I have not been able to load the Washington Times article about the DHS report that has the righties in a state of free fall, but this commentary by David Neiwert at Crooks and Liars is quite instructive (emphasis in original):
My my my. The right, led by Michelle Malkin, is up in arms over the Department of Homeland Security’s internal intelligence report on right-wing extremism and its post-Obama resurgence.
Malkin’s headline wails:
“The Obama DHS Hit Job on Conservatives Is Real”
So, I have a question for Malkin: Are you saying that mainstream conservatives are now right-wing extremists?
Because, you know, the report — which in fact is perfectly accurate in every jot and tittle — couldn’t be more clear. It carefully delineates that the subject of its report is “rightwing extremists,” “domestic rightwing terrorist and extremist groups,” “terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks,” “white supremacists,” and similar very real threats described in similar language.
Nothing about conservatives. The word never appears in the report.
Because, you know, we always thought there was a difference between right-wing extremists and mainstream conservatives too. My new book, The Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right, does explain that the distance between them has in fact shrunk considerably, thanks to the help of people like Malkin.
Let’s see how others in the conservative blogosphere are reacting.
Pamela Geller screams that the White House is “criminaliz[ing] patriots, conservatives and lovers of freedom.”
As far as RedState is concerned, there is no such thing as right-wing extremism (emphasis mine):
Now, setting aside the obvious question of a federal department focusing on supposed “rightwing” extremism as opposed to that of the left wing (see, e.g., the likes of ACORN, William Ayers, gay activists targeting Mormons and others supporting marriage legislation, leftist groups threatening disruption of the “tea parties,” etc…), the paragraph is dripping with the all-too-common false characterization of conservatives as racist and “hate-oriented.”
This is – without doubt – an intentional, willful effort to connect belief in federalism, skepticism of Washington, respect for the role of state and local government, and all other variations of limited government conservatism directly to extremism, to racism, to “hate,” and to generally marginalize conservatives as “right wing” extremists. It is so blatant, that the Obama Administration felt it necessary to distance itself from the report ever-so-slightly by saying the President is not focused on politics.
Poligazette has an amusing post about a Texas House resolution being pushed by Gov. Rick Perry (emphasis mine):
Texas Governor Rick Perry ‘joined state Rep. Brandon Creighton and sponsors of House Concurrent Resolution (HCR) 50 in support of states’ rights under the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution,’ Drudge reports.
“I believe that our federal government has become oppressive in its size, its intrusion into the lives of our citizens, and its interference with the affairs of our state,” Gov. Perry said. “That is why I am here today to express my unwavering support for efforts all across our country to reaffirm the states’ rights affirmed by the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. I believe that returning to the letter and spirit of the U.S. Constitution and its essential 10th Amendment will free our state from undue regulations, and ultimately strengthen our Union.”
Perry continued: “Millions of Texans are tired of Washington, DC trying to come down here to tell us how to run Texas.”
Yes, and only just think! All of this growing oppressiveness in size, intrusion into citizens’ personal lives, and interference with local affairs has happened in less than three months!
Ed Morrissey asserts that “[t]he DHS fails to provide any specifics at all, preferring instead to smear half of the country or more as kooks for criticizing the government’s handling of the economy.” Unless Ed believes that half of the country or more are cleaning out gun shows and stockpiling rifles and guns because Barack Obama is going to take everyone’s guns away, he should perhaps rethink what type of individuals and groups this report is referencing.
There is a lot of reality-based commentary on the DHS report and on the mainstream conservative response to our government’s concern about right-wing extremism, but I will save that for another post.