Will a Dem Win in 2008 Generate Rightwing Violence?
by Meteor Blades
Sat Jun 02, 2007 at 11:53:11 PM PDT
Three bloggers - digby at Hullabaloo, David Neiwart at Orcinus and Rick Perlstein at the Campaign for America's Future - have recently been discussing a subject that needs a good deal more attention: the potential for outbreaks of rightwing violence if the Republicans, who have embraced outrageously violent talk in many forums, are booted out of power come November 2008.
Since 9/11, rightwing violence has gotten little media attention. Not because there hasn't been any. For instance, there was the bomb found April 25 at the Austin Women's Health Center in Austin, Texas. It didn't explode. But as Feministe pointed out:
Quote:Had that bomb been found outside a post office or a school, the headlines would have been hysterically running on about ZOMG TERRORISM TERRORISM IS AL QAEDA INVOLVED? And the right-wing warbloggers would be pissing their pants and hyperventilating about profiling Arabs and banning Muslims from public life and dhimmitude and how if they had been there, they'd have stopped it with their concealed carry and their extra-super special powers of righteousness, just like they saw in a movie once and BOMB IRAN! and 9/11 CHANGED EVERYTHING!!! but they still have better things to do than join the military, but they'll be happy to go into the woods and hunt Russians and shout WOLVERINES!!
But it's an abortion clinic, so. Ho-hum.
In other words, no press coverage to speak of.
As Perlstein noted:
Quote:If the media does not start connecting some dots, they will have abdicated their citizenship duties. How many times has the nation potentially come within a hair's breadth of suffering a right-wing terrorist attack this spring? As of today, three, or possibly six times - at least that we know about.
Late in April, 150 federal, state, and local law enforcement officers carried out simultaneous raids in four Alabama counties in a sweep that yielded 130 grenades, a rocket launcher, and 2,500 rounds of ammunition.. In the town of Trussville, it took a U-haul truck to cart away all the materiel. At the Collinsville camper belonging to militia "major" Taymond Dillard, agents first had to defuse trip-wires rigged to explode hand grenades to kill intruders.
Right-wing vigilantes arrested in a scuffle at one of the May 1 immigration marches, in Washington D.C., was found to have a stash of automatic weapons and explosives in his home.
Now this, the violence allegedly thwarted at Falwell's funeral. One of the suspects is a soldier at Fort Benning - yes, he traveled all the way from Georgia with his munitions. Another was a high school student.
There could well be worse to come.
Quote:I predict that we are going to see a remarkable resurgence of rightwing violence if the Democrats take full control of the government. These people are always surprisingly cooperative when the government is run by Republicans and then rediscover their "anti-government" beliefs when Democrats share or dominate the government. I can't imagine why that would be.
We will also, sadly, see veterans involved in this. Aside from the PTSD they will come home to a world that isn't very understanding. How could we be? They've been in hell. I suspect that some of them will be attracted to the rightwing militia (or worse) unless the government makes some very aggressive moves to help these people out and provide every kind of counselling and support they can think of. The last thing we need are hardened Iraq veterans finding solace with the rightwing terrorists.
Neiwart, who knows this subject forward and backward, took the deepest look. As always, it's impossible to do justice to long pieces with a few excerpts, so I urge you to follow that length to the full post and read it all:
Quote:My own sense all along has been that the far right went into a kind of dormancy during the GOP reign because they felt their issues were being addressed; most average militiamen voted for Bush, as near as I can tell. I've noted previously that many militias dropped off the map after the 2000 election, and the former leader of at least one of them -- Norm Olson of the Michigan Militia -- said it was because most of his troops were happy with Bush's election and felt that their former issues (particularly their hatred of the United Nations and their gun-control paranoia) were being addressed, as in fact they were.
Certainly the trend of the past couple of decades has been that the right-wing extremists tend to ease up more when Republicans rule the roost, and become much more virulently active when Democrats are in charge. This fits in with a much longer pattern, dating back to the 19th century and even before, of the extremist right acting as a kind of cultural and political wedge to separate working-class people from the progressives whose interests they actually share, especially in terms of curbing the effects of corporate and rampant capitalist behavior. ...
There were also figures like Richard Mellon Scaife, who in addition to exploiting old far-right segregationists in Arkansas and elsewhere in the South, also underwrote a number of "softer" Patriot organizations, such as Joseph Farah's WorldNetDaily. His newspaper, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, regularly ran editorials and "news" stories promoting a bevy of Clinton-related conspiracy theories, notably the "Vince Foster was murdered" nonsense, as well as various "New World Order" pieces; both, you may recall, were favorites of the militia movement.
So I think it's a fairly easy prediction that looming Democratic rule, already manifesting itself in Congress and likely to consolidate with the presidency next election season, will produce an upswing in far-right activity, particularly the spread of conspiracy theories, fearmongering, and bogus smear campaigns. As Perlstein noted a little while back, that has been the essence of the conservative movement's appeal for the better part of four decades now anyway. It's what they bring to the political table. ...
And in recent months, especially as the prospect of the voting public giving movement conservatives the boot loomed larger, we've seen cases like Chad Castagana, in which formerly mainstream conservatives -- self-admittedly inspired by the hateful rhetoric of people like Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin -- have crossed over into actual domestic terrorism, inspired not just by hatred of the government but hatred of liberals. ...
So it's going to be up to progressives to seize this bull by the horns. They're going to have to anticipate an increasingly violent political environment, and understand that their most effective strategies in defusing it lie in turning the violence into a moral victory (particularly when it's demonstrated that far-right factions are the instigators) and in undermining their appeal by working hard to champion the interest of the same working-class people the extremists depend upon for recruitment.
Digby is right that this is a conversation we need to be having.
Unfortunately, it happens to revolve around a political force -- the extremist right -- that few people care to acknowledge, let alone confront. Because of that, it has managed to creep itself into a position of significant influence in our lives, both political and personal. It's time the rest of us awoke to that reality.
In other words, it can happen here. In addition to being on the receiving end of state-authorized violence, I've seen a bit of rightwing violence up close in my time - an abortion clinic firebombed, serial death-threats from a group that had already assassinated a talk-radio host, a pipe-bomb that fizzled under a colleague's car. The hatred that led Tim McVeigh or Eric Rudolph to commit their murderous acts is still with us, indeed, deeply embedded, and spouted by the likes of Ann Coulter, Hal Turner and others of their ilk from their high-wattage podiums. We ignore this hatred and its fascistic purveyors at our peril.
Well, you're not going to get very far in starting a discussion by quoting extreme points of the almost-terrorist group "the daily kos." Naw, you'd do better by quoting in and out of the wikipedia on a discussion of the evolution of The Bund in America before WWII.
My opinion: first off, I find it hard to imagine, especially looking at any polls, that the Republicans can lose the Presidency in 2008. It's possible, but Hillary hasn't even scored third on any poll yet. Obama could do it, but he can't get party support against Hillary.
Second, remember the right wing are generally the spiritual side of the aisle--I find it offensive to say that aloud, but in self-reports it generally turns out that way. There has rarely in history been a riot caused by the religious parties of the day--riots are only caused by lazy people looking for something to blame their want of a TV on.
There has rarely in history been a riot caused by the religious parties of the day--riots are only caused by lazy people looking for something to blame their want of a TV on.
Quite the contrary, I never hear of a building being blown up or the like but that it is accomplished by someone who votes entirely the opposite of these people.
I can't recall the last building that was blown up by Leftists. Can you?
approx. 150 windows or glass doors
approx. 11 vehicles and 1 yacht
4 fires were set