The killing of a security guard at the Holocaust Museum by a guy in his 80s with a history as a virulent anti-Semitic white supremacist with a history -- I choose not to put his name in a venue even as few people as those who follow this blog will see -- is outrageous and unconscionable, of course. I saw an entry on a lefty blog today, however, that suggested that maybe conservatives owe Janet Napolitano an apology for criticizing a Homeland Security memo suggesting that right-wing nuts might be a danger in the near future. After all, in the last couple of weeks we've had a shooting in a church by a guy who said he hated gays, the murder (in church again) of George Tiller, the late-term abortion doctor. Maybe the crazies are coming out of the fever swamps in force?
I put a post on the Register's blog the other day suggesting that Cheney et. al. should be calling for the torture of the abortion doc killer since he had made some sort of a comment about how people were going to rise up, and maybe this was an imminent-danger situation in which we ought to torture him to find out if he has co-conspirators out there with nasty plans. It was mostly tongue-in-cheek, though it sought to make a point about torture advocate hypocrites. But there's another point to be made about possible conspiracy.
I wouldn't be surprised to see more right-wing violence with Obama in office. After all, a number of ostensibly respectable (or at least in-the-public-eye) commentators have been making a living playing to the lowest common denominator of populist ignorance and resentment, painting him as the devil incarnate leading us down tha path to socialism, and there are plenty of haters in this country. I wouldn't indict them or censor them, but I do sort of wish they would shut up. Though there are haters who don't need stirring up.
Political violence in this media-saturated age is often spread more by contagion than by outright conspiracy -- and the media are oftenb unwitting (or not) accomplices by publicizing the crazies so extensively. It's a Catch-22. You can't avoid covering a shooting or murder story, but what is the point at which overcoverage leads to imitation.
When I wrote "Ambush at Ruby Ridge" I had some fairly extensive contact with the militia movement in the Northwest in the mid-1990s. Some were just patriots (though a bit twisted) concerned about the country but some were pretty scary. Notice that the movement pretty much disappeared after the Oklahoma City bombing, as the bulk of people figured, in essence, sure it's fun to talk tough about the Zionist Occupation Government and being prepared to resist, but that's not really what we had in mind. With a Democrat in the White House (though the Weaver situation happened under Bush I) we'll see more right-wing crazies. Wish I had an answer. Suggestions welcome