative bias and tolerance toward it doesn't look as if it'll change its tune anytime soon, which leaves Republican politicians to set these people straight.
However, these people may already be so far out there that they may already be beyond the reach of even a miraculously reformed Newt Gingrich or Sarah Palin or Rush Limbaugh. These people may have already heard enough from Fox and the pages of the Washington Times so they feel they can stop listening to them and to listen instead to the tune of their own particular drummer.