Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Yup. The Other Side is Paying Attention

Yup. The Other Side is Paying Attention

Right on schedule.
The Far Right's First 100 Days: Getting More Extreme by the Day

Sometime back in February, about three weeks into Barack Obama's 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 more than 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.

Its numbers are up, its talk is turning ugly, and it's not unthinkable that we could be in for a wave of domestic terrorism unseen since the mid-1990s.

I've been meaning for a while to talk about what changed after the inauguration, and why, and what it means to the country going forward. Our observance of the end of the first 100 days seems to be a good time to do that.

The DHS report laid out the history and the current drivers in straight factual terms and made some safe predictions about what might make the situation worse. But the report stopped short of taking the next step.

(Interestingly, the nightmare scenario for most right-wing watchers -- a white-hot backlash in the wake of another major terrorist attack -- appears nowhere in the DHS assessment. Perhaps they didn't want to put ideas into paranoid right-wing heads.)

We need to look at what long experience has taught us about the past escalation patterns of right-wing rhetoric and violence and figure out where we currently stand within those patterns.

We actually know quite a bit about this. Most national agencies tasked with keeping tabs on political and religious extremist groups look for specific signs that help them sort out who's just talking the talk and who's actually getting ready to walk the walk.

The criteria vary from agency to agency; and our collective insights into these patterns changes and deepens every year. But there are some generally accepted principles -- and applying them to the current state of conservatism gives a clearer view what's changed in the past 100 days, what the shift really means and what could be coming next if the right keeps going down this road.

I want to make it clear: The DHS report emphasizes that there's no specific evidence that any particular group is planning any particular action.

At the same time, what's equally clear from the pattern analysis is that the upshift we heard was the right wing going into overdrive -- the speed at which talk about revolution (which has been going on for years, but intensified after 2006) accelerates into concrete preparation for action.

Here's why:
Go read the rest, you rightwing extremist! There's quite a bit.

Oh, and here's the blurb on the author:
Sara Robinson is a fellow at the Campaign for America's Future and a consulting partner with the Cognitive Policy Works in Seattle. One of the few trained social futurists in North America, she has blogged on authoritarian and extremist movements at Orcinus since 2006 and is a founding member of Group News Blog.
What the hell is a "trained social futurist"? Does this mean she predicts the future if you throw her an occasional herring?

Wait until you read tomorrow's Quote of the Day!

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