A report about this week’s primary elections calls citizens in the grass-roots tea-party movement “insurgents” and raises questions about whether they can impact the November vote.
The Associated Press story analyzes several early primaries, which were won mostly by incumbents even though some were challenged by candidates supported by tea-party activists.
The report says the “tea party-backed challengers and other outsiders were shut out in competitive House and Senate primaries” and then declared the results “renewed a debate about the clout of the insurgents in the remaining primaries.”
The report as posted on Yahoo
“Insurgents” largely has been used of late in the media as a watered-down reference to terrorists such as those battling American and NATO troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It’s not the first time a derogatory term has been applied to tea-party activists.
One of the better known events was when House Speaker Nancy Pelosi likened tea-party activists to Nazis:
It happened in San Francisco where a Chronicle reporter asked her for her opinion on whether there is “legitimate grass-roots opposition” to the Democrats’ health-care reform plan.
Pelosi said: “I think they are Astroturf.”
And she continued, “They’re carrying swastikas and symbols like that to a town meeting on health care.”
The labeling of opponents of Obama’s policies and actions, however, had begun earlier.
WND reported when a Missouri state report cited 32 characteristics police should watch for as signs or links to domestic terrorists.
Many of the same issues are cited as concerns by tea-party activists.
“Police were instructed to look for Americans who were concerned about unemployment, taxes, illegal immigration, gangs, border security, abortion, high costs of living, gun restrictions, FEMA, the IRS, The Federal Reserve, and the North American Union/SPP/North American Community. The ‘Missouri Documents’ also said potential domestic terrorists might like gun shows, short wave radios, combat movies, movies with white male heroes, Tom Clancey novels, and Presidential Candidates Ron Paul, Bob Barr, and Chuck Baldwin!” wrote Americans for Legal Immigration PAC at the time.
“When many of us read these Missouri Documents we felt that the false connections, pseudo research, and political attacks found in these documents could have been penned by the SPLC and ADL,” said William Gheen of ALIPAC. “We were shocked to see credible law enforcement agencies disseminating the same kind of over the top political propaganda distributed by these groups.”
The Missouri report was just the tip of the iceberg, however. WND reported only weeks later when a Department of Homeland Security report warned against the possibility of violence by unnamed “right-wing extremists” concerned about illegal immigration, increasing federal power, restrictions on firearms, abortion and the loss of U.S. sovereignty. The report singled out returning war veterans as particular threats.
Titled “Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,” the April 7 report stated “threats from white supremacist and violent anti-government groups during 2009 have been largely rhetorical and have not indicated plans to carry out violent acts.”
However, the document, first reported by talk-radio host and WND columnist Roger Hedgecock, went on to suggest worsening economic woes, potential new legislative restrictions on firearms and “the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks.”
The report from the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis defined right-wing extremism in the U.S. as “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 anti-government, 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.”
Most notable was the report’s focus on the impact of returning war veterans.
“Returning veterans possess combat skills and experience that are attractive to right-wing extremists,” it said. “DHS/I&A is concerned that right-wing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize veterans in order to boost their violent capacities.”