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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Tea Bagging for Justice - The American Way


Tea Bagging for Justice - The American Way
Image © Austin Cline
Click for full-sized Image

Conservative hand-wringing over the recent report on domestic, right-wing extremists who might be capable of violence and terrorism has been very interesting. Of course we see the typical sorts of deceptions and evasions, like ignoring how the report was originally commissioned under the Bush administration and how a similar report was issued about left-wing extremists. Under other circumstances such callous disregard for facts would shock the conscience, but it's become little more than par for the course for American conservatives.

Far more interesting is the fact that they are upset at all. Why, one might almost imagine that the report specifically targeted the Republican, conservative base of support in America. Or maybe that's precisely what the report did? After all, we didn't see such outrage from liberal and Democratic groups when the government report on left-wing extremists was issued, did we?

In fact, did you even notice when that earlier report was issued? I might not have noticed this new report on right-wing extremists if conservatives hadn't decided to make such a big stink about it. I suppose we should thank them for investing so much effort into publicizing the threat posed to law, order, and liberty by their own supporters. This is something we should all be reminded about occasionally.

In its very title, the report specifies that it's about "Right-wing Extremism," but as David Neiwert observes conservatives like Michelle Malkin immediately started to cry about how "The Obama DHS Hit Job on Conservatives Is Real". So, is Michelle Malkin admitting that "right-wing extremism" is the same as "conservatives"? I suppose we could be generous and assume that Malkin was simply concerned that people being identified as "right-wing extremists" were actually law-abiding and upstanding members of the conservative community. I could be sympathetic with such concerns.

So, whom might Michelle Malkin be so concerned about getting unjustly tarred with negative labels? Maybe it's the nice boys who are members of "white supremacist and violent antigovernment groups"? Maybe she's worried about the person responsible for "the shooting deaths of three police officers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on 4 April 2009"? Or perhaps it's just the "Anti-Semitic extremists" Malkin and others want to protect from unfair Justice Department labeling.

Government focus on all of these groups has been condemned by Malkin as "a sweeping indictment of conservatives," and I guess she isn't far wrong — at least insofar as the conservatives who matter most are white supremacists, anti-Semites, and cop killers. Obviously it's not true that all conservatives are violent extremists just waiting for an excuse to blow up — or to blow something up — but it's also true that most of the most radical and violent extremists in America are currently on the right-hand side of the spectrum.

In other times and other places the opposite may have been the case, but in contemporary America the threat of violence is most significant from the right. Or have Michelle Malkin and other right-wing mouthpieces forgotten that the worst domestic terrorist attack before 9-11 was perpetrated by right-wing extremists? Have they forgotten that the 9-11 attacks themselves were perpetrated by people acting on behalf of a fundamentally conservative ideology?

The radical Muslims inspired by Osama bin Laden aren't vegetarian tree-huggers, they're patriarchal thugs bent on religious and political totalitarianism. Their complaints about modern western culture mirror the complaints made by conservative evangelical Christians and Republican leaders — that's not a coincidence, but a product of fundamentally similar perspectives on modernity, liberty, and the Enlightenment.

Some conservatives even complained about the DHS targeting tea parties, which the report didn't do. So why did I create the image I did? First, because it's something that conservatives are worried about, and if it worries them then it's worth emphasizing. Second, because one of the consequences of the faux outrage and hyped emotions created by the tea parties is precisely the sort of anger which the DHS report is concerned about. In effect, those behind the tea parties are fertilizing the political soil in ways that will help extremism in the future.

It might not even be inadvertent, either. Remember, the same conservatives most responsible for hyping and promoting the tea bagging parties have also more recently been those hyping and promoting the use of torture against terrorism suspects. They regard depraved acts of torture as something to be proud of, so why expect them to treat the rise of violent extremist groups to be problematic, never mind embarrassing? The conservative reactions to the torture memos is thus important for many reasons.

It tells us, for example, about their real attitudes are towards barbaric violence being inflicted on those they dislike and just how much respect they have for human rights, international treaties, and the basic rule of law. All of these attitudes have far-reaching consequences in many other related issues, including the growth of violent extremist groups. We can't treat these various issues as isolated and completely distinct; on the contrary, they are all part of a larger whole and must be considered as a whole. Where, exactly, are these conservatives trying to go and what means will they be willing to employ in order to get there?

13 comments:

  1. Comrade Clinenfeldersteinbergdorfmetzgereisternfarb:

    Look, comsympboy, it's Michelle Melikesomelongdongsolong'sit'swhite's privilege to root for those boys who would consign her and her hubby to the "Furnace of KKKristian Love" ride at the Aryan Flags over (your state's name here)" theme park. BTW, is it just me or has anyone else noticed that Michelle is looking more batshit crazy (if such a thing is possible) of late? I mean somebody ought to call, e-mail or twitter her and tell her that something about all that shrieking seems to be making her look less "hottish" and more "haggish" (no, that is not the delectestable Scottish national dish) every day.

    As for you, my islamunistojewboymanlove friend, your days are numbered. I've been going door to door looking for your ass (or that ratty old Prius that you like so much). I started in Fort Kent, ME and I only 132,479,512 more househols to check. You do work from home, right?

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  2. It's like this Comrade Klinski. The GOP has been asleep at the wheel for the last 5-6 thousand miles and wake up to a pile of scrap metal where there party used to be.
    They open their trusty tool box and find 5/8inch wrenches where 13mm are needed. Yankee screwdrivers instead of 18v screwguns, etc.. So they are gonna take a while to get back on the road. Remember too, none of them with a double digit IQ or better believe any of this shit. They are a cynical lot. They believe in unbridled power for the plutocracy, and the stupidity of their base. Nothing else.

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  3. moondancer:

    You a carpenter? Damn few people know what a Yankee Screwdriver is, never mind how to use one. I've got two or three of those, plus two of those slick little Yankee Push Drills. 'Course I also got 5 cordless drill/drivers, 2 Milwaukee Magnums, a 1/2" Milwaukee RA drill and about 4 or 5 others. Talk about "enhanced interrogation". I just show those puppies to the vic--, I mean "unlawful combatant" and they shit themselves. No, that's not "psychological torture", dammit! It's a well known managment negotiation technique called "Painting their pain". Oh, yeah, I got an airless sprayer too. Do you know that the pressure from one of those can drive really nasty chemicals like 2-4-D right through your skin and into your blood stream? It is so cool!

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  4. democommie-

    Yes, but not practicing. I even collect old tools. Not too much the trendy planes, mostly hand forged stuff. I got a lot of Milwaukee stuff, a couple of Jap thingys, and some Bosch stuff too. Most of my hand tools predate brands and I like it that way.
    Froes and adzes. Not subtle, but attention getting during renditions. Funny, I have a puppy named "vic--".

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  5. They're hypocritical self-absorbed idiots. Animal rights extremists who deface or damage a building are "terrorists" (because they threaten the almighty corporation$$$). But anti-gay or racist bigots who threaten and even kill people? How dare we speak out against them and their "right" to defend tradition and their "deeply held beliefs".


    So much for the pro-life, pro-family faction.

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  6. Funny you should say that, Buffy. A coupla years ago – well after 9/11, but also several months after the Southern Poverty Law Center released a report stating that there were literally thousands of racists extremists in the U.S. military, getting hard-core urban combat training in Baghdad and Fallujah – the FBI declared that “environmental extremists” presented the “gravest threat” to U.S. security; even graver, presumably, than al Qaeda, but more importantly, even graver than … rightwing nutjob extremists, like those white supremacists who were getting hard-core urban combat training courtesy of the U.S. armed forces. And there was no outrage. None. Zip. No one from the Sierra Club went crazy. There were no outraged representatives of the Audubon Society on Fox News. No one from Portland or Seattle even said a peep. They didn’t even spill their overpriced coffee.

    Huh. Whaddaya know about that.

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  7. Cline, I get sick of having to explain to you almost every week just how wrong you are. Will you just lay off, already?

    The reason why this racist attack on white racist attack squads is so threatening is because shadowy crazed right-wingers who might go on shooting rampages or exploding bombs at events like the Olympics and this year's baseball All-Star Game -- (whoops! maybe I let that one out too soon...) -- are how the GCCCR gets things done.

    Who would be afraid of the right wing if not for them? I mean, a declining voting bloc made mostly of people whose IQs are in the two figures, whose remaining power is in the states that used to compose the Confederacy (or would have joined in 1860 if they weren't all fulla Injuns) doesn't have much clout. The rest of the country would just laugh at us!

    But if some of us might be ready to spray semi-automatic weapon fire on a peace march, or to plant Claymore mines we stole from the military munitions depot before we were mustered out on bad conduct grounds in the dome of the state legislature just before they're going to vote on legalising gay marriage -- (damn, I think I spoke too soon again) -- then we are to be FEARED! And if the Hard Left majority fears is, it's more likely to do what we want. Whatever that is.

    Just you keep guessing, lefty majority, and DO IT! Maybe you'll do more than we even dreamt of. It's like self-censorship by the media. When journalists limit themselves, they print even less inconvenient truth than they would have if there was a government goon looking over their shoulders. It's so great! But I digress...

    The angry, patriotic, potentially deadly Right NEEDS to have a legion of potential killers functioning freely. Attempts by the government to publicise that -- not that we think they're ever going to investigate -- only gets in the way. That's dangerous!

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  8. Bukko, as a fellow aussie I totally agree without the hard fat foliculary challenged men of the KKGOP who would vote as they were told. The relgious leader who used to whip them into shape are too busy snorting coke of rent boys.

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  9. And to think, yoyo, all we got down here to match that is the Exclusive Brethren and wispy suburban megachurches like Hillsong. Where are the bonzer blokes who slaughtered the native race and built this land?!?

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  10. Bukko in Australia:

    Look, like torture, Reichwingnut demagoguery works! That's all it needs to be right!!

    yoyo:

    Is a "rent boy" a gigolo, a "nancy boy" or both. And do they have hourly, daily or (how to put this delicately) "entry fee" rates?

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  11. And to think, yoyo, all we got down here to match that is the Exclusive Brethren and wispy suburban megachurches like Hillsong. Where are the bonzer blokes who slaughtered the native race and built this land?!?we do have those fine bigots called salt shakers who thought the bushfires were due to liberalisation of abortion - i like the way those fellows think, they'd be up for a bit of godly native slaughter (as long as it was post delivery).
    Is a "rent boy" a gigolo, a "nancy boy" or both. And do they have hourly, daily or (how to put this delicately) "entry fee" rates?A rent boy for the godly manly man is a thing of beaty, able to provide that all improtant relief for the closetted and crack cocaine on demand. It also helps if they take plate contributions.

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  12. Yoyo, I was heartened by the people who blamed the bushfires on the Greenies. After all, if those eco-terrorists didn't try to prevent logging of native forests in the Great Dividing Range, then Oz could have made further progress to hold its top honour as the most treeless continent.

    What part of "YOU CAN'T HAVE A FOREST FIRE IF YOU'VE ALREADY CUT DOWN ALL THE FORESTS" don't you understand, tree-huggers? When I saw quotes in The Age from a person who said he'd like to shoot Greens just like he'd like to shoot looters who came after the fighters, it brought a tear to my eye to realise that some here have the spirit of the American Republican Party.

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  13. Make that "came after the fires" not the "fighters." It's just that when I think about angry ockers blasting Greenies, it brings out my fighting spirit.

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We'll try dumping haloscan and see how it works.