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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Taking Advantage of The Holocaust Museum Shooting

One thing, to a certainty, is that the Holocaust Museum shooting by a long-time neo-Nazi white supremacist, who previously committed an attempted shooting at the Federal Reserve in 1981, will be used for political purposes.

Although the shooting is only hours old, numerous blogs already are attempting to tie the act of violence to conservatives and criticism of the Obama administration's overly broad definition of those who are "extremists." Posts such as "this looks like the latest episode in what is looking like the spate of right-wing violence we've been predicting" or "the right wing has lost whatever restraint it had" or "perhaps it’ll be time to revisit all that criticism of the DHS report" are highly irresponsible attempts to take political advantage of this apparently lone-wolf tragedy.

It never was disputed by conservatives that neo-Nazis with (or without) histories of violence properly were deemed extremists and security risks. Those seeking to make political hay out of this shooting by invoking the DHS report are working a version of the strawman argument.

But there is a voice for sanity (probably more than one voice, this is just an example), at Comments from Left Field:
This kook is a neo-Nazi conspiracy theoriest with no connection to the mainstream right. As evidence, here’s his Internet paper trail: an archive of his website holywesternempire.org”. (The reference to the Germanic Holy Roman Empire during the Middle Ages should be obvious.)

Explore his website if you want (I’m not wasting my time), but keep two questions in mind: Do you see links to mainstream rightwing sites? And did any mainstream rightwing websites pay attention to him. Perhaps I need to do more research before answering these questions, but after a cursory look at Von Brunn’s website — as well as trolling rightwing blogs for ages — I think the answers to these questions are no and no.

Tensions are running high and it’s easy to try making a connection between the GOP and people like Von Brunn, but that connection just isn’t logical. Neo-Nazis stand apart from the rest. Let’s not confuse the two.

On the very day when Rev. Jeremiah Wright is quoted as saying that "them Jews aren't going to let him [Obama] talk to me," we should keep in mind that anti-semitism is not merely a neo-Nazi phenomenon.

And someone who would walk into an abortion clinic, or museum, or military recruiting station [added, or church] and start shooting are not representative of any of the mainstream political or social movements in this country. Let's not confuse criminals with political opponents.

UPDATE: Michele Malkin and Donald Douglas are following blog reaction as well. More good posts:

UPDATE: Here are some more of the posts seeking to take political advantage through the DHS strawman argument (and otherwise):

  • Washington Monthly: "The Republican hysteria over the DHS report -- which was, by the way, initiated by a Bush administration official -- was always based more on a partisan scheme than reality, but the incessant complaints look especially misguided today."
  • Matthew Yglesias: "Not a great deal more to say about this right now, but I hope that everyone who mau-maued the Department of Homeland Security for expressing concern about this kind of thing feels appropriately ashamed of themselves."
  • The Daily Dish: That DHS report doesn't look so iffy any more, does it?
  • TPMMuckraker "And it may be not just hardcore Neo-Nazis on the right who liked Von Brunn's work. A recent screed he wrote about President Obama's birth certificate was posted on Free Republic, the conservative site." Think Progress has a similar post.
  • Shepard Smith at FoxNews bought into the DHS report strawman argument, which is being used to great advantage by Media Matters.
  • Taylor Marsh: "We have a real escalation of domestic terrorism unfolding in the United States. Something Janet Napolitano warned about in her homeland security report, for which Republicans eviscerated her. She was ringing the warning bell, which as we’ve seen lately was fully warranted."
  • Sam Stein at Huffington Post: "... it is worth revisiting the DHS report that was deemed by conservatives to be so controversial."
  • Alex Koppelman as Salon.com: Right: DHS extremist report was "crap." Really?
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  1. And the people who would try to make such political hay are the same who would tell us that al Qaeda's murderousness does not actually have anything to do with Islam or Muslims.

  2. The shooter is old enough to have been a NAZI, never mind a Neo-Nazi.

  3. Your concern about the innocents that were shot is just touching.

    You really ARE hardcore aren't you?

  4. Not a mention of the victims.

    Then for good measure you even do a "tu quoque" on Jeremiah Wright like he's single handily the equivalent to the National Alliance or the Aryan Nation or the nuts on Free Republic... nice job.

    It's all about protection the rightwing brand isn't it?

    God, I hope your work doesn't include dealing with actual human beings.

  5. The Davemartin brand seems to be multiplying. Interesting use of a "tu quoque" accusation; actually quite ironic since the Davemartins are employing just that technique (even though they employ the term incorrectly as to my post).

  6. I'm sorry for the multiple posts, it won't happen again... I thought they were rejected.

    I'll give you a absolute credit for being big enough to allowing free speech and dissenting opinions on your blog.

  7. The Left looks at everything azs a politcal game...Late this evening it turns out his guy HATED George W. Bush and all the "neoconservatives".

    NOW LEFTIST where would all that HATE orginate from again?

    Sometimes a NUT is a NUT!

  8. You know what dave, who cares where the hate is coming from? Does it really matter if it comes from the left or right? So because the jihadi wannabe's aren't the property of the right you ignore them? I see the typical ostrich ploy, or is that the two year old if I have my eyes closed and can't see them then they aren't there technique?

    The tragedy is that a man lost his life today, to a nutball that didn't want to face reality. Thankfully, his fellow guards were there to prevent an even bigger tragedy.

    And davemartin, remember this when you try to deny something like the muslim jihadists in this country. They're still there, you just made it twice as easy for them to do their work.

  9. Fascism is left wing, Davey. Or do you think collectivist economics and we are one-people philosophy are conservative? Libs can't stand their own, so they pawn the on us.

    As for the topic, I hear Shep go nuts on the DHS report. It was kinda sad.

  10. Von Brunn was a poster on the far-rightwing hate site "Free Republic".

    His hateful screed "Obama is Missing" is signed by him, with his full name, James W. von Brunn, on December 02, 2008

    It is still up on that site... check it out before it's removed.

    His Free Republic nick was "wannabegeek"

    I don't know why the MSM is not covering this.

    Google "Obama is Missing"

  11. Is Obama’s attitude, his rapprochement toward the “Muslim world” and his turning away from Israel, giving the "go-ahead" to Anti-American and anti-Semitic nutjobs? Ralph Peters said that Obama's Cairo speech (and omitting Israel from the trip) sent the message that "Jews are fair game." And Obama has made his feelings on the US and its military efforts pretty clear.

  12. Jeremiah Wright is the president's former spiritual advisor. The president was a member of his congregation for 20 years.