There’s been a great deal of buzz on conservative blogs and talk radio about this Department of Homeland Security report on rightwing extremism. I’m not going spend a lot of time deconstructing the report or pointing out it’s faults, Moe Lane, Michelle Malkin, Ed Morrissey & Roger Hedgecock have already done that.
The report provides no specific information on potential threats, instead it relies on broad generalities to paint roughly half the country as kooks (emphasis mine):
(U) Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.
If you follow DHS’ logic Texas Governor Rick Perry is an extremist for backing legislation affirming Texas’ 10th amendment rights:
You can read the text of the bill here.
The bottom line here is that DHS is using overly broad generalities that effectively, even if unintentionally, lump mainstream grassroots conservatives together with extremists. Believing in traditional Constitutional principles like states rights does not make someone an extremist… Advocating the violent overthrow of the government does!
AJ Strata has an interesting post on the DHS report (be sure to read Colin’s comment)… For the most part I agree with him, I disagree with his characterization of Michelle Malkin’s comments though. Yes, Michelle tends to use hyperbole to make her point, her point though is basically the same as mine or AJ’s:
This report isn’t a particularly useful intelligence assessment; it provides no new information or specifics on potential threats, and worse still it uses overly broad generalities that effectively, even if unintentionally, lump mainstream conservatives in with extremists.