Capping four years of explosive growth sparked by the election of America’s first black president and anger over the economy, the number of conspiracy-minded antigovernment “Patriot” groups reached an all-time high of 1,360 in 2012, while the number of hard-core hate groups remained above 1,000. As President Obama enters his second term with an agenda of gun control and immigration reform, the rage on the right is likely to intensify.
The furious reaction to the Obama administration’s gun control proposals is reminiscent of the anger that greeted the passage of the 1993 Brady Bill and the 1994 ban on assault weapons supported by another relatively liberal Democrat — Bill Clinton. The passage of those bills, along with what was seen by the right as the federal government’s violent suppression of political dissidents at Waco, Texas, and Ruby Ridge, Idaho, in the early 1990s, led to the first wave of the Patriot movement that burst into public consciousness with the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. The number of Patriot groups in that era peaked in 1996 at 858, more than 500 groups fewer than the number active in 2012.
For many, the election of America’s first black president symbolizes the country’s changing demographics, with the loss of its white majority predicted by 2043. (In 2011, for the first time, non-white births outnumbered the births of white children.) But the backlash to that trend predates Obama’s presidency by many years. Between 2000 and 2010, the number of hate groups rose from 602 to more than 1,000, where the count remains today. Now that comprehensive immigration reform is poised to legitimize and potentially accelerate the country’s demographic change, the backlash to that change may accelerate as well.
While the number of hate groups remained essentially unchanged last year — going from 1,018 in 2011 to 1,007 in 2012 — the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) count of 1,360 Patriot groups in 2012 was up about 7% from the 1,274 active in 2011. And that was only the latest growth spurt in the Patriot movement, which generally believes that the federal government is conspiring to take Americans’ guns and destroy their liberties as it paves the way for a global “one-world government.” From a mere 149 organizations in 2008, the number of Patriot groups shot up to 512 in 2009, jumped again to 824 in 2010, and then skyrocketed to 1,274 in 2011 before hitting their all-time high last year.
Now, in the wake of the mass murder of 26 children and adults at a Connecticut school and the Obama-led gun control efforts that followed, it seems likely that that growth will pick up speed once again.
You know how right wingers love to give each other awards with lofty-sounding titles? Well, I do believe we have an all-time winner for the Most Ludicrous Right Wing Award Award, as the dumbest, most unprofessional right wing blogger of them all, Jim Hoft, will receive the Accuracy in Media Award at CPAC.
WASHINGTON, March 5, 2013 - Accuracy in Media will honor Catherine Herridge of the Fox News Channel for her outstanding achievements in investigative journalism, and Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit for his groundbreaking contributions to New Media in a ceremony taking place at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on March 14th. The Reed Irvine award is named for AIM’s founder, America’s first media watchdog. …
Irvine praised Jim Hoft, the proprietor of gatewaypundit.com. “His dedication to a free America and his personal devotion to democracy that has led him to cover freedom movements from inside Iran to the streets of Azerbaijan, have propelled GatewayPundit into one of the country’s top resources for right-of-center news and commentary.”
What a fantastic snapshot of the modern right wing! One of the country’s “top right-of-center news” sources is a borderline illiterate religious fanatic with absolutely no journalistic standards, who promotes every single fake outrage and demented conspiracy theory that bubbles up from the wingnut base, lies outright for partisan reasons, has a nauseatingly vicious and racist comments section, and is wrong more often than any other blogger in the history of the web, yet never, ever admits or corrects a mistake.
Right wing journalism at its finest!
(h/t: Right Wing Watch.)
President Obama’s picks to head the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy are already provoking howls of outrage from the right wing and the energy industry shills who feed them talking points; they’re especially worked up about Gina McCarthy.
WASHINGTON — President Obama on Monday named two people to his cabinet who will be charged with making good on his threat to use the powers of the executive branch to tackle climate change and energy policy if Congress does not act quickly.
Mr. Obama nominated Gina McCarthy, a tough-talking native of Boston and an experienced clean air regulator, to take charge at the Environmental Protection Agency, and Ernest J. Moniz, a physicist and strong advocate of natural gas and nuclear power as cleaner alternatives to coal, to run the Department of Energy.
The appointments, which require Senate confirmation, send an unmistakable signal that the president intends to mount a multifaceted campaign in his second term to tackle climate change by using all the executive branch tools at his disposal.
The energy industry mouthpieces at the Heartland Institute immediately pushed this paid announcement out on PR Newswire:
“Gina McCarthy has a long history of demonizing affordable energy and doing everything possible to shut it down. She also has a long history of making up fictitious facts to support her anti-energy ideology. McCarthy’s number-one priority at EPA will be enacting unprecedented restrictions on energy production and use that will further drive up energy prices. If Americans like dramatically rising gasoline prices and rapidly rising electricity prices, they are going to love Gina McCarthy.”
James M. Taylor
Senior Fellow for Environmental Policy
The Heartland Institute
“During litigation on the EPA’s claim that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases endanger public health, the attorney for the EPA, introduced as the technical expert, falsely asserted to the Court that the climate models used are valid. The models have never been validated and are failing miserably. The Earth stopped warming over a decade ago, contradicting the models. The models are also contradicted by the characteristics of late twentieth-century warming.
“Under Ms. McCarthy we can expect further deterioration of American science as the EPA ignores scientific facts that do not support its political agenda.”
Executive Vice President
Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
That’s what the pseudo-science wing says; now let’s go to Pat Robertson for the religious right view. Proving himself a master of the art of wingnut projectionism, old Pat went on a rant about Gina McCarthy today, denouncing environmentalists as “crazies” and “religious fanatics,” who are “unreasonable” and “doctrinaire.”
Sounds to me like Ms. McCarthy is a perfect choice for the position.
I know it’s not a big surprise, but so far I have not found a single right wing blogger who has corrected the utterly false story about DHS “tanks” launched by Dim Jim Hoft and Drudge Report, even though we proved yesterday that it’s a complete fantasy concocted by a survivalist blog.
Jim Hoft’s semi-literate post hyping this paranoid fake story is still at his blog, with no changes, retractions, or corrections, of course: Obama DHS Purchases 2,700 Light-Armored Tanks to Go With Their 1.6 Billion Bullet Stockpile | the Gateway Pundit.
And as you can see in this Twitter search, there are still thousands of right wing parrots eagerly promoting the phony story, too, after hate-ranter Michael Savage gave it another big push on his radio show.
It’s yet another gigantic fake outrage promoted by evil, dishonest people, that will now become a matter of blind faith among the right wing base, impervious to facts or reason.
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