Tragedy at the Holocaust Museum: Stand Up To Terror. "As I've noted before, groups heading toward major acts of violence always inch up to it by degrees." Egged on by right-wing hatemongers like Rush Limbaugh.
Eight episodes of right-wing extremist violence in four and a half months. We haven't gone four weeks since February without some poor guy -- always with a long history of mental illness, usually with a record of military service and/or domestic violence, and invariably jacked up on a toxic cocktail of white male privilege; us-versus-them enemy seeking; fury at women, blacks and/or Jews; and a belief that the world as he knew it was ending unless he took up arms -- taking out his gun and offing innocent Americans in a suicidal bid for glory.
For the record: This is not business as usual. True: there have always been occasional events, usually dismissed by the corporate media as "isolated incidents," the work of "lone wolf shooters" acting for reasons all their own. But you have to go back a long, long way in American history before you come to a place where you find incidents like this happening an average of once every two weeks. And the chattering classes are finally beginning to realize what those of us who've been faithfully watching the right wing for years were telling them a year ago: there's nothing isolated about any of this.
This is how terrorism begins.
The Far Right's First 100 Days: Shifting Into Overdrive
Somewhere back in February, about three weeks into the Obama Administration, everybody on the left suddenly noticed that there was something different going on with the conservatives. The outrageous screeds and paranoid delusions sounded pretty much as they always had -- but there was a new fury behind them, a strident urgency that hadn't been there before, and a very audible shift of the gears in right-wing behavior and rhetoric. None of this came as a surprise to veteran right-wing watchers -- we'd been predicting a bad backlash since the 2006 election -- but three months into the new administration, it's increasingly hard to ignore the fact that this ominous new trend is taking on a momentum of its own.
On April 7, the Department of Homeland Security ratified some of those observations. Fueled by bone-deep racism, an unnatural terror of liberal government, frustration over the economic downturn, and fears about America's loss of world standing, they said, the militant right wing is indeed rising again. Their numbers are up, their talk is turning ugly, and it's not unthinkable that we could be in for a wave of domestic terrorism unseen since the mid-90s.