The Teabaggers Are Nuts

Via Brayton I caught this disturbing video of the new right-wing fringe movement:

Now, if you guys have been following along for the last few years of denialism blog, you know you should immediately be suspicious of people alleging conspiracy theories. This one is a doozy. The administration as a culmination of a 5 decade communist plot to take over the country? This movement is disturbing, and as radical and unhinged as the 9/11 truthers. I would emphasize as always, no political ideology is safe from this paranoid fringe, and this is a great example of how ideology is the universal threat to rational thinking.

I also can’t help but think this teabagging movement represents a more mainstream identity of growing right-wing hate in this country. With new reports of growth of white supremacist recruiting, recruitment of members of the military and the Father Coughlin-esque ranting of Glenn Beck and Limbaugh I’m worried we’re seeing the rise of new hate movement. Seeing their signs – blaming Obama for economic woes he’s had all of three months to address, Obama’s Plan:White Slavery, The American Taxpayers are the Jews for Obama’s ovens, Obama is the Anti-Christ, drumming up paranoia about guns, and internment camps, secession from the union for the love of Benji, Obama is a Muslim, let’s waterboard Obama – my interpretation of these events isn’t that they are legitimately angry at government spending or taxation. I just don’t buy it. After all, why get angry now? We’ve spent hundreds of billions under Bush, and wasted huge amounts in foreign wars and disastrous national policies. The tax increase? 3% on those making more than 250k? I somehow don’t see that as taxing our children’s future away, or these folks as representative of the wealthy Americans that are targeted by the tax. The people leading this movement may be recruiting a large number of people who share this unbalanced delusion about taxes and “big government” but it’s clear there is also an ugly, nationalist, and frankly racist theme behind this new movement.

The leaders of right-wing talk are playing a dangerous game, tapping into a dark, paranoid underbelly of American politics. I’ve been following Orcinus pretty closely in the last few months and am increasingly disturbed by what I see. While we might want to dismiss the paranoid rantings of pundits like Beck, we should remember that such conspiratorial beliefs aren’t meant to convince the masses. They exist to radicalize ideologues, and ideologues are dangerous, whether left-wing or right-wing. Conservatives may be furious that the the FBI and DHS are tracking right wing extremism, but I see this as a rare example of them actually seeing a threat coming, and being ready to do something about it. For those of us old enough to remember Oklahoma City, I don’t think we should be dismissive about the terrorist potential of the militant right, especially with Beck and Limbaugh stoking the fires of paranoia.