FLAMEFANNING

Posted in Rants on April 7th, 2009 by Ed

I was going to post something to the following effect back in January but I didn't. I wish I had, as it might have made me look prescient.

This is going to be a long four-to-eight years. If you're on the bunker-dwelling fringe of the right, I can only imagine the extent to which you believe your own personal endtimes have arrived. The election of Obama must be seen by militiamen as an angry bull sees a waving red flag – liberal, black, "foreign-sounding" name, insufficiently Christian (or secretly Muslim), fan of the U.N., in favor of gun control legislation…well, it's no wonder that some of these people think we have elected the antichrist. When the left is out of power, they do two things: whine and scheme to get back in power. On the right, the preferred option of 99% of conservatives is to whine. The remaining 1% start loading the guns and picking targets.

During the Clinton years we had the Waco siege, Timothy McVeigh, the Olympic bombing (by a pro-life extremist), and a revitalization of the neo-Nazi and nationalist right. In the past year we've had a man go on a shooting spree to kill as many liberals as possible while another murdered three police officers because he was convinced that Obama was coming to take his guns away. Think it's unfair to pick out these "isolated" examples? Fine. Find me one example of a liberal snapping and rushing off to "kill as many conservatives as possible until the cops kill me." Go on. I'll wait.

Republicans get elected and the worst that happens to America is some shrill rhetoric, empty threats to move to Canada, and the occasional public protest. Democrats get elected and the right instantly goes over the edge; we get Federal courthouse bombings and shooting sprees. These incidents, I'm afraid, won't be the only ones of their kind during the Obama years. I worry that we're going to have another Oklahoma City. I worry that we're going to see more unhinged white guys who dabble in neo-Nazi circles snapping and going on shooting sprees. I worry that someone's going to take a shot at the President. I worry because I think all of these things are virtually assured to happen in the next four or eight years.

My Instaputz colleague BT opined that people like Glenn Beck and Wayne LaPierre of the NRA have blood on their hands as a result of their shameless scaremongering and willingness to fan the flames of far-right hysteria. I'm of two minds. On one hand, I think Mr. Pittsburgh Cop Killer was getting his paranoia from much harder sources than the mainstream media and the NRA – news reports indicate that he frequented white supremacist web haven Stormfront and numerous conspiracy fringe sites. I doubt that the plain ol' conservative right was strident enough for him.

On the other hand, it's not unreasonable to accuse the conservative punditry of irresponsibility at best and incitement at worst. Listen to Michelle Bachmann's insane ass:

And the real concern is that there are provisions for what I would call re-education camps for young people, where young people have to go and get trained in a philosophy that the government puts forward and then they have to go to work in some of these politically correct forums.

Now, does that sound like a responsible thing for a Member of Congress to say when fully aware of the fact that there are extremists with a history of violence who are currently at the end of their psychological ropes? Is it responsible for Glenn Beck to make excuses for spree killers by pointing out that "political correctness" can drive any reasonable person to go on a rampage? Is it prudent for the FRC to blame "the secular media" or for Tom DeLay to blame the teaching of evolution for the Columbine killings?

The punditry seems to be of the opinion that domestic terrorism and spree shootings are the inevitable consequence of conservatives not getting what they want. And in every case, liberals drive the individual in question to do it. Right wingers, of course, bear no responsibility for their constant, hysterical fearmongering and willful dissemenation of the kind of paranoid misinformation that pushes all of the militiaman buttons.

This is going to keep happening. If people like Bachmann and Beck had any decency they'd tell their meatheaded followers "We all hate Obama, but for god's sake, killing people isn't the answer you morons." I won't hold my breath. If anything they seem to get off on their own ability to incite people to violence. They understand that their audience already sees the world through the scope of a rifle; a Democrat in power is nothing but a great opportunity for turning words into "actions."