Can We Start Worrying About Right-Wing Extremism Yet?:
Remember this? It's from the Department of Homeland Security's April 2009 report on the potential for domestic terrorism: "DHS/I&A assesses that the combination of environmental factors that echo the 1990s, including heightened interest in legislation for tighter firearms restrictions and returning military veterans, as well as several new trends, including an uncertain economy and a perceived rising influence of other countries, may be invigorating rightwing extremist activity, specifically the white supremacist and militia movements. To the extent that these factors persist, rightwing extremism is likely to grow in strength."
Remember this? It's from Newt Gingrich, and it was one of many right-wing reactions to the report: "The person who drafted the outrageous homeland security memo smearing veterans and conservatives should be fired." Added James Dobson, "[T]here are no Timothy McVeighs out there right now. They're making a big deal out of something that hasn't happened and may not happen."
Of course, meanwhile, out in the real America described by the DHS report, not the right-wing psycho fantasy America, this was already happening just in Inland Empire, California: "Local police believe five recent attacks on minorities in the San Jacinto Valley may stem from a backlash to the election of Barack Obama as the first black president in U.S. history." That's from January 2009.
Which was followed in June 2009 by this in Hemet, CA: "Four Hemet skinheads beat a Hispanic man to within an inch of his life to benefit a white supremacist gang, a Hemet police detective testified Friday." The Comrades Of Our Racist Struggle (C.O.O.R.S. Family, charmingly) wanted to instill fear in the community.
Which was followed in April 2010 with this from Hemet regarding the arrest of 23 people in conjunction with actions against cops and the FBI in the area during Marhc: "A law enforcement source familiar with the probe said task force members believe that the attacks -- including booby traps set up at police facilities and the torching of several city vehicles -- appear to be the work of a white supremacist gang."
The right's overreaction to any perceived criticism is childish, petulant, and dangerous. This goes for the DHS report and Republican politicians who dare not say a bad word about the Hitler-sign-bearing crazies in the Tea Party. And, truly, if you are not willing to join in condemnation of the obviously violent extremes in your movement, then you have aligned with them.