The paranoid style of Obama politics
By John Hayward 5.31.13
Eyebrows have been raised by the announcement that US Attorney Bill Killian, in the company of FBI Special Agent in Charge Kenneth Moore, will soon address a Muslim council in Tennessee about “how civil rights can be violated by those who post inflammatory documents targeted at Muslims on social media.”
“This is an educational effort with civil rights laws as they play into freedom of religion and exercising freedom of religion. This is also to inform the public what federal laws are in effect and what the consequences are,” Killian said ominously.
He’s not just talking about shouting-fire-in-a-crowded-theater stuff. The example of offensive speech he presented in a pre-seminar interview was a photo of some joker pointing a shotgun into the camera and winking, with the caption “How to Wink at a Muslim.” A Tennessee county commissioner posted it on his Facebook page. It’s an asinine thing for a county official to do – he eventually apologized and embarked upon a quest to “study and talk with those of Muslim faith to learn more about their beliefs” – but it’s pretty tame compared to the fare on some of the more spirited Islamist websites and social media pages. There doesn’t seem to be much Justice Department enthusiasm to prosecute them for civil rights violations. Too bad Killian didn’t round up a posse and go after Tamerlan Tsarnaev for his inflammatory postings, huh?
Another part of this seminar will apparently involve the creation of a global Christian terror menace to rival the worldwide threat of Islamist violence. This will presumably make the Muslim audience feel better about all those broad-daylight London be-headings and Boston Marathon bombings and jihad armies and such. From the Tullahoma News:
Killian said the presentation will also focus on Muslim culture and how, that although terrorist acts have been committed by some in the faith, they are no different from those in other religions.
He referred to the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing in which Timothy McVeigh, an American terrorist, detonated a truck bomb in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995. Commonly referred to as the Oklahoma City Bombing, the attack killed 168 people and injured more than 800.
It was the deadliest act of terrorism within the United States prior to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and remains the deadliest act of domestic terrorism in U.S. history. Terry Nichols was also charged and incarcerated as a co-conspirator.
Killian also referred to the Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting on Aug. 5, 2012, when Wade Michael Page, an American white supremacist, fatally shot six people and wounded four others in a mass shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis. Page committed suicide by shooting himself in the head after he was shot in the stomach by a responding police officer.
“Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols were both Christians as was the guy who shot up the Sikh temple,” Killian said. “Sikhs are not Muslim, Many people think they are Muslim, but they split off with the Hindu religion.”
Well, there you have it. There was Timothy McVeigh, and that one guy who shot up a Sikh temple, and… and… well, anyway, it’s like the Crusades never really ended. A seething mass of white racist Neanderthals lurks forever just out of sight, ready to explode in a violent backlash against innocent Muslims any day now. Who knows – maybe the next atrocity will finally set them off.
The Obama years have been all about conjuring demons from the ether, for various cultural and political purposes. We keep hearing about these weird government publications that classify everyone the Southern Poverty Law Center doesn’t like as a potential terrorist threat. As far back as April 2009, we had Janet Napolitano cranking out her landmark report, “Right-wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.” You can pretty much draw a straight line from that, through Barack Obama and his allies relentlessly demonizing the Tea Party, to the massive IRS abuses of power against everyone on Obama’s enemies list. A right-wing boogeyman hides beneath every bed and lurks behind every closet door.
The relatively benign explanation for the IRS scandal – fervently promoted by liberals scared out of their wits that we’ll turn up evidence of White House involvement – is that all of these agents, supervisors, and high-ranking officials spontaneously volunteered for duty as opposition researchers and vote-suppression specialists for the Obama 2012 campaign. (We’re way past the laughable early “rogue low-level employees” theory.) The President and top congressional Democrats pointed at these dissident groups and scowled; eager bureaucrats took it from there, guided by both a desire to curry favor with the ruling Party and their own personal prejudices.
Let’s entertain that explanation for a moment. The obvious follow-up question is: Why didn’t this ever happen before? The phenomenon of bureaucratic hounds lunging from their cages to attack the President’s designated enemies is unique to the Obama years. His predecessors from both parties have grumbled about their opponents before – Bill Clinton famously blamed the Oklahoma City bombing on Rush Limbaugh and talk radio – but no bolts of bureaucratic lightning struck down the designated sinners. There have been sporadic complaints of discriminatory treatment, but never programmed oppression of this scope and cohesion.
This is an age of official paranoia, in which the President and his apologists routinely declare dissenters beyond the pale, claiming they have no legitimate motivations beyond greed and racism. One of Obama’s most notorious speeches involved laughing at the supposed arrogance of “smart guy” business owners who think they’re responsible for their own success, when in his view they stole their riches by exploiting the Little People and stealing public resources – “You didn’t build that! Someone else made that happen!”
This notion of communally-owned success – even the greatest entrepreneur couldn’t earn a nickel without using public infrastructure! – is employed to justify unlimited taxation, since everyone literally “owes” everything to the State. It also conveniently transforms those who resist the demands of the State into enemies of The People. How dare they refuse the Avatar of The People when he says he needs more of their money?
And who can forget all the creepy little programs launched by Obama and his political operation to keep tabs on dissidents, like the infamous “Attack Watch?” His campaign once offered to send taunting Christmas cards to Republican acquaintances of his supporters – in exchange for a donation, of course. He describes the free market as a savage wilderness, which inspires his devotees to see their fellows in the private sector as predators. He misses no opportunity to make his supporters think of themselves as a helpless but enlightened few, adrift in a sea of hateful mouth-breathing enemies. He got re-elected by portraying himself as a plucky hero struggling against impossible odds, completely divorced from the results of his own policies. In the final days of the 2012 election, he encouraged his constituents to think of voting for him as an act of revenge against their enemies.
Statism is inherently paranoid. Dissenters are the enemies of progress. When the government is the repository of all virtue, those who resist its expansion become villains. When the government is the primary agency of compassion, it can easily portray its critics as heartless. To those who depend on the State for their livelihood, dissenters who speak of economic liberty and diminished government are the enemy. If you won’t give politicians the resources and authority they need to “help” someone, then you must “hate” whoever they were trying to help. Socialist redistribution is among the most divisive political systems ever created, because the recipients must be made to see themselves entitled to what is given, while their class enemies can be allowed no moral claim to what is taken.
It’s no surprise that the greatest advocates of centralized power manufacture a lot of enemies, so they can righteously assert whatever powers they desire to defeat those custom-built foes. On the other hand, carrying out their sworn duty to confront actual physical threats to the public is far less rewarding.