Greg Sargent at The Plum Line makes a smart observation about the connection between anti-choice activist Scott Roeder and right-wing extremist groups, which Dan mentioned earlier today: When the Department of Homeland Security released a report in April assessing the threat of "right-wing extremists," the story prompted tremendous controversy and, ultimately, an apology from DHS head Janet Napolitano. Among the most contentious passages in the report: the assertion that such extremists might include "groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion." Now, Sargent writes, "the general intent of the report, which was chock full of warnings about 'lone wolf extremists' capable of violence, now looks perfectly defensible, even reasonable."
To which HuffPo's Jason Linkins adds:
at the time, I found it a bit bizarre that many conservatives seemed to want to go out of their way to identify and equate themselves with domestic neo-Nazi organizations and violent religious fundamentalists. As has been often pointed out, the word "conservative" did not appear in the report, so the race to stand up for and embrace a violent political fringe seemed unnecessary and contrary to logic.
Roeder's connection to far-right militia groups, his ardent opposition to gun-control laws, and his hatred for government (his ex-wife told the LA Times, "the anti-tax stuff came first, and then it grew and grew"), is absolutely relevant to his connection to anti-abortion groups like Operation Rescue (whose former director, btw, just told the media Tiller had "reaped what he sowed)." The impulse to join all of these "movements" comes from the same place: A fundamental contempt for the rule of law and a lack of respect for human life. That's why we should care about the far-right extremist movement. Because when we don't, people die.