(Thomas Mitchell) – It all depends on your perspective. Once again, Mitchell’s general theory of political relativity is proved. What you observe depends on where you are standing.
An IBD editorial today recounts the left accusing those on the right of shifting further right. Depends on how far left they are, right?
The editorial includes a quote from Brookings Institute’s Thomas Mann saying:
“Republicans have become a radical insurgency — ideologically extreme, contemptuous of the inherited policy regime, scornful of compromise, unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of their political opposition.”
Your government also thinks that conservatives are prone to violence and is willing to spend a half a million of your money to study Internet activity of right-wingers and Islamic extremists, but mostly right-wingers.
The Justice Department awarded Michigan State University $585,719 to study “messages that promote extremist agendas and radicalize individuals to violence.”
Occupy Wall Street, riots in Missouri and Maryland? No need to study those.
According to a Washington Post blog, the right is moving faster to the right than the left is moving to the left.
Supposedly this is backed up by data developed by Kenneth Poole and Howard Rosenthal, showing Republicans in Congress have drifted from the center more so than Democrats. Here is the chart:
Remember that 2009 Homeland Security report that said conservatives and the unemployed represent a danger, especially returning veterans?
“Threats from white supremacist and violent antigovernment groups during 2009 have been largely rhetorical and have not indicated plans to carry out violent acts. Nevertheless, the consequences of a prolonged economic downturn—including real estate foreclosures, unemployment, and an inability to obtain credit—could create a fertile recruiting environment for rightwing extremists and even result in confrontations between such groups and government authorities similar to those in the past.
“Rightwing extremists have capitalized on the election of the first African American president, and are focusing their efforts to recruit new members, mobilize existing supporters, and broaden their scope and apppeal through propaganda, but they have not yet turned to attack planning. …
“The possible passage of new restrictions on firearms and the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks.”
It also noted that some these dangerous extremists “are mainly anti-government, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority …”
That used to be called Federalism. I always thought those Radical Founders needed to be watched.
A version of this column was originally published in Mr. Mitchell’s blog.
Mr. Mitchell publishes the 4TH ST8 Blog at www.4thst8.wordpress.com.