David Neiwert’s excellent Orcinus is a regular read for me. David has a focus on Northwest issues that is hard to duplicate. He’s a Washington State journalist who writes extensively about a variety of homegrown terrorists or wannabes, like the Minutemen, the Montana Freemen, or Washington State’s own scrappy, bombmaking Militia. David also is an excellent dismantler of Michelle Malkin’s defense of internment; Neiwert’s just published Strawberry Days is a history of the internment of Japanese in Washington State during WWII. So Neiwert knows of what he speaks when it comes to wingnuts.
A poster on his blog found an interesting bumpersticker last week that is right in line with the war on liberals. In the interest of bandwidth, an image of the sticker is below the fold…
Notice the pejorative use of Democrat.
These “permits” have been around for awhile now, mostly circulating on the fringes of the far right, but they’ve been increasingly making their way into broader circulation. One of the Minutemen described in Andy Isaacson’s mash letter to that extremist phenomenon sported just such a sticker on his rig.
The people sporting such stickers, no doubt, will contend that it’s just a joke — as though such a fig leaf could disguise the violent attitudes and beliefs required to find it humorous. Next they’ll argue that stickers saying “Hitler Needed to Finish the Job” are just meant to be funny.
This is, of course, just another permutation of the rising tide of eliminationist rhetoric directed at liberals. It’s everywhere — including now, thanks to Karl Rove, the highest echelons of the Bush administration.
I can’t say I was terribly surprised by Rove’s remarks, but they are well worth noting for their precise content:
…Mr. Rove also said American armed forces overseas were in more jeopardy as a result of remarks last week by Senator Richard J. Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, who compared American mistreatment of detainees to the acts of “Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime – Pol Pot or others.”
“Has there ever been a more revealing moment this year?” Mr. Rove asked. “Let me just put this in fairly simple terms: Al Jazeera now broadcasts the words of Senator Durbin to the Mideast, certainly putting our troops in greater danger. No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals.”
Rather predictably, the right, from Michelle Malkin to Tom DeLay, has closed ranks and defended Rove’s remarks as “the truth.” (Malkin says Rove distilled “the fundamental difference between the left and the right’s approaches to terrorism in the wake of 9/11.”)
Lockstep, massive alignment in the demonization of liberals, making its way into the popular culture, in rapid order. This propoganda machine of the right’s is truly awesome. Neiwerts mention of eliminationist rhetoric goes back to a post of his from last week, which begins with this quote:
This man is simply a piece of excrement, a piece of waste that needs to be scraped off the sidewalk and eliminated.
— KVI’s John Carlson, discussing Sen. Dick Durbin, on his Seattle-based talk show Thursday
John Carlson is mainstream Republican. At least he was: he was the GOP nominee for governor of WA in 2000. The piece continues with this quote from Rush Limbaugh of last week:
Yeah, patty cakes. DU, cluster bombs, destroyed infrastructure, impending civil war, all on top of 10 years of sanctions that killed hundreds of thousand. Yeah Rush, just like fuckin patty cakes us Americans. I digress.
Did you see how Rush, just artfully wove together the painful memories of Mogadishu with the current situation. It’s Clinton’s fault! Thats what he’s saying, and by extension, it’s the fault of war dissentors, those allied with the likes of Clinton. Rush just flat out declares us guilty of treason, a crime punishable by death.
We watched Hotel Rwanda this weekend. Its hard for me now to not directly equate Hutu Power Radio with what is happening now on right wing hate radio. We are the cockroaches now. Bush’s speech tomorrow night will be a watershed moment. If he avoids the theme of traitorous countrymen laid out by hate radio this last week, then I think that hate will remain a sub current throughout the right. If he makes mention of it, then all bets are off.