The Party of McVeigh
[su_sky_ad]Leonard Pitts Jr. dares to go there:
[The bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City] was to contain one last surprise. It came when we learned why [domestic terrorist Timothy] McVeigh committed his atrocity. It seems he hated the government. …
Twenty years ago, the idea of anti-government resistance seemed confined to a lunatic fringe operating in the shadows beyond the mainstream. Twenty years later, it is the mainstream, the beating heart of the Republican Party. And while certainly no responsible figure on the right advocates or condones what he did, it is just as certain that McVeigh’s violent antipathy toward Washington, his conviction that America’s government is America’s enemy, has bound itself to the very DNA of modern conservatism.
It lives in Grover Norquist’s pledge to shrink government down until “we can drown it in the bathtub,” in Chuck Norris’ musing about the need for “a second American revolution,” in Michele Bachmann’s fear that the census is an evil conspiracy. It lives in dozens of right-wing terror plots documented by the Southern Poverty Law Center since the 1995 bombing, including last year’s murder of two police officers and a Wal-Mart shopper by two anti-government activists in Las Vegas. It lives in Cliven Bundy’s armed standoff with federal officials.
These days, it is an article of faith on the political right that “government” is a faceless, amorphous Other.
But this government brought itself into being with three words — “We the people” — and they are neither incidental nor insignificant.
Pitts’s trenchant, erudite observation (you should read it in its entirety) goes to press as eliminationist troublemakers continue to flock to Oregon:
A man who owns a gold-mining claim on federal land in southwestern Oregon asked for help defending it after U.S. authorities ordered him to stop work, but he is now telling his armed supporters to back off.
Rick Barclay said Thursday that he hoped to prevent his fight with federal regulators from turning into the kind of high-profile standoff at a Nevada ranch last year.
He initially called in a local chapter of constitutional activists known as the Oath Keepers because he thought the U.S. Bureau of Land Management would seize the equipment on his mining claim outside Grants Pass. The agency had served an order to stop work at the mine after finding it lacked the necessary paperwork.
Armed activists started showing up Monday at the mine and a rural property about 20 miles away, Oath Keepers spokeswoman Mary Emerick said. She said the group was still recruiting people to help provide security for the mine but would not say how many activists were there.
Eight people, two of them armed with pistols, could be seen at two staging areas outside Grants Pass. They refused to answer questions. …
Barclay is telling his supporters that the mine is not under attack, posts online by “keyboard warriors” have gotten out of hand, and he was not interested in a repeat of the Cliven Bundy ranch standoff.
Somehow, I don’t buy that last part – at least insofar as what Barclay was thinking before the ammosexuals and seditionists started showing up. His renunciation of his open carry fellow travelers came several days too late.