Okay, so the meme-of-the-hour among leftie politicians, pundits and hacks alike is that the Tea Party Republicans who stood fast in favor of small government and serious, long-term spending cuts and steps toward prosperity are “terrorists.” While the trend had been going for a while now, it received a full head of steam when Vice President Joe Biden reportedly referred to Tea Party-influenced Republican members of Congress as “terrorists” in a closed-door meeting of Democrats yesterday.
After hearing about it last night, my response immediately went on Twitter, my preferred outlet for political and other thoughts not significant enough to warrant a post here at America’s Right (and for making jokes about Barney Frank). My tweet:
I was only being half-facetious, thinking of course about the March 2009 Der Spiegel interview given by Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano in which she explained that neither she nor her colleagues would be using the word “terrorism,” an interview which closely followed a Senate hearing in which–you guessed it–she never even once used the word “terrorism.”
Normally, I would not be even slightly concerned about the latest trend in liberal blustering. After all, broad-spectrum attempts to paint the Tea Party as racist largely failed, managing to steel the misinformed resolve of those already convinced that the president and his party can do no wrong. Why should “terrorist” gain any more traction than “racist” when used to describe an enormous and growing chunk of the American population, who believe in such radical, extreme concepts as a balanced budget? Why should the label of “terrorist” stick to legislators like Congressman Jason Chaffetz or Senator Mike Lee who advocate in favor of a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the federal equivalent of a provision already contained within the state constitutions in 49 of our 50 states?
I don’t worry about what Joe Biden thinks of me. I don’t worry about what Paul Krugman thinks of you. When I do worry about being called a “terrorist,” though, is when the White House is looking to establish a new initiative intended to counter radicalization inside the United States.
The White House will announce a new strategy Wednesday for countering radicalization inside the U.S., POLITICO has learned.
One key question is how intensely the U.S. government’s anti-radicalization efforts will be on extremist Muslims, as opposed to other philosophies and religions that can lead to violence. There have been an increasing number of “homegrown” plots by radical Muslims in the U.S. in recent months. However, there have also been politically-motivated violent incidents involving non-Muslims. In addition, the recent mass shooting in Norway allegedly carried out by a man concerned about growing Muslim populations in Europe is a reminder that terrorism can be prompted by a variety of motivations.
Like Mr. Riehl, I don’t want to be one to overreact, nor do I consider myself particularly prone to overreaction. Still, the concurrent nature of the Tea Party-as-terrorists meme-of-the-month and the White House’s new initiative is enough to raise an eyebrow.
Standing alone, either the “terrorists” trend or the counter-radicalization efforts of the White House certainly are not alarming. One is typical liberal alarmism and demagoguery, and the other isn’t anything we haven’t seen before — think Homeland Security’s Spring 2009 directive listing returning veterans and single-issue advocates as “rightwing extremists” worth watching.
Still, just as the White House used the BP oil spill as a catalyst to institute an unnecessary, job-killing and energy-price-increasing offshore drilling moratorium, drawing attention to a trumped-up environmental catastrophe to drive and cement public opinion as best they could, I would not put it past this same group to use the Norway terrorist attack as a catalyst to introduce this new counter-radicalization initiative, drawing attention to the increasing frustration of Tea Party Republicans in order to drive public opinion from the Democratic Party base.