Monday, June 09, 2014
Just a coupla patriots sittin' around shootin'
So that Nevada couple who shot the police, a random bystander and then themselves declaring that "the revolution" had begun had been at the Bundy Ranch? What a surprise. It turns out they were right wing radicals. (In fairness, it appears they were too looney even for the Bundy crazies. According to their video trail they were kicked off the ranch by the militia.)
This reminds me of a piece by Dave Neiwert at the SPLC which I had meant to post a while back, just to document the happenings out there. It's not specifically relevant to these people as far as I know, but it illuminates the toxic stew of violence out of which people like this crawl:
The right-wing media tried to sell Americans on the idea that the antigovernment “Patriots” and militiamen who gathered to block the roundup of Cliven Bundy’s illegally grazing cattle in Nevada were well-meaning lovers of liberty. However, Bundy’s most ardent defenders have revealed themselves to be a volatile collection of hotheaded, paranoid men (and a few women) with big egos and even bigger guns.
The situation at the ranch, where armed militiamen and “Patriots” are camped out, has deteriorated so badly that competing factions apparently drew weapons on one another during heated arguments.
We wrote on Wednesday about how tensions flared when a paranoid rumor of an imminent drone strike on the encampment began circulating. The team that primarily circulated the drone-strike rumor – Stewart Rhodes’ Oath Keepers – also began advising people to pull out, which sparked the wrath of militiamen.
Those militiamen voted to oust the Oath Keepers, and a couple even spoke of shooting Rhodes and his men in the back, which they deemed the proper battlefield treatment of “deserters”.
Now Rhodes has replied to their accusations in a video in which he teamed up with fellow Oath Keepers Steve Homan, Robert Casillas and Brandon Ropolla (the latter of whom are also affiliated with Mike Vanderboegh’s so-called “III Percent” movement) to attack the “nutcases” that Rhodes said have assumed control of the militia camp at the Bundy Ranch.
Rhodes painted an unflattering portrait of volatile “crazies” at the camp. Most strikingly, Rhodes described some of the threats of violence that have bubbled up to the surface at the camp:
RHODES: Now, when [John] Bidler was dropped on his butt– John Bidler– another guy — some Mountain Man militia guy, put his hand on his gun and said, “I dare ya to draw — draw motherfucker, I’m gonna kill ya.” I’m sorry to cuss but that’s what he said. So they were being threatened. Guys with hands on their guns threatening them. That’s why we told them to get out of there. We knew the situation was this close from being a gunfight, right there inside the camp.
Rhodes later described another close call when guns were drawn and people very nearly shot:
RHODES: And this is the tip of the iceberg of the cluster out there. One of our guys from Montana, Rick Delap, who was there from the beginning — he’s been out there for two weeks in the dirt – the day of this confrontation, I come to find out he had to draw on somebody. Two of the Mountain Men guys came up to him — were aggressing on him. Then one of them ran back to his vehicle and grabbed an AR and came back with an AR in his hand and Rick had to draw on him. And those two ran off. That was this close from Rick having to shoot that ding-a-ling. If that guy had raised his barrel, Rick would have had no choice but to shoot him.
Paul Waldman has a nice piece about this "phenomenon" and how it always rises up when the Democratic Party holds the White House. He calls out the GOP for their rhetoric, showing that when you mainstream the armed "revolutionary" rhetoric that originates within a movement that fetishizes guns and violence, bad things can happen. (And yes, please do bring up the events of more than 40 years ago when some left wingers were guilty of violent rhetoric because it will only offer up the chance to make the point that there were far more right wingers spouting violent rhetoric --- and following through --- even then ...)
This piece by Rick Perlstein back in 2009 spells the little "problem" the Republicans have created with their mindless cultivation of this radical faction:
Another thing that makes some elite conservatives nervous in this recession is the sheer level of unhinged, even violent irrationality at the grassroots. In postwar America, a panicky, violence-prone underbrush has always been revealed in moments of liberal ascendency. In the Kennedy years, the right-wing militia known as the Minutemen armed for what they believed would be an imminent Russian takeover. In the Carter years it was the Posse Comitatus; Bill Clinton's rise saw six anti-abortion murders and the Oklahoma City bombings. Each time, the conservative mainstream was able to adroitly hive off the embarrassing fringe while laying claim to some of the grassroots anger that inspired it. Now the violence is back. But this time, the line between the violent fringe and the on-air harvesters of righteous rage has been harder to find. This spring the alleged white-supremacist cop killer in Pittsburgh, Richard Poplawski, professed allegiance to conspiracist Alex Jones, whose theories Fox TV host Glenn Beck had recently been promoting. And when Kansas doctor George Tiller was murdered in church, Fox star Bill O'Reilly was forced to devote airtime to defending himself against a charge many observers found self-evident: that O'Reilly's claim that "Tiller the baby killer" was getting away with "Nazi stuff" helped contribute to an atmosphere in which Tiller's alleged assassin believed he was doing something heroic.
That was 2009. It was just the beginning of the Obama administration. It didn't get any better. Their monster has slipped its leash.
At least in the past, those who wished to represent their movement as cosmopolitan and urbane could simply point to William F. Buckley as the right's most prominent spokesman. Now Buckley is gone, and the most prominent spokesmen—the Limbaughs and O'Reillys and Becks—can be heard mouthing attitudes once confined to the violent fringe. For the second time in three months, Fox heavily promoted anti-administration "tea party" events this past Fourth of July—rallies in praise of secession and the Articles of Confederation, at which speakers "joked" about a coup against the communist Muslim Barack Obama like the one against Manuel Zelaya in Honduras. "What's going on at Fox News?" Frum recently asked, excoriating Beck for passing out to followers books by the nutty far-right conspiracy theorist W. Cleon Skousen. If you were an elite conservative, you might be embarrassed too.
The conservative intellectuals once were able to work together more effectively with the conservative unwashed. Now, more and more, their recent irritation renders them akin to the Stalinist commissars mocked by poet Bertolt -Brecht, who asked if they might "dissolve the people/And elect another." The bargain the right has offered the downwardly mobile, culturally insecure traditionalist—give us your votes, and we will give you existential certitudes in a world that seems somehow to have gone crazy—is looking less like good politics all the time.
Update: The right wing blogs are calling the two Las Vegas shooters "leftists." Sure they were:
A man who gunned down two police officers and a woman Sunday in Las Vegas left behind social media postings that show his concerns over Benghazi, chemtrails, gun control laws, and the government’s treatment of rancher Cliven Bundy...
Yeah, that sounds like a typical lefty "false flag" operation so never mind.
Jerad Miller sketched out his interests with the groups and individuals he “liked” on Facebook, including Operation American Spring, Alliance Defending Freedom, the National Rifle Association, The Heritage Foundation, Rand Paul 2016, Three Percenter Nation, and Ron Paul.
Amanda Miller also “liked” Ron Paul, Freedom Works, and Three Percenter Nation, in addition to various paranormal groups, Stop Amnesty, and Drudge Report.
Jerad Miller posted a photo of himself Feb. 8 standing alongside former Sheriff Richard Mack, who promotes the posse comitatus idea that county sheriffs represent the supreme law of the land, during a libertarian sheriff’s debate.
Update II: More left wing socialism:
The shooters have been identified as Jerad and Amanda Miller. A NBC affiliate has this video of Jared Miller speaking to reporters at the Bundy ranch in April: “I feel sorry for any federal agents that want to come in here and try to push us around or something like that. I really don’t want violence toward them, but if they’re going to come bring violence to us, well if that’s the language they want to speak, we’ll learn it,” he says. Watch 45 seconds in:
digby 6/09/2014 10:30:00 AM