Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Homeland Security and the Right: When in Doubt, Build a Straw Man

The Department of Homeland Security is warning law enforcement officials about a rise in "rightwing extremist activity," saying the economic recession, the election of America's first black president and the return of a few disgruntled war veterans could swell the ranks of white-power militias…A footnote attached to the report by the Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis defines "rightwing extremism in the United States" as including not just racist or hate groups, but also groups that reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority….Federal Agency Warns of Radicals on Right, Audrey Hudson and Eli Lake, Washington Times, 4/14/09

Shades of Janet Reno! This report, released the day before nationwide Tea Party protests are to begin against fabulous federal deficits and horrendous taxes, especially at state and local levels, is a naked political ploy. It's the kind of thing you'd expect from the Czar's secret police in 1903. It says as much about the plans of the Obama administration to refute and defeat the opposition as anything else that the new administration has done. Create a straw man, the spectre of right wing terrorists. Raise the fear level against a legitimate, 1st amendment protest about your policies, protests led by middle class Americans, most of whom had never dreamed of participating in political expression in their lives.

Shades of Lyndon Johnson's response to middle class parents demonstrating against his sending their children to Vietnam! Get out those cameras and enemies lists! But, be honest. It’s not like that ancient peace movement at all. This protest is directed against domestic policy widely perceived as grossly irresponsible, concealed from the public (see the Fed’s refusal to reveal what the money it’s printing is being used for). This is shades of something else altogether.

Shades of Louis XVI….


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