When I first heard about the DHS report regarding threats from right-wing extremists, a few things occurred to me -- as they must have, I'd guess, to anyone who stops and thinks:
- Government reports are generated very slowly.
- Any major report coming out early in the Obama administration's tenure must have started in Bush's.
- One might expect that there'd be a similar report on left-wing extremism, especially assuming it was in the Bush administration that the process began.
- Despite the above, the Right Wing Screamers will go nuts.
If the DHS is about identifying and responding to threats, it would be malfeasance not to consider all possibilities. Over the years, there have been incidents from extremists at both ends of the spectrum (although, it must be said, none on the left have had the killing power of those on the right. McVeigh and Poplowski have no leftie counterparts, kill-count-wise). There are crazies everywhere. And, despite the howls from the right, the report was talking about crazies, not your average reality-averse but generally calm and couched conservative. Paranoid?
What's different at the moment, and unprecedented as far as I can see, is the extent to which violent vitriol is coming from national media, in the form of Fox News (sic) and the entirely unbalanced (in both meanings of the term: insanity, and lacking counterweight) RWS.™ It's a deadly combination: well-armed crazy people plus nationally ranked cheerleaders, constantly telling them "You are threatened from within, people are coming to round you up, take your guns, put you in concentration camps. You must rise up and resist this threat to our very survival as a country, to everything you hold dear. A Nazi/Communist/Socialist/Muslim/Black Guy is going to destroy you. Take to the streets! Set him on fire. Drive a stake through his heart."
Give a guy a gun, whisper in his ear. Not a formula for domestic tranquility.
Have I said anything untrue? Might it be a concern for law enforcement? Aren't there very recent examples?
[Update, 4/17: like my first commenter below, Pat Robertson, that paragon of religious nuttiness, misconstrues the whole point of the DHS report, and suggests his followers jam up the DHS phone lines. Brilliant, no? Disable the hotline by which actual America-protecting citizens might warn about a, y'know, bomb threat. Good going, Pat. I guess if the call doesn't get through and the bomb goes off, it'll be your god getting revenge on gays, right? This is what we're up against.]