Headlining a National Rifle Association rally in Houston, Glenn “Too Crazy Even for Fox News” Beck compared New York City’s Jewish mayor Michael Bloomberg to a Nazi (complete with a Photoshopped picture of him wearing an armband and giving a fascist salute).
Also in Houston the NRA elected James Porter, an Alabama attorney, as its new president. According to AP:
Porter has called President Barack Obama a “fake president,” Attorney General Eric Holder “rabidly un-American” and the U.S. Civil War the “War of Northern Aggression.” On Friday, he repeated his call for training every U.S. citizen in the use of standard military firearms, to allow them to defend themselves against tyranny.
Can anyone doubt that the NRA is now an extremist organization and that politicians who appear at their events are aiding and abetting extremism?
I’m old enough to remember when it was young leftwing whippersnappers like me who talked about preparing for armed revolution against a repressive state. There was at least one movie in 1970 based on the idea. Except for a few nutcases, it rarely went beyond fantasy. What’s frightening is that on the contemporary far Right, it’s something more than a fantasy.
It didn’t surprise me in the least a few years ago to learn that Mike Vanderboegh, a far-right blogger who advocated attacks on local Democratic party headquarters and Congressional district offices after Democrats in Congress approved health care reform legislation, was a former activist in the far-left Young Socialist Alliance and the Progressive Labor Party. I suspect there are others who have undergone a similar not-so-shocking transformation.
According to a recent poll, 29 percent of registered American voters (including 44 percent of Republicans) believe “In the next few years, an armed revolution might be necessary in order to protect our liberties.” Take it for what it’s worth, but even if the actual percentages are half of that, it’s still pretty alarming.
Ed Kilgore at Washington Monthly wonders where the voices of reason on the Right are nowadays.
If William F. Buckley could “excommunicate” Robert Welch and the John Birch Society from the conservative movement back in the 1960s, today’s leaders on the Right can certainly do the same to those who not only share many of that Society’s views, but are willing to talk about implementing them by killing cops and soldiers.