Who Hijacked Our Country

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Rightwing Hate Groups — The Infection is Spreading

No, it’s not just your imagination. There really has been a huge increase in the amount of crazed tinfoil-hattery on the Right. Anti-government militia groups, anti-immigrant vigilantes, Nazi/KKK-type racist fucks — they’re all multiplying and spreading like dysentery in a refugee camp.

According to a report called Rage On The Right — compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center — rightwing extremism has increased 244% in the past year.

In 2008 there were 149 of these “Patriot” groups. By the end of 2009 there were 512 of them.

Chip Berlet, an analyst of the American radical right, said:

“We are in the midst of one of the most significant right-wing populist rebellions in United States history. We see around us a series of overlapping social and political movements populated by people [who are] angry, resentful, and full of anxiety. They are raging against the machinery of the federal bureaucracy and liberal government programs and policies including health care, reform of immigration and labor laws, abortion, and gay marriage.”

And in a related story: Crazed rightwing shit disturbers have gotten a lot more air time on Cable TV stations.

Think there might be a connection?

This Mother Jones article says:

"Righteous anger is one thing. Manufacturing fear, dare we say terror, is another — and over the past year, we have seen cynical politicians and talk-show demagogues increasingly willing to traffic in it. It's no longer just handfuls of militia types trading overheated conspiracy theories; it's America's most popular cable news network giving gobs of airtime to people who all but advocate armed insurrection. It's the man who is now our newest senator chortling that maybe Barack Obama was born out of wedlock."

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Blogger libhom said...

Most people in this country are angry and resentful, with good reason. Why isn't the left articulating the real reasons people are angry instead of letting the right misdirect the anger?

March 2, 2010 at 7:51 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Completely predictable. These whack jobs come out of the woodwork and organize whenever we have a Democrat in the White House. The more liberal the Democrat is perceived to be (whatever the reality) the more crazy and strident the whack jobs become. That we now have a black president regularly called a socialist by Limbaugh, Beck and their ilk, ensures the whack jobs will be close to critical mass for as long as Obama is in the White House.

I also suspect a bunch of less-than-brilliant guys with guns, paranoid personalities and too much time on their hands because of the jobs drought have gravitated toward these groups. It's an outlet for their anger and resentment, and gives them a feeling of fighting back, being in control, because they can't do anything about the economy/jobs situation and social-political developments they don't like. But they can play war games in the countryside, rile each other up, curse Obama and the socialist conspiracy, and bark at the moon together.

March 3, 2010 at 12:20 AM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Libhom, it's because the left doesn't have power.

March 3, 2010 at 12:21 AM  
Anonymous Carlos said...

And it's all frothed up by Fox news, right wing radio, and irresponsible politicians, who are less than honest.

March 3, 2010 at 2:29 AM  
Blogger Holte Ender said...

Since the day after the 2088 election the Republicans have been hammering the fear and anger message, and all this hate-mongering has filtered down to their extreme base. These people always existed but Bush/Cheney told them what they wanted to hear but now the same Republican party is using them to unsettle the whole country and using poor misguided individuals, like the guy who flew his plane into the IRS building in Austin, to make political points.

March 3, 2010 at 5:42 AM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

Gotta go with SWA's take on this. How many "lefties" are in Congress, for starters? One? Two on a good day? The rest are centrist weenies and corporate puppets. Couple that with spineless Dum leadership, also beholden to their paymasters, et voilà. At least it's entertaining in a trainwreck sort of way.

March 3, 2010 at 7:17 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Libhom: It's a mystery to me too. Democrats, whether centrist or leftwing, have a huge majority right now and they're doing absolutely nothing with it. If they don't stand up and start fighting back and winning the message war, they'll be voted out this November.

SW: Yes, isn't it funny how these wackos were all over the place when Clinton was president. Then they vanished into thin air when Bush took over, and as of last January, they've all materialized again. Curiouser and curiouser...

Democrats and liberals need to learn how to communicate with these "less-than-brilliant guys with guns, paranoid personalities and too much time on their hands." Some of those people are racist sickfucks, but some are just frustrated and need something to lash out at. Conservatives know how to reach out and seduce those people; liberals don't.

Carlos: Yup, many thanks to all the rightwing shouters for whipping up mass hysteria. Those assholes would have been sent to Gitmo if they'd said half of that shit during Dumbya's presidency.

Holte: That's exactly right. The day after the 2008 election, the Republicans hit the ground running. Plan A didn't work (getting elected), so it was time to activate Plan B immediately: Obstruct everything Obama tries to do, and push every Fear and Hate button to whip up the masses.

Randal: True, train wrecks and car accidents are entertaining, in their own sick way.

March 3, 2010 at 12:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually they were very strong during the Reagan era as they believed he was one of them. It was during that era they really thrived Remember the Turner Diaries, ZOG the Zion Jewish takeover conspiracy supported by Pat Robertson, G. Gordon Liddy demonstrating on radio how to kill federal agents who wear vest while calling them "Jack Booted Thugs"? all this lead to the Oklahoma bombings and there are still conspirators out there.

It was always tradition for our Government to go after left wing organizations then right. They pursued the Communist and Doctors without borders more then the Klan and the Nazi's.

Not only have the Government during Reagan/Bush ignored these groups but they also filed friendly briefs defending their rights to free speech, assemble and carry a gun. It changed when hidden video showed federal Agents participating in their armed exercises

When he was AG under Bush 2, John Ashcroft suppressed a major bust of weapons belonging to a white supremacist organization, said to be enough to keep the 82 airborne going for a few months. But the Story got leaked and he had to admit it. Why maybe because he wasn't Arab.

It is sad when private organization like the Southern Poverty Law center has been more effective in fighting and cataloging right wing groups then our own government.


March 3, 2010 at 2:19 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Erik: I never knew much about The Turner Diaries; I didn't know it was written during Reagan's term. I remember Liddy talking about how to shoot federal agents who were wearing a vest. Our government has always gone after leftwing groups -- even peaceful college demonstrators -- ten times more ferociously than Nazi/KKK type groups.

March 3, 2010 at 4:25 PM  
Anonymous Jess said...

Tom, I was very nearly arrested back this last election, because I had the audacity, to get together some of my more liberal neighbors and protest a fund raiser Cheney was at in our neighborhood for old man Mccrankypants. They called the police on us for disturbing the peace.

I spent the afternoon in jail just last year, protesting marriage equality, here in San Francisco, after the haters decided to go all in against those terrible gay people. These right wing groups growing, does not surprise me in the least. I truly believe one of these days there will be an outbreak of violence happening on a regular basis with them.

All the talk about, oh they are pissed at having to pay taxes or this, that or the other is just bullshit. This all amounts to nothing more than, hidden or not so hidden racism, there is a black man holding the office of the president IMO. Where were they all when commander cuckoo bananas was upping the debt, sending military men and women to places they did not need to be? No need to answer, I know it already. Same thing with all the coverage these tools get for having such a small band of miscreants. They get all kinds of news coverage, some even amped up, so it looks like there are more of them than there actually are. Where was the coverage for the peaceful anti war protest many of us attended a few years ago in D.C Again, no need to answer, it is always the squeaky wheel that gets the oil and these morons have all the time in the world to be out there pissing and moaning. If you look at the rallies what do you see? Older aged white men and women, so they can be off work and go to these things. It helps they get bussed in by different groups so they are not spending their own money. I'm with SW, as long as PO is in the WH this will just get worse before it gets better. You know, some old white wrinkly dudes**** are just being persecuted. I say it is beyond time they get a break from all the rest of us stomping on their necks.

****Let me be clear, this is not all of them, just the old man Mccrankypants, Bunning types that hold higher offices. They just feel entitled and they are scaring their constituents in to believing they are. Make them fearful and they will follow or some such nonsense. Here is a linky my friend sent me today showing how the reps are willing to make their constituents fearful and keep them that way.

March 3, 2010 at 5:44 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Jess: Sorry you got arrested. This really highlights the difference between Dumbya's and Obama's administrations. If you protest peacefully against Bush-Cheney or homophobia, you get arrested. If you hang Obama in effigy or carry a sign that says "I'm unarmed. This time," then it's all hunky dory.

I saw that Politico link; I think Bee did a post about it.

March 3, 2010 at 8:05 PM  
Anonymous Jess said...

It's a badge of honor for me Tom. Well behaved women seldom make history, I read that some place :). I go into these civil disobedience things knowing I might get arrested and prepare for it. Now don't laugh, Bee knows this, I actually have a bail fund if necessary. Last year was the first time I have had to use it, but it will no doubt be used in the future.

I have seen that link several places I have visited today. I guess everyone knows now, the reps are all about the fear and keeping us wetting our beds.

March 3, 2010 at 9:05 PM  
Blogger TomCat said...

Great minds indeed, Tom. I agree, SW. The Democratic Party today is well to the right of the Republican Party of the 1960s. The only true leftists there are the progressives.

March 4, 2010 at 1:56 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Jess: "Well behaved women seldom make history" -- probably true. Hope you don't have to use your bail fund, but I can see the value of having one.

TomCat: The scariest part is, maybe in 20 years we'll be looking back and Bush and Cheney as moderate centrist Republicans.

March 4, 2010 at 6:43 PM  

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