And my immediate thought was Louie Gohmert, then I second-guessed myself and said it was Steve Stockman. Shoulda trusted my instincts! Also acceptable guesses: Steve “Esteban” King, Michele Bachmann, Rand Paul. (2 comments)
Some might say that this is a weird reaction but the fact that the evil loon who carried out the attacks in Norway last week is a radical right wing ideologue has me more disturbed than when I thought it might have been an Islamist group behind it.
A report that Norway’s bomb and gun rampage may be the work of a far-right militant confronts Europe with the possibility that a new paramilitary threat is emerging, a decade after al-Qaida’s Sept. 11 attacks.
One analyst called the attacks possibly Europe’s “Oklahoma City” moment, a reference to American right-wing militant Timothy McVeigh who detonated a truck bomb at a federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995, killing 168 people.
Police forces in many western European countries worry about rising far-right sentiment, fueled by a toxic mix of anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant bigotry and increasing economic hardship.
But violence, while sometimes fatal, has rarely escalated beyond group thuggery and the use of knives.
That may have changed in Oslo and on the holiday island of Utoya on Friday. Seven people were killed in a bombing in the capital — Western Europe’s worst since the 2005 London al-Qaida-linked suicide attacks that killed 52 people — and at least 80 in a shooting rampage by a lake.
As I see it, lots of Important People’s eyes are on the ball of Islamic extremism, but far fewer eyes seem to be paying attention to the rise of right wing extremism in the face of the global recession.
At the beginning of this year, not long after they’d found the bomb on the bench in Spokane, a journalist named David Neiwert put together a list of nearly thirty acts of right-wing political violence that had taken place, or had been foiled, in the United States since the summer of 2008 — or roughly since Barack Obama’s presidency began to be seen as a genuine possibility. The list began with Jim David Adkisson, who killed two people in a Unitarian church in Tennessee because he was angry at how “liberals” were “destroying America.” It included two episodes in April 2009, one in Pittsburgh and one in Florida, in which men who were sure that Barack Obama’s government was coming for their guns opened fire on law-enforcement officers who had come to investigate them on other matters.
Some of the crimes on the list were briefly sensational — Scott Roeder’s murder of Dr. George Tiller in Wichita, or Joseph Andrew Stack’s flying his small plane into a building in Austin in protest of the Internal Revenue Service, or the incoherent array of violent crimes committed by the “Sovereign Citizens Movement.” But most of them barely made the national radar at all. In December 2008, a woman in Belfast, Maine, named Amber Cummings shot to death her sleeping husband, James, who’d been savagely abusing her. Upon arriving at the Cummings home, investigators found Nazi paraphernalia and a stash of chemicals indicating that James Cummings was preparing to make a “dirty bomb” that he planned to detonate at Obama’s inauguration. Except in the local media, that aspect of the case disappeared completely. James Cummings and his bomb had nothing to do with Scott Roeder’s handgun or Joe Stack’s airplane.
It is a fertile time for such things. The country elected a black president with an exotic name. The economy, wrecked by a rigged game at the highest levels, continued to grind through a jobless recovery. The national dialogue grows coarser and wilder, and does so at a pace accelerated by technology. People sense the fragmentation — things are falling apart — even while they take refuge in those fragments of life that seem safest and most familiar.
I really hope we don’t need another Oklahoma City before people start seriously paying attention to all of the hatred and froth that has been stirred up on the right since Obama took office.
For anyone who is still up, President Obama is about to go on TV to announce that Osama bin Laden has been killed by the US military.
Anyone want to take bets on which wingnut will be the first to come up with some creative way to attack Obama over this?
1. The guy was on a terrorism watch list but not a no-fly list. WTF?
2. I expect that this will ironically make traveling even more of a nightmare. After all, our current super-strict terrorism-porn protection methods (e.g., only allowing tiny liquids, requiring us to take off our shoes) didn’t prevent this guy from getting what he needed on the plane.
3. Someone please forward me the first rightwinger who takes this opportunity to call Obama a terrorism-loving appeaser who hates his country and will ultimately rain hellfire down upon. My money is on Savage or Limbaugh. Funny how the country pulled together and backed Bush in the wake of 9/11 while the first successful terrorist attack during Obama’s term will absolutely and inevitably be met with scorn, blame, derision and – yes – probably calls for impeachment.
Update: The rightwing whinging begins. It’s ALWAYS a good day to blame Obama for [X]!
Patrick Ruffini aside, most of the wingnut attacks on Obama over yesterday’s attempted terrorist action center on word choice. RedState:If you guessed “Because they want to start in on ‘See! Obama had a terrorist attack on his watch’!!“, you are correct.
Even the White House is calling this an attempted terror attack.Pete Hoekstra (via ThinkProgress):
Administration says attempted terrorist attack. No. It was a terrorist attack! Just not as successful as they (AQ) planned.
Although, by that logic, the failed shoe bomber was a terrorist attack on Bush’s watch so…
I would say regardless of the circumstances, congratulations to President Obama for winning the Nobel Prize. I know there will be some people who are saying “Was it based on good intentions and thoughts or is it going to be based on good results?” But I think the appropriate response is when anybody wins a Nobel Prize that is a very noteworthy development and designation and I think the appropriate response is to say “Congratulations.”Low-key, classy and appropriate.
Giving it some more reflection, I am starting to gravitate toward Sully’s position on this:
Update: Here’s a bit of useful history on the prize:
I’ve had some coffee now. Reading through all the reactions, compiled by Chris and Patrick, there are two obvious points: this is premature and this is thoroughly deserved.
Both are right. I don’t think Americans fully absorbed the depths to which this country’s reputation had sunk under the Cheney era. That’s understandable. And so they also haven’t fully absorbed the turn-around in the world’s view of America that Obama and the American people have accomplished. Of course, this has yet to bear real fruit. But you can begin to see how it could; and I hope more see both the peaceful intentions and the steely resolve of this man to persevere.
This president has done a huge amount to bring race relations in this country to a different place, which is why the far right has become so vicious in attacking him and lying about him. They know he threatens their politics of division and rule. He has also directly addressed the Muslim world, telling some hard truths, and played a small role in evoking a similar movement of hope and change in Iran, and finally told the Israelis to stop cutting their nose off to spite their face.I like Shimon Peres’ statement, reprinted in a useful compendium of world reaction at the Lede:
“Very few leaders if at all were able to change the mood of the entire world in such a short while with such a profound impact. You provided the entire humanity with fresh hope, with intellectual determination, and a feeling that there is a lord in heaven and believers on earth.” Mr. Peres, who won the peace prize with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasir Arafat in 1994 following the Oslo Accords, added: “Under your leadership, peace became a real and original agenda. And from Jerusalem, I am sure all the bells of engagement and understanding will ring again. You gave us a license to dream and act in a noble direction.”
Right now, we do not know where that direction will ultimately lead. We do know that we were facing a spiral of conflict that, unchecked, could have taken the world to the abyss. I see this prize as an endorsement of his extraordinary reorientation of world politics, and as an encouragement to see it through. In the midst of our domestic battles, and their ill-temper (from which I have not been immune lately), this is an attempt to tell us: look up for a moment, see how far we’ve come in pivoting away from global conflict, and give this man a break for his efforts and the massive burden he now bears.
And, in the darkness that still threatens, know hope.
The Nobel Peace Prize’s aims are expressly political. The Nobel committee seeks to change the world through the prize’s very conferral, and, unlike its fellow prizes, the peace prize goes well beyond recognizing past accomplishments. As Francis Sejersted, the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee in the 1990s, once proudly admitted, “The prize … is not only for past achievement. … The committee also takes the possible positive effects of its choices into account [because] … Nobel wanted the prize to have political effects. Awarding a peace prize is, to put it bluntly, a political act.”Update 2: And John Cole highlights one of the other aspects to this:
Allahpundit sounds like he is about to stroke out, Breitbart probably won’t speak for two weeks, and this is yet another opportunity for Republicans to show the entire country what assholes they can be.
I’m really looking forward to it. There should be some pretty quality stuff coming from the wingnuts who just 24 hours ago were getting themselves worked into a froth over the art in the White House.
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