Thursday, April 16, 2009


So the day before the Tea Parties Homeland Security released a report on Right Wing Extremism.

The report has some... oddities.
John Hinderaker of Powerline has the story :
Of course, there are crazies of all stripes, and it's possible that a small group of "right wingers" could pose a terrorist threat. In principle, there is nothing wrong with assessing such threats from whatever direction they may come. Still, this report is an odd document. It is almost entirely unmoored to any empirical reality and appears to be heavily influenced by the political views of its (unidentified) authors. This is the central theme of the report:

The DHS/Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) has no specific information that domestic rightwing terrorists are currently planning acts of violence, but rightwing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues. The economic downturn and the election of the first African American president present unique drivers for rightwing radicalization and recruitment.

The whole point of the report is that "right wing" extremism is undergoing a "resurgence" as leaders of extremist groups take advantage of the down economy and the Obama administration to recruit new members. Weirdly, however, the report makes no effort to document any such increased recruitment or extremist activity of any sort.

I'm sure it's just an innocent omission, and I'm sure the timing is just a coincidence.

And it's not like the report uses such broad strokes that it describes the "extremists" in a way that doesn't distinguish them from -well- normal political opposition.

Millions of Americans--not just "rightwing extremists"--are concerned about the administration's positions on immigration and many other issues. Note that wherever possible, the authors slip race into the discussion, as with the reference to "expansion of social programs to minorities." I'm not aware of a single social program that the Obama administration has proposed to "expand to minorities." But the authors' assumption is, apparently, that anyone who opposes the expansion of social programs must be a racist. Once again we see the assertion that right wing extremists are "galvanized" and are "leveraging" these issues as "drivers for recruitment." But is recruitment up, down, or stable? The report doesn't say, and its authors evidently don't know.

Hmmm withholding information, distortion, fear mongering?

It's almost like it's a vague screed with no informational content, save an attempt to label opposition to government plans as extremist.

Nah.... there's no connection

I mean if there were, then people in power, people in government would be trying to link the Tea Parties with some sort of fringe.

Other House Democratic leaders took a different tack: One senior aide has been circulating a document to the media that debunks the effort as one driven by corporate lobbyists and attended by neo-Nazis...

In addition, the tea parties are “not really all about average citizens,” the document continues, saying neo-Nazis, militias, secessionists and racists are attending them.

Oh... So if you're one of the more than 300,000 that attended, or one of those that thinks our government is spending too much, then the House Democratic leaders think you're all "neo-Nazis, militias, secessionists and racists."

No connection with the DHS report. I'm sure.

I mean it's not like the president is personally offended by this movement, and it's not like very powerful corporate and media groups are moving to protect his interests.

There was a long discussion about whether CNBC has become too conservative and is beating up on Obama too much.

One topic under the microscope, our insider said, was on-air CNBC editor Rick Santelli's rant two months ago about staging a "Chicago Tea Party" to protest the president's bailout programs -- an idea that spawned tax protest tea parties in other big cities, infuriating the White House.

Hmm... just a coincidence. I'm sure.

It's not like some members of the Mass Media went to these events with a specific ax to grind.

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