Tea Party Rhetoric: “Nothing better than a dead liberal”

Jan 9, 2011

An internal DHS memo obtained by FOX News indicates that Jared Lee Loughner may have been connected to a known hate group, American Renaissance.

no direct connection – but strong suspicion is being directed at AmRen / American Renaissance. Suspect is possibly linked to this group. (through videos posted on his myspace and YouTube account.). The group’s ideology is anti government, anti immigration, anti ZOG (Zionist Occupational Government), anti Semitic. Gabrielle Gifford is the first Jewish female elected to such a high position in the US government. She was also opposite this group’s ideology when it came to immigration debate.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has more background on this group, but it appears to be yet another organization that supports white supremacy and has an international following.

Pima County Sheriff, Clarence Dupnik, said yesterday what should have been obvious to everyone over the last twenty years as we’ve all witnessed the rise of right wing radio and the tea party.

“When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government. The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous,” said the sheriff. “And unfortunately, Arizona I think has become sort of the capital. We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry.”

At this point we are all familiar with Palin’s PAC’s map of twenty house targets from last year. Sarah Palin’s aide claimed yesterday that the crosshairs on the map did not allude to guns.

“We never ever, ever intended it to be gun sights,” she said.

She said that the graphic was contracted out to a professional. They approved it quickly without thinking about it. “We never imagined, it never occurred to us that anybody would consider it violent,” she said. Rather, she said, that it was simply “crosshairs that you would see on a map.”

There is “nothing irresponsible about our graphic,” she said.

She did not, however, mention the “don’t retreat, instead- RELOAD!” Palin tweet that went out shortly after the graphic was posted on both her Facebook page and SarahPac’s website, directing them to the graphic. The tweet turned quickly into a Palin mantra. Many, even then, urged her to stop using such violent rhetoric. If she heard them, she did not retreat.

The very fact that Palin removed these photos from her PAC’s website within an hour and a half of the shooting indicates that she knew very well that those gun sights would incite violence. Back in March when they were first posted Palin faced criticism and requests to tone down the violent rhetoric. She didn’t bother to do that until after the violence had taken place and lives had been lost. How convenient that Palin’s tweet, “don’t retreat, instead- RELOAD!” has now been deleted as well.

Jesse Kelly, Giffords’ opponent in 2010, took Palin’s words literally and held a fundraiser where donors could shoot an M-16.

Jesse Kelly, meanwhile, doesn’t seem to be bothered in the least by the Sarah Palin controversy earlier this year, when she released a list of targeted races in crosshairs, urging followers to “reload” and “aim” for Democrats. Critics said she was inciting violence.

He seems to be embracing his fellow tea partier’s idea. Kelly’s campaign event website has a stern-looking photo of the former Marine in military garb holding his weapon. It includes the headline: “Get on Target for Victory in November. Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office. Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly.”

The event costs $50.

It’s amazing to look back to the 2009 DHS report that right wing extremists were planning acts of violence. This was a report that right wing pundits railed against as being untrue – and yet when we look at what the report warned about and at the suggested connection of Loughner to American Renaissance, as well as his You Tube videos, the report seems fairly accurate.

* Proposed imposition of firearms restrictions and weapons bans likely would attract new members into the ranks of rightwing extremist groups, as well as potentially spur some of them to begin planning and training for violence against the government. The high volume of purchases and stockpiling of weapons and ammunition by rightwing extremists in anticipation of restrictions and bans in some parts of the country continue to be a primary concern to law enforcement.
* Rightwing extremist chatter on the Internet continues to focus on the economy, the perceived loss of U.S. jobs in the manufacturing and construction sectors, and home foreclosures. Anti-Semitic extremists attribute these losses to a deliberate conspiracy conducted by a cabal of Jewish “financial elites.” These “accusatory” tactics are employed to draw new recruits into rightwing extremist groups and further radicalize
those already subscribing to extremist beliefs.
* DHS/I&A assesses that rightwing extremist groups’ frustration over a perceived lack of government action on illegal immigration has the potential to incite individuals or small groups toward violence.
* Rightwing extremist paranoia of foreign regimes could escalate or be magnified in the event of an economic crisis or military confrontation, harkening back to the “New World Order” conspiracy theories of the 1990s.

Here’s a Google map that kept track of right wing violence from March 15, 2010 through September 15, 2010. How many of these instances could have been avoided if the rhetoric of “Reload!” wasn’t so prominent?

The Sun Times Editorial today notes that we can’t say we weren’t warned about this shooting tragedy.

For more than two years, sensible people have been pleading with their fellow Americans to tone down the rhetoric, to quit with the demonizing, to end the fear-mongering.

In what kind of country, the sensible people asked, do political leaders across the board not condemn a sign at a rally that reads: “We left our guns at home — this time”?

In what kind of country do people show up at presidential speeches with guns on their hips?

In what kind of a country do callers to radio shows routinely smear those with whom they disagree — beginning with our president — as “traitors” and “un-American,” while pandering hosts say only, “Thanks for the call.”

If we continue this way, the sensible people warned, something will happen.

Last summer Sharron Angle called for “Second Amendment solutions” for a broken Congress as well as armed insurrection.
In August 2009, Florida Congresswoman Kathy Castor was escorted out of a local town hall after violence erupted among protesters. Several town hall meetings that August involved screaming protests by tea party candidates – many of them Glenn Beck’s 9/12 followers.

When there is rhetoric that inflames the public – a focus on a distrust of government, a fear of tyranny, the idea that “we need to take our country back” – this kind of rhetoric has consequences and now we are seeing the results of those consequences. Will media pundits and right wing politicians like Palin and Angle learn something from the events this weekend? Or will they simply make excuses for themselves and keep making statements like, “don’t retreat, instead- RELOAD!”



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