About That DHS Report

Balko doesn't approve of the partisan spin on the Holocaust Museum shooting:

Trying to string together three homicidal incidents out of hundreds from the last few months as evidence of some rising, violent, anti-government movement is just as absurd as Michelle Malkin’s attempts over the last few years to try find evidence of a mounting nationwide jihad every time someone with a Muslim name commits a crime.

Jesse Walker, along the same lines:

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.

I'd like to believe that Jesse and Radley are right. I fear they aren't, and that Palinesque extremism on the far right, whipped up by Fox and talk radio, is gaining traction and edging toward violence. I can't say I'm convinced yet, but it sure bears watching closely.