If you’ve watched any Fox News in the past few days or so (or the past decade, really), you’ve probably heard stories about how Democrats are stirring up an “angry mob” to try to take back power. To make this case, they show clips of angry (but non-violent) protesters and trot out quotes of Democrats speaking metaphorically.
Fox News talking heads then proceed with pearl-clutching kabuki, pretending to be “scandalized” that Barack Obama once quoted the movie The Untouchables and said “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun” or that he also said “throw them out” to encourage Democrats to vote. Obviously, only a complete idiot would think Obama—who spoke forcefully and frequently against gun violence—was advocating for actual armed insurrection, and that’s why it’s only on Fox News. Still, it’s important to understand the counter-narrative the GOP is pushing, complete with their new slogan “Jobs, not mobs.”
Unfortunately, the massive bombing spree unfolding this week threw a wrench into their plans (for those Republicans reading, when I say “threw a wrench into their plans” I don’t mean an actual wrench was thrown, kindly do not @ me). Fox News actually had to interrupt their phony high-minded debate about the lack of “civility” on the left to report the news that two former Democratic presidents had been targeted for assassination.
The truth is, political violence is a serious problem—on the right and not the left. Investigative journalist David Neiwert, author of Alt-America: The Rise of The Radical Right in the Age of Trump, has been cataloging right-wing violence for the past decade or so and he took the time to tweet out a handful of incidents, and it’s a heaping handful at that.
2) Now, what many of them are actually talking about is street violence specifically. But of course, that means they're completely oblivious to their own behavior in that regard. pic.twitter.com/w4NxdOcSgF
— David Neiwert (@DavidNeiwert) October 15, 2018
So you know he’s on the level, Neiwert starts by including the two incidents of left-wing political violence that the GOP reference as though they’re the norm rather than the exception:
After dispensing with the false narrative of a “violent left-wing mob” Neiwert then gets into the disturbing history of violent right-wing terrorism:
Wow, he seems nice!
Breivik was influenced by right-wing American Islamophobe and conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney, who has now become a mainstream GOP official.
Rodger is a hero in the increasingly violent incel community and routinely gets praised on incel message boards.
The point is clear, alright. Early in Barack Obama’s presidency, the Department of Homeland Security issued a report indicating that right-wing violence was on the rise. Instead of taking the report to heart and helping to thwart the rise of domestic terrorism, conservatives complained that it was unfair and accused the DHS and Obama of censoring right-wing opinion.
The GOP’s little tantrum worked. The report was rescinded, the law enforcement training programs were stopped, and the right-wing extremism task force was disbanded. We’re now living with the consequences of that decision, so remember that any time Republicans whine about Democratic “mobs” or complain that Obama politicized the Justice Department.