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Tuesday, May 07, 2013

If the Right Doesn't Like Being Suspected of Terrorism, They Should Stop Talking Like Terrorists

Tea Partier with sign reading, 'We came unarmed (this time)'
I’m not sure how to start this one, but I know where I want to go with it. So let’s just jump right in.

Associated Press: FBI officials said Monday they foiled a terrorist attack being planned in a small western Minnesota town, but they offered no details about the exact targets of the attack _ or the motive of the man accused of having a cache of explosives and weapons in a mobile home.

The FBI said "the lives of several local residents were potentially saved" with the arrest of Buford Rogers, 24, who made his first appearance Monday in U.S. District Court in St. Paul on one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Rogers, of Montevideo, was arrested Friday after authorities searched a mobile home he’s associated with and found Molotov cocktails, suspected pipe bombs and firearms, according to a court affidavit.

ABC News’ Matthew Jaffe reports via Twitter that the FBI told him Buford is a "militia type" -- meaning one of those rightwing extremist domestic terrorists we’ve all been assured are imaginary. And that’s enough to trigger a whine from the right. The wingnut blog Jammie Wearing Fool would like to inform you that the real victim here is the Tea Party.


We’re just applying the mainstream media standard for reportage here. C’mon, a guy name Buford with a so-called assault rifle living in a trailer park? Why he has to be a tea party guy, right? He meets every possible stereotype. Of course we have no evidence to support that assertion, but that hasn’t stopped the left from wild speculation any time there’s a terror incident or mass shooting.
Yeah, no evidence of terrorism -- other than the FBI saying they’ve stopped a terrorist attack. How completely irresponsible of the lamestream media to repeat the things they’re told by law enforcement. No one’s actually saying the guy’s Tea Party, they’re saying he’s a rightwing nutjob. Granted, those would seem to be the same thing at first glance -- and most often are -- but it’s possible to be one without being the other. Think vanilla and French vanilla.

But how whiny is it that JWF feels the need to jump right in immediately and proclaim media victimhood? This seems a bit like a hangover from the Boston bombing. When news of that broke, a lot of people -- responsibly, if you ask me -- warned not to jump to conclusions. It could’ve been an Islamic terrorist or could’ve been a rightwing extremist; we didn’t know.

And that was all it took.The rightwing blogosphere went nuts with victim cards. It turned out that acknowledging the very real possibility that the bombing was the work of a rightwinger was verboten by wingnut political correctness. And now they’re getting into niggling and pointless little distinctions; yes, the would-be mass-murderer was likely a rightwing fanatic -- but don’t you dare say he was part of the Tea Party!

Because... Well, I’m not sure about the because. Just because.

Consider how silly this all is. Imagine that this was the first rightwing domestic terrorist ever. Imagine that such an animal had never been seen in the wild before. But imagine the Republican Party and the Tea Party were exactly the same. They’ve been openly hostile to the very idea of government. They’ve been obsessed with guns and the need for the ability to kill members of the police, military, and government (what do you think "fighting tyranny" would actually look like, after all?). And, while talking about the need to kill tyrants, they also accuse everything they don’t agree with of being "tyranny." For chrissakes, curly fluorescent lightbulbs are supposedly tyranny.

So you’ve got people who hate government and want to kill tyrants. And these are the same people who see tyranny under every rock. Polling shows that nearly half of all Republican voters think armed revolution "might be necessary" in the near future. A reasonable person wouldn’t be out of line to wonder when all this tyrant-fighting was going to start and it wouldn’t be unreasonable to think it could be any second now. And when they hear about a terrorist attack with an unknown motive, it’s not unreasonable to wonder if maybe all this tyrant-killing has finally gotten under way.

In other words; if you don’t want people to assume you’re a terrorist, don’t spend most of your time talking like a goddam terrorist. If you’re spending a lot of time talking about going to war with the American government and murdering and assassinating your fellow Americans, don’t whine when people assume you’re serious. And now that some rightwing nutjob is almost certainly an honest-to-goodness, for-real terrorist, we’ve got the right whining that Buford is not being classified as the correct kind of rightwing nutjob. Maybe it might be a good time to give it a rest, OK? Maybe turn off the victim machine for a bit, because it’s finally blown a logical gasket.

But if being called a terrorist bothers the right so much, maybe using a threat to use deadly violence any second now as a mantra isn’t the best way to approach politics. Maybe the best way to avoid being accused of terrorism is to stop talking like you’re a terrorist.


[photo via HowieInSeattle]

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