IT’S LIKE DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN…. Remember the Clinton presidency? A popular center-left Democratic president, with a popular domestic agenda, drove the right into apoplexy. Conservatives came up with bizarre conspiracy theories, casually threw around truly insane rhetoric, raised a lot of fears about the U.N. and America “sovereignty,” and Fox News did its level best to whip uninformed right-wing activists into a frenzy.
I wonder why that seems familiar.
The New York Times‘ Charles Blow explains today that he’s been “consuming as much conservative media as possible” lately in order to “get a better sense of the mind and mood of the right.” He’s found that conservatives are not only “apocalyptic,” but after two months of a Democratic administration, they feel “isolated, angry, betrayed and besieged.”
And what seemed at first like “harmless, hotheaded expostulation,” with right-wing media personalities deceiving a right-wing audience with bogus demagoguery, has actually led Blow to believe “it’s not all just harmless talk.”
For some, their disaffection has hardened into something more dark and dangerous. They’re talking about a revolution.
Some simply lace their unscrupulous screeds with loaded language about the fall of the Republic. We have to “rise up” and “take back our country.” Others have been much more explicit.
For example, Chuck Norris, the preeminent black belt and prospective Red Shirt, wrote earlier this month on the conservative blog WorldNetDaily: “How much more will Americans take? When will enough be enough? And, when that time comes, will our leaders finally listen or will history need to record a second American Revolution?”
Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, imagining herself as some sort of Delacroixian Liberty from the Land of the Lakes, urged her fellow Minnesotans to be “armed and dangerous,” ready to bust caps over cap-and-trade, I presume.
And between his tears, Glenn Beck, the self-professed “rodeo clown,” keeps warning of an impending insurrection by saying that he believes that we are heading for “depression” and “revolution” and then gaming out that revolution on his show last month. “Think the unthinkable” he said. Indeed.
FBI statistics show that there have been “1.2 million more requests for background checks of potential gun buyers from November to February than there were in the same four months last year.” That’s hardly reassuring.
As Oliver Willis concluded, “The right is quickly slipping back into its conspiratorial nutjob posture that it had during the Clinton presidency, seeing black helicopters and one world UN government under their beds at every turn. As a friend of mine noted they were lunatics when the object of their ire was a white southerner. One can only wonder what someone they perceive as a black muslim intent on installing Sharia law will prompt them to do. And because these psychos form the activist base of the Republican party, congress will just encourage them.”
Indeed, congressional Republicans already are encouraging them.