Are You on the President's Enemies List?

Last week, Barack Obama’s message to the world was: “the United States is not and never will be at war with Islam.”  This week, Barack Obama’s Department of Homeland Security’s message to conservatives was:  the United States may soon be at war with you.
According to a new report emanating from DHS, it’s no longer Islamic terrorism — or “man-caused terrorism” in the new DHS parlance — that we have to fear most, but small government, anti-tax, pro-life, pro-gun, anti-illegal immigration, pro-military conservatives.  In other words, most of the country.

The DHS report’s title is, “Right-wing Extremism:  Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.”  That’s a mouthful.  Right-wing.  Extremism.  Fueling.  Resurgence.  Radicalization.  The threat is made out to be so sinister and so imminent — it’s enough to make you want to jump into bed and pull the covers over your head.   

The report warns of potential terrorist acts from “groups that reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority” as well as “groups and individuals that are dedicated a single-issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.”

Particularly galling is the report’s lumping together of racists and Americans who take a conservative stance on issues like marriage and the sanctity of life.  The assumption seems to be that racist and pro-life views spring from the same mindset.  In truth, though, it’s the abortion industry that disproportionately targets black babies and whose largest member, Planned Parenthood, has overtly racist roots.

Potential domestic terrorists are a big concern of the Obama administration.  Actual ones aren’t.  A year ago Barack Obama and his allies were pooh-poohing his relationship with unrepentant domestic terrorist William Ayers.  Obama brushed off the controversy surrounding Ayers, trying to portray him as just a “guy who lives in my neighborhood,” even though he was co-founder of the violent radical leftwing organization the Weather Underground, which conducted a campaign of bombing public buildings, resulting in real deaths.

The report was issued by the Office of Intelligence and Analysis within DHS.  With a name like that you’d think the report would include some data, evidence, references — something.  But it has very little of any of that.  It’s full of abstractions, speculation and out-dated anecdotes of isolated acts of violence. As the report states, DHS has no “specific information that domestic rightwing terrorists are currently planning acts of violence.”  
We have become accustomed to authoritarian regimes in places like China, Burma and Cuba being so afraid of their own people that they see the greatest threat to national security as coming from within.  It’s alarming to see inklings of that same mindset from America’s leaders.

If the Department of Homeland Security is serious about cracking down on organized violence, it should look to the Left.  The vast majority of instances of political violence occurring over the last decade or so have been committed by leftwing groups. 

DHS would do well to investigate the anarchists and communists who stormed the streets of Minneapolis-St. Paul during last year’s Republican National Convention, or the radical animal rights groups that bomb medical labs and threaten university researchers with violence.  And it should not forget about the homosexual activists who attacked churches after voters passed Proposition 8 to defend traditional marriage in California.

The report’s most offensive intimation is that our heroes returning from the battlefield are susceptible to “recruitment and radicalization” by other rightwing extremists if they are “disgruntled, disillusioned, or suffering from the psychological effects of war…”  Would that the Feds placed as much emphasis on combating Muslim radicalization in American prisons and mosques. 

The DHS report is sure to reinforce the beliefs of many on the Left.  Chris Matthews recently called pro-life advocates “terrorists,” and Rosie O’Donnell once blurted that “Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America…”  For this sort of thinking to become policy for a major executive branch department is outrageous.  

Obama likes to compare himself to Lincoln, FDR and JFK.  But so far he more closely resembles Richard Nixon in one important way.  Nixon had his “Enemies List,” whose purpose was to determine, as Nixon White House Counsel John Dean described it bluntly, “how we can use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies.”

Like Nixon, Obama has signaled that he will not let opposition to his agenda go unpunished.  For Rush and conservative talk radio, there’s the Fairness Doctrine.  For gun owners and small government enthusiasts, it’s a DHS official knocking at your door. 

Whatever happened to the Obama who claimed during the campaign that he wanted to bring us all together?  Nixon never claimed to be a unifier; Obama’s election depended on the idea that he was one.

By issuing this report, DHS betrays an understanding of how radical Obama’s policies are — so radical that they might set off a violent response from disgruntled citizens.  But it also betrays an ignorance of the nature of those who fall into the categories described in the report. 

Scores of millions of Americans are coming to realize that the country they once knew is quickly being destroyed.  Understandably, they are upset and want to take action.  But they won’t resort to violence, in part because they know that in a democracy change will come when enough citizens are informed about what’s going on and vote accordingly.

That’s the point of the Tea Parties.  Nobody believes Obama or his allies will be much swayed by the outpouring of concern and anger evident at these rallies.  But the rallies do help to educate the public about how radical Obama’s agenda is.  And they help conservatives blow off a little steam and unite in solidarity around a common cause.  What’s so threatening about that?