(Via Instapundit) One minor problem with it as a title, though. When it came to the “Red Scare” (which is what Jesse Walker is referencing in his article at Reason Hit & Run), hysteria aside there actually was an organized Soviet Communist effort to destabilize the West. I know that Jesse knows this, but it needs to be addressed, given that the point of his article is that there isn’t actually anything similar behind the Holocaust Museum attack. But that’s just a quibble:
Why did the DHS report come under such fire? It wasn’t because far-right cranks are incapable of committing crimes. It’s because the paper blew the threat of right-wing terror out of proportion, just as the Clinton administration did in the ’90s; because it treated “extremism” itself as a potential threat, while offering a definition of extremist so broad it seemed it include anyone who opposed abortion or immigration or excessive federal power; and because it fretted about the danger of “the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities.” (Note that neither the killing in Kansas last month nor the shooting in Washington yesterday was committed by an Iraq or Afghanistan vet.) The effect isn’t to make right-wing terror attacks less likely. It’s to make it easier to smear nonviolent, noncriminal figures on the right, just as the most substantial effect of a red scare was to make it easier to smear nonviolent, noncriminal figures on the left. The fact that communist spies really existed didn’t justify Joseph McCarthy’s antics, and the fact that armed extremists really exist doesn’t justify the Department of Homeland Security’s report.
Read the whole thing, although the people who most need to read it – specifically, everybody mentioned by name in the first paragraph – won’t; or more accurately, won’t dare. There’s a narrative to pursue here (pinning this attack on the Republican party, if we’re going to be blunt here), so anything that might confuse this narrative will be dismissed. That includes minor details like the fact that the shooter was anti-Christian (literally: he believed that the Jews created Christianity to destroy the Roman Empire and wreck the Aryans), the entire 9/11 Troofer thing, the fact that the next planned stop for him would have been The Weekly Standard… and, of course, this article.
Which I guess is their privilege, although I have no intention of pretending that I have any respect for them trying to do it.
PS: If we’re going to assign von Brunn’s place on the spectrum, it was 52 degrees off the vertical to the rest of us, and accelerating away. Look askance at anybody determined to plant him in the Mainstream Right, or even the Odd Right; that person might have other personality flaws.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.