The DHS Outrage. If the Shoe Fits…
It’s been a busy couple of weeks on the Fauxrage Watch, but there’s no rest for either the wicked or the easily amused. Today’s edition comes from the continuing outburst of indignation over a Department of Homeland Security report (download the .pdf) which warned law enforcement groups about potential “right wing extremists” who may be planning mayhem on the home front. At the risk of being labeled (yet again) some sort of far Left sympathizer, I feel compelled to point out the likely intentional misreading of this, the obvious fauxrage and a brief lesson from the school of “what goes around, comes back around again.”
First, two disclaimers regarding both the title and the banner. For the title, the phrase “if the shoe fits” is generally taken to mean that you’re referring to the person who is offended. (“Who are you calling stupid!?” “Hey, if the shoe fits…”) Not in this case. The point here is that if a label offends you, perhaps you should stop to check and see if that label was really meant to apply to you before you fly off the handle. The shoe in question might have been meant for somebody else.
As to the banner, why is this a case of Obama Derangement Syndrome and not DHS Derangement Syndrome? Because the winner of this edition of the Fauxrage Follies is none other than Michelle Malkin, who cleverly titles her personal piece of pestilence, Obama DHS hit job on conservatives is real. Congratulations, Michelle. Enjoy your award. (Please see the full spread at Memeorandum for the rest of the enraged, offended mob.
So what is it in this report that has the usual list of suspects up in arms? You can download the report or browse the sites yourself for the full measure of atrocity and insult these poor paragons of Right wing fortitude have endured, but here are just a few snippets from the DHS poison pen.
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.
“It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single-issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration,”
The possible passage of new restrictions on firearms and the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks.
They also mention the tendency towards additional unrest during times of economic hardship. In order to argue against this you would have to believe that such incidents don’t rise during recessions and high unemployment. (Obviously, they do.) You would have to think that either white supremecy groups don’t exist or that they couldn’t be exercised by the election of a black president. It defies belief.
What excuse is provided for this discontinuity? That the DHS didn’t provide specific instances or of known threats currently in progress. Really? That’s your reason? So if they do know of credible plans in progress, they should send them out where the media might get hold of them? And even if not, might they not begin monitoring such groups more closely at a time like this? It boggles the mind.
The real kicker is the horrible “slight” done to veterans. (And yes, I am one, thanks. And you’re welcome.) Here’s our good friend Ed Morrissey at Hot Air on this hot button issue:
Gee, it could lead? What evidence does DHS have of this? Oh, yeah, Timothy McVeigh was a veteran … and that’s it. I’m not joking:
That could be a somewhat compelling element if McVeigh actually was the only one. Unfortunately, only a few hours after he wrote these remarks, I was sitting in on Ed’s daily show when Audrey Hudson of the Washington Times unexpectedly stopped by. (Audrey penned her own column on these atrocities today.) It was Ms. Hudson who helpfully pointed out that her background research indicated roughly two hundred cases of veterans who engaged in such violent, criminal activity.
She’s absolutely correct to point out that 200 is a minuscule number compared to the millions of veterans we have. But the issue remains. This isn’t a slam against veterans, thank you. It’s a sad fact that some people who return from combat suffer from PTSD or other lingering effects, may suffer economic hardship, drug problems, and generally have extensive weapons training and experience in combat. This makes them extremely tempting recruitment targets for some of the most violent fringe groups. Why on Earth would the DHS not be monitoring these hate groups to see if they seem to be targeting any veterans?
We could go on, but the bottom line to this is quite simple. You’re all offended because the report used the phrase “right wing” in it. Well guess what? There are only two wings handy for such references unless you’ve got a third hand the rest of us didn’t get in on. If liberal groups that support gay rights, civil rights for blacks etc. are referred to as “Left wing” groups, what would you call groups that target and kill gays and blacks?
Unfortunately they pick up the term Right wing. And that’s extreme Right wing. Do any of you think of yourselves as extremists? No? Then they’re not talking about you. Now stop and think back on how many times you’ve made reference to fringe Left wing groups like ALF and ELF and the rest of the whack jobs. Did you feel bad about saying Left wing then? Don’t flinch. I’ve seen pretty much all of you use the phrase and hear it on a daily basis. Welcome to the party. Now some of these groups are in the spotlight and you get to enjoy the same broad brush your friends on the Left are constantly painted with.
And while you’re all busy dismissing the “one guy” in Pennsylvania (which nearly every Right winger on that Memeorandum list did) keep the following in mind: Yes, he was “one guy” who was espousing the extreme language of the furthest Right wing. So you think he’s the only “one guy” out there? Do you want the authorities to assume he’s the only “one guy” out there? Or do you think maybe they should be on the lookout in case there’s “one more guy” or one more after that?
The only way this isn’t Fauxrage is if you you think these extremist descriptions apply to you. If you don’t, then you’re dancing with straw men to score cheap political points. If you do, then I hope the DHS catches up with you before you kill someone.
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