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The fringe has been creeping out from under the rocks for decades now and have reached the edge of the playing field, in open view of anyone not caught intentionally looking the other way. Call them minute men or oath keepers or patriots, call them nullification advocates or backers of state sovereignty or potential secessionists; these are people on the verge of hard core treason, preparing for possible actual war against the United States of America.  

The drive to enact sane gun safety measures has flushed more of them out into the bright light of day. They feel strongly compelled now to mobilize to protect their military arsenals, but with their increased activity comes greater public scrutiny. They didn’t choose this exact timing, mass shootings called the question in the public mind, and their positions stand exposed.

When will Democrats and sane Republicans respond directly to the threat that these “forces” pose to our nation? Supposedly there are establishment Republicans concerned that extreme right messaging is making it too difficult for Republicans to again become the ruling national party. Well it does not get any more extreme than threatening violence against the United States Government, or the break up of the Union. There is no framing starker than that to illustrate how far from the mainstream the Republican Party has been drifting.

Every Republican of any State or National significance needs to be forced to comment on the militant anti-government movement growing within their ranks. Do they forcefully condemn this increasing talk of treason and rebellion, or do they sympathize with and condone the behavior of those who describe the constitutionally constituted and legally elected by popular will government of the United States of America as the enemy? That question no longer is too outrageous to ask, which is how the status quo in American politics to date has treated it. The links between those who are preparing for battle with the United States government and the right wing of the Republican Party are now too numerous and obvious to continue to ignore.

If the tables were reversed you know what would happen. In fact it already has happened. It was called the Red Scare. I would never advocate Democrats resorting to that type of witch hunt; there is no place in our politics today for “are you now or have you ever been” nonsense. But it is both fair and timely to ask leaders of the Republican Party one simple but important question. Do you stand with the United States of America or with its current domestic enemies? No doubt most would try to dismiss that question as unworthy of serious comment, but nothing could be more serious.

There once was a time when leading conservatives like William F. Buckley had the courage and integrity to openly and completely disassociate from the John Birch Society. The reason why Republicans today refuse to similarly unambiguously condemn today’s rebellious right wing fringe is obvious; they don’t want to risk alienating some Republican base voters and contributors. Nothing should be easier for a Republican legislator than to condemn those who contemplate violence against fellow law abiding Americans. But that is a stand many would rather not be forced into making.

The growing talk of what should rightfully be called treason should legitimately be a wedge issue inside today’s Republican Party, but not unless they start getting called on it. Until that happens expect Republicans to keep turning a seemingly deaf ear to continued dog whistle appeals for support from America’s most organized and fastest growing domestic enemies, emanating from those who have sworn to preserve and protect our Union. Partisan self interest does not sink lower than this.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yes I see it every day. They want war. (6+ / 0-)

    The collapse may come sooner than we think.

    An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

    by don mikulecky on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 02:39:34 PM PST

    •  There is no reason to believe the OK City bombing (5+ / 0-)

      will remain a relatively isolated incident.

    •  I follow these so-called "patriots" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      relentlessly.  I read about 15 of their blogs every day as well as the comments and, while I agree that this is a great wedge issue to use against the GOP, you have nothing to fear from them.

      They have been talking like this for years, since 1993 in fact.  They lament the fact that "no-one will step off the porch" but they certainly won't be the ones to do it.  They are cowards.

      If anything, the internet gives them a place to vent their violent fantasies which makes them even less likely to act.  And their idiotic, treasonous words, as you've noted, make great sound bites.  Eventually, these sound bites will become mainstream and the damage will be done.

      •  Their fellow travellers, the Nullification crowd.. (0+ / 0-)

        cause greater real damage for the time being. I don't look forward to the upcoming showdowns, even if they remain nonviolent, between future self empowered local officials and those tasked with administering various federal programs that they take it upon themselves to declare null and void. I'm old enough to remember segregationist officials blocking the doors of schools to keep Blacks from entering. I remember (dimly) Ike calling out the National Guard. Who in the Republican Party would do that now?

        For now though I agree. It is a no win situation for Republican officials (not counting those with personal integrity who who would not view this only through a self serving lens) to be asked to speak their minds on what for now are still fringe sentiments.

        •  Yes, nullification, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tom Rinaldo

          of which they also speak occasionally, is more of a threat, if only because it's much more passive-aggressive and entails less risk, but two points here:

          1.  a given individual (non-government) citizen has very limited opportunity to effect change through nullification.  Yes, they can refuse to follow laws in their personal-lives, which is "nullification" but that makes little difference to society as the laws they choose to nullify will be little secrets to them, spoken of to nobody.  That is to say, they'll rip the tags off their mattresses and then brag to their dogs in the dark.

          The only other sphere they can influence is on juries, and how often does any one individual make it onto a jury, let alone one that would lend itself to nullification and be high profile enough to matter.

          2.  with respect to local officials, the only ones I've really seen talking nullification are some sheriffs with respect to "2A" laws and if you parse their words, the most any have gone (there may be a few outliers) is that they won't enforce new laws except in cases where another crime has been committed and that they won't participate in "confiscation".  Well no, sh*t!  Despite the patriot fantasies, nobody is going door-to-door.

          So actually what the sheriffs are saying is that they will enforce the new laws if another crime is involved which is virtually every case where they come into contact with the public.  A traffic stop is a crime.  "What's that?  You have a high-cap clip on the floor of your F150?  Step out of the car please."

          I think rural sheriffs are just playing to their bases, somewhat cynically.

          Caveat: you're older than I am, probably by 10-15 years so your perspective on the civil rights battle is one I don't have.

  •  The Rs don't want to piss off their base nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    •  Correct That's why they must be put on the spot (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, ranton

      They will continue to stay silent until silence becomes too costly for them

      •  How? The evil RW MSM doesn't work for us, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Neither do the elected Rs. They rock for the evil 1%.

        •  There are always ways (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mookins, qofdisks

          Move On, left leaning PACs, and even the Democratic Party can run ads on this theme if they choose. It can be made into a campaign issue during many races at the local, state and federal levels. Democratic candidates can demand that Republican opponents take a stand on this issue, they can put it in their own campaign literature and ads even if the media initially refuses to pick up on it.

          And there is some left leaning media in this country, if this gets picked up by it as regularly as voter suppresion campaigns were, it will begin to break through in other media as well. At some point there will be another violent iattack by some far right elements on agents of the government. We need to be raising this issue now, and that will make it more likely to explode into full scale coverage when another tragiedy along these lines occurrs.

  •  What are the facts? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thestructureguy, mookins

    Perhaps you could break down who, what, where and when. The Southern Poverty Law Center publishes data on these groups, law enforcement reports, litigation summaries.

    •  I could, or you could, or another reporter could (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ranton, qofdisks, Sandino, semiot

      A topic has to gather buzz before it begins attracting attention. You are right about the Southern Poverty Law Center - they publish this kind of stuff all of the time. It is available but doesn't widely get looked at because not enough people, us included, have been talking about it.

      You need more? There is a treasure trove of both research and even breaking news in this thread over at Democratic Underground:

      NRA Caught Handing Out Newsletter Calling For Treason And Violent Revolution

      This stuff gets reported but it never makes front pages partially because we aren't acting like it's a big enough deal.

    •  Here is more for you, published 1/19/13 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      qofdisks, Sandino, Musial

      West Point Combating Terrorism Center Report: Understanding America’s Violent Far Right

      In the last few years, and especially since 2007, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of attacks and violent plots originating from individuals and groups who self-identify with the far-right of American politics. These incidents cause many to wonder whether these are isolated attacks, an increasing trend, part of increasing societal violence, or attributable to some other condition. To date, however, there has been limited systematic documentation and analysis of incidents of American domestic violence.

      This study provides a conceptual foundation for understanding different far-right groups and then presents the empirical analysis of violent incidents to identify those perpetrating attacks and their associated trends. Through a comprehensive look at the data, this study addresses three core questions:

      (1) What are the main current characteristics of the violence produced by the far right?

      (2) What type of far-right groups are more prone than others to engage in violence? How are characteristics of particular far-right groups correlated with their tendency to engage in violence?

      (3) What are the social and political factors associated with the level of far-right violence? Are there political or social conditions that foster or discourage violence?

      It is important to note that this study concentrates on those individuals and groups who have actually perpetuated violence and is not a comprehensive analysis of the political causes with which some far-right extremists identify. While the ability to hold and appropriately articulate diverse political views is an American strength, extremists committing acts of violence in the name of those causes the freedoms that they purport to espouse...

      •  The John Birch Society (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tom Rinaldo

        takes heart from the victory of the Taliban and revives the Klan around Jefferson-Jackson-Bryan anti-bank sentiment, not against bank power directly but the imagined world government that controls the US as long as Democrats have power. The Democratic Party vacuum in the South permits such mass delusion, and could use a lesson from Buckley. As long as the Birchers are welcome in the GOP they get a pass from the media gatekeepers. As against OWS, they claim they are peaceful and have never broken laws, while OWS is violent on cue from the NWO. An analogy in history for the next few years may be the fugitive slave laws, if JBS insists on protecting imagined gun rights by organizing secessionist militias, public opinion will identify gun violence with sectional treason and gun regulation with the national interest. This anti-bank theme gets traction on the far right because of the vulnerability of the Democratic Party to Wall Street control and its betrayal of the New Deal.

  •  I'm confused. Who is asking this question? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Do you stand with the United States of America or with its current domestic enemies?
    Because both sides could be asking it and have asked it. I've heard that same rhetoric from the right and the left.    

    Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

    by thestructureguy on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 04:13:19 PM PST

    •  It is mostly only asked by the Right now. (0+ / 0-)

      They have assumed the self appointed role of guardians of the American Revolution - There is no one on the left talking this way with the type of mass following that Glenn Beck had nightly to sow his distored views for example.

      The question should not stand alone without further context. The context that needs to be included is the wide spread organized efforts being made on the far right to prepare "patriots" to defend themselves and freedom loving people from explicitly from the Federal or at some fast approaching day of reckoning.

  •  $ "talks"...a federal law is needed that withholds (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tom Rinaldo, a2nite

    ALL federal $ from states and local communities (except those funding safety-net programs) that prohibit the enforcement of Constitutionally passed federal laws!  These idiots are in most cases egged on by elected officials...this needs to stop and stop now!  

    It is time to go "Andrew Jackson" on the Theory of Nullification.  The last time it reared its ugly head and morphed into Secessionist Theory, Americans killed over 600,000 fellow Americans on U.S. soil.

    Robber Baron "ReTHUGisms": John D. Rockefeller -"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets"; Jay Gould -"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

    by ranton on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 04:26:57 PM PST

    •  Yes, this isn't just an abstraction (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      People kill and die over this. A Civil War is at the far end of that spectrum, but a lot of people died from the bombing in Oklahoma City also.

      •  When the Nullification Theory was first "foisted," (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tom Rinaldo, a2nite

        I do not think Jefferson and Madison envisioned the Civil was, however, the logical path for those who were rabid ideologues.

        Robber Baron "ReTHUGisms": John D. Rockefeller -"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets"; Jay Gould -"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

        by ranton on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 05:47:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  This would include drug laws? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright" Curt Siodmak

      by Wisdumb on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 06:47:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nullification Theory is a VERY nasty slope. Just (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        qofdisks, Tom Rinaldo

        imagine all the federal legislation that could basically be repealed within a state if ReTHUGs decide to pass state laws making it illegal to enforce federal laws. Wisconsinites have seen ReTHUG ideologues do the unimaginable in the last two years.

        I support federalism...states' histories are filled with too many examples of powerful, entrenched "minorities"  abusing the rights of "majorities" or "majorities" abusing the rights of "minorities." If not for "federalism," what would workers, African Americans, women, children, farmers, voters, etc. be facing today?  

        I cannot see how one can support federalism when laws are passed that one agrees with while challenging the legality of federalism itself when one disagrees with a federal law.  I know many ReTHUGs who have no trouble with their own hypocrisy on this...I just cannot overlook it.

        If certain drug laws fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government, the way to change federal law is proscribed in the Constitution: Congressional action or Supreme Court rulings. Until then, states and local communities can and should pass laws that allow whatever their voters support as long as it is legal under Federal law. If enough pressure builds from a consensus of voters, eventually federal law will change.    

        Robber Baron "ReTHUGisms": John D. Rockefeller -"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets"; Jay Gould -"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

        by ranton on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 09:36:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The fed needs to stop making unenforceable and (0+ / 0-)

      unjust laws as a beginning.  Regulations are written by the big corporations putting small business and production at a huge disadvantage.  And, there is the unjust War on Drugs. Immigration laws are also unjust and unenforceable.  There needs to be a stop to the proliferation of catch 22s.  

  •  Concord & Lexington. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tom Rinaldo, mookins

    Don't forget that the American Revolution finally broke into open warfare precisely when the British military moved to confiscate weapons that were being stockpiled for use in the event that the British . . . moved against the colonists with military force.  Which just demonstrates that politics tends toward circular motions of cause and effect.

    Yes, the Right has been stockpiling in the event of confiscation or repression for about thirty years now.  They started in expectation of potential invasion from Russia or China, but it became enough of a purpose in and of itself that when the threat of Communist Invasion dissipated, they found their excuse in the potential for Totalitarian Government.  Mind you, most of the acts of government that they quoted as reason to worry about such totalitarianism had been authorized as part of the Cold War against Communism.  But the fascist authority that had become vested in the military-industrial complex bothered right-wing libertarians as much as it bothers left-wing anarchists  and peaceniks.  They just have a different way of showing their concerns.

    All of which is just to say, yes, they are somewhat ready for armed resistance, which might or not be particularly effective given the circumstances and the precise actions taken against them.  Is it treason?  Well, I think our own history has established that the line between treason and justified rebellion is itself founded on the actions of the government in question.  Are they reasonable, legal, and ethical?  If so, then the majority will side with the government and hand over the revolutionaries to the hangman.  If the majority of the populace however finds the government's actions high-handed, excessive, or unjustified, then they might join the Revolution in sympathy or in action.  It all depends on exactly how the government chooses to handle the disaffection of what you must admit is a substantial minority of the population.

    •  I appreciate your summary (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      No I don't think it would be wise for the government to try to confiscate their legally purchased guns even if they are assualt weapons, but that is not being seriously advocated for by hardly anyone.

      The problem isn't with their concern that eternal vigilence is needed to preserve Liberty. By all means let them remain vigilent. The question goes to the heart of what was established by the American Revolution, a functioning democracy with Constitutionally established Checks and Balences. There was never a guarentee that everyone would always be pleased with the choices such a government makes - that is why there are peaceful lawful ways to change it buil;t into how our experriment is self government functions.

      I was around for the small outbreaks of violence from the Left in the late 60's into the 70's. I was personally active in non-violent movements for social change as were the vast majority of social change advocates at the time. And those who did not denounce violence were subjext to a lot of ideiological as well as police and judicial pressure, from both the left and the right.

      But ultimately I am less concerned about the ranks of hard core militants preparing to do battle with the American government than I am with the far greater number of Republicans who have been drawn into talking that talk even if they do not actually walk that walk. It emboldens those most militant to have their rhetoric reflected back at them from respected segments of society, for example elected officials.

      It is by definition extreme to take up arms against the government - just becasue someone claims that they are justified in taking that step does not prove that they are right. I for one don't want our government under attack from rightists who hold that opinion.

      •  You have expressed an important point that needs (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tom Rinaldo, Musial

        to be repeated and repeated until Moderate Republicans get a backbone:

        "It emboldens those most militant to have their rhetoric reflected back at them from respected segments of society, for example elected officials."
        Until Moderate Republicans call out the dangerous excesses that they have been more than willing to use to their advantage, they are culpable!

        Robber Baron "ReTHUGisms": John D. Rockefeller -"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets"; Jay Gould -"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

        by ranton on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 09:48:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Unlikely; "moderates" represent the targets (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tom Rinaldo, cynndara

          of bank regulation and thrive on gridlock. Wall Street is the moderate wing. This is the price they gladly pay to buy off the formerly Democratic Party populist anti-bank South.

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