Nothing to be ‘proud’ of

NOTHING TO BE ‘PROUD’ OF…. In April, when conservatives first manufactured a controversy surrounding the Department of Homeland Security’s reports on potentially violent radicals, a number of far-right groups tried to exploit the “story” for fundraising and activism. Among them was the Liberty Counsel, a right-wing group created by the late Jerry Falwell.

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The group created a number of satirical ID cards, available for a modest donation to the group. This one allows the carrier to boast, “I’m proud to be a Right-Wing Extremist.” The idea, obviously, was to suggest the federal government was persecuting conservative activists for supporting “the right to bear arms,” “lower taxes,” “interpreting the Bible literally,” and opposing abortion rights.

Of course, in our reality, anyone who’s half-way literate could read the DHS report and see that it had nothing to do with the conservative mainstream. But the truth didn’t help fill the coffers of far-right activist groups, so ID cards like these were made.

Kyle at Right Wing Watch, who posted larger, easier-to-read versions of the Liberty Counsel’s ID cards, notes that the group continues to sell these deceptive cards even now. In light of the slayings in Kansas and D.C. from the kind of actual right-wing extremists described in the DHS report, Kyle adds that the fundraising gimmick “seems to be in pretty poor taste.”

Agreed. Now doesn’t seem like an especially good time to boast about one’s “pride” in being a “right-wing extremist.”

What’s more, Greg Sargent reminds us that the Liberty Counsel remains a well-connected outfit in Republican circles: “It allies with GOP politicians in legislative fights such as the one against hate-crimes legislation, and no less a mainstream Republican than John McCain courted its support during last year’s presidential race.”

Greg added that these satirical ID cards, under the circumstances, should be “enough to make the group radioactive with mainstream Republicans going forward, but it won’t.”

No, it won’t. As Limbaugh, Beck, Coulter, and others have proven time and again, there’s practically nothing a conservative can do to be “radioactive with mainstream Republicans.”