When a strongly liberal administration takes office, it brings with it a new rhetoric of terrorism, and new ways of understanding the phenomenon.
Based on the record of past Democratic administrations, in the near future terrorism will almost certainly be coming home. This does not necessarily mean more attacks on American soil. Rather, public perceptions of terrorism will shift away from external enemies like al-Qaeda and Hezbollah and focus on domestic movements on the Right. We will hear a great deal about threats from racist groups and right-wing paramilitaries, and such a perceived wave of terrorism will have real and pernicious effects on mainstream politics. If history is any guide, the more loudly an administration denounces enemies on the far Right, the easier it is to stigmatize its respectable and nonviolent critics.
And here is liberal blogger Matthew Yglesias on April 7th in a post titled The Militia Right:
I don’t want to suggest that the attitudes reflected by the sort of people who are handing out pamphlets on “How to Start and Train a Militia Unit” over at your local gun show are typical of the modern American right.
But it is true that totally mainstream figures like Rep Michele Bachmann have been flirting with this kind of rhetoric, saying they want the public “armed and dangerous” in the face of Obama administration environmental policy, while prominent media conservatives such as Glenn Beck and Jonah Goldberg are saying that Barack Obama’s policies are tantamount to fascism.
Admittedly, Yglesias isn't a member of "the administration" but he certainly is a prominent voice in what I would characterize as the left edge of the mainstream. This so perfectly fits Jenkins' description of how things would unfold, I almost couldn't believe what I was reading.Before anyone comments that Bachmann and Beck are both lunatics, don't bother. Jenkins tells you how this will proceed; "the more loudly an administration denounces enemies on the far Right, the easier it is to stigmatize its respectable and nonviolent critics."
It's no surprise that it starts with Bachmann and Beck, let's just hope it stops there. But I am not optimistic.