Right Wing Extremists Validate Concerns About Right Wing Extremists

Last April, the Department of Homeland Security published a report entitled: Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment (pdf). The report generated significant controversy amongst conservatives whose complaint seemed to be that the report was referring to them. At the time I wrote

So why is Malkin, and the rest of the conservative cabal, defending these dangerous malcontents? Is it because they support criminality in pursuit of a radical conservative agenda? Or is it because they see themselves in the descriptions in the report? Either way it is clear that that they are acting as advocates for these repugnant cranks. They are apparently offended that the government would seek to protect citizens from domestic terrorists like Timothy McVeigh and Eric Rudolph.

Now we can add the name Scott Roeder to the list. He is the suspect in custody for the murder of Dr. George Tiller. All signs point to the fact that this crime might have been prevented if proper attention were being paid to the potential risk posed by someone known to be dangerous. And that was the purpose of the DHS report – to direct attention to risks and dangerous people and groups. The report was prescient in its specificity:

Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a
single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.


Paralleling the current national climate, rightwing extremists during the 1990s exploited a variety of social issues and political themes to increase group visibility and recruit new members. Prominent among these themes were the militia movement’s opposition to gun control efforts, criticism of free trade agreements (particularly those with Mexico), and highlighting perceived government infringement on civil liberties as well as white supremacists’ longstanding exploitation of social issues such as abortion, inter-racial crimes, and same-sex marriage.

It is abundantly sad when events prove that ominous warnings were valid and ought to have been heeded. Perhaps the worst example of such behavior was the Bush administration’s neglect of warnings about Al Qaeda, including a National Intelligence Estimate entitled, “Bin Laden Determined to Stike in the U.S.” The knowledge that people with partisan political axes to grind feverishly seek to set such warnings aside compounds the sadness and shock.

Republicans like to pretend that they are the protectors of law and order. But when it comes to their defense of extremists on their side, they are nothing but enablers.


One thought on “Right Wing Extremists Validate Concerns About Right Wing Extremists

  1. Are you talking about Tiller ” The Baby Killer”?

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