On Far Right Radicalism and Terror #1

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From TPM Reader JO

I appreciated your post yesterday about the increasingly close connection between the modern GOP and the growth of right wing radicalism and domestic terrorism over the decades since the Waco tragedies (and going back slightly earlier to the Ruby Ridge standoff — though I guess a campaign rally there would have been a bit too transparent even for Trump). The line from Waco to OKC to the Bundys to January 6 is clear and frightening — and your attention to it is why I’ve been following TPM from the start.

I’m writing because I think there’s one very important piece of the GOP’s alignment with the right wing violent extremists that didn’t make the cut: the April 2009 HHS report on the risk of right wing domestic terrorism that HHS Secretary Napolitano initially defended and then apologized for. It was an early win for the GOP in their attempt to strangle the Obama administration in the crib, and it had to have encouraged the same folks who used disinformation to get the tea party movement going the following year. Before that there were always the nuts like Dan Burton in the party, but I think there’s a good argument that the GOP’s success in wounding Napolitano and Obama over this report was the proof-of-concept that really turbo charged the cynical alignment between mainstream GOPers and the fostering and political exploitation of right wing extremism. Trump didn’t invent or even perfect it, he was just the first to make it a central theme of a successful presidential campaign and administration. Having succeeded where Pat Buchanan failed in 1992, I fear Trump won’t be the last.

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