Mike Gallagher and Violent Rightwing Threats

April 14, 2009

This morning, Mike Gallagher was on the warpath because the Department of Homeland Security issued a report that stated rightwing groups represent a threat to the U.S. As you might imagine, the wingnuts are up in arms about this report. As Gallagher said, these are nothing but Obama cronies trying to silence the right. But let’s consider a couple of things here before that tantrum explodes.

First, this is not some vague threat the Obama administration made up.

The Bush administration pushed that leftwing groups were the most dangerous threat to America, but calling attention to the very real threat of rightwing violence is just politically motivated fear-mongering?

Second, the most recent cases of domestic terrorism or the threat of it came from rightwing groups.

Now, Gallagher wants to get everyone fired up because the report appeared to highlight veterans. Only 203 veterans, Gallagher argues, have joined extremist groups. Please note that two veterans committed the worst case of domestic terrorism in U.S. history.

Third, words have meaning, and Gallagher described himself and his beliefs in violent terms. In contrasting himself with Michael Medved, Gallagher said, “I’m a pitchfork and torches kind of guy.” Now, just in case you think this is some metaphor for orderly debate, check again: The image is one of people rising up and using their farm tools as weapons. It is a statement for violent uprising, a very poor choice of words when trying to convince people that Gallagher wasn’t advocating violence.

Later, to make the point clearer, Gallagher said that Obama supporters “will not be persuaded.” So, if this is a revolution of “ideas,” as Gallagher claims, then how exactly will these ideas work when persuasion is not possible? Are we supposed to believe that increased guns sales due to Obama’s election are a sign of peaceful discourse?

I believe that words have meanings. And Mike Gallagher’s words are full of a meaning of violence. He might say that he’s against violence. Then, again, the prisons are full people who claim innocence, so denial is hardly evidence of good intentions.

Gallagher and the other members of hate radio have been on a fear-mongering rampage since Bush’s number nosedived and a Democrat was likely to become the next president. They are trying to distance themselves from the violent rage that they have been stoking.


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