08.04.2011 0

Tea Party ‘Terrorists’ Take Capitol Hostage?

Tea Party Movement

Does this look like a 'terrorist' mob?

By Robert Romano – Patriotic Americans who see the nation teetering on the brink of financial ruin and demand real reforms to rein in the spiraling debt are an imminent threat to the Republic.

That was apparently Joe Biden’s take on tea party demands that any increase to the national debt ceiling be accompanied by trillions of reduced borrowing.  “They have acted like terrorists,” Biden reportedly said.

Someone get Navy Seal Team 6 on the line.

Of course, members of Congress conditioning their votes to raise the debt ceiling in exchange for a long-term plan for deficit reduction would actually have been an act of political compromise in which both parties got something they want.

That it only cut $22 billion of out of the 2012 budget is another matter entirely.  The deal depends on out-year spending cuts later this decade to achieve most of its $917 billion in promised savings, and a super-committee to get at another $1 trillion, if those cuts even happen.  As a result, the debt will still likely to explode this decade to over $26 trillion by 2021, and will never balance the budget.

Some terrorists.  Biden later denied he had ever said it despite multiple sources at the White House meeting he attended.  But the damage was done as the man one heartbeat away from the Presidency essentially labeled a vast political movement as enemies of the state.

The sad part is this is not the first such smear by Democrats against the tea party.  Then-House Majority Whip James Clyburn’s had claimed that tea parties are a “kind of terrorism.” Others have wildly charged without any proof that activists shouted racial epithets at members of Congress in March 2010 at a protest against the health care bill, as reported by the American Thinker. Others still have claimed without evidence that acts of vandalism were linked to the tea parties.

In 2009, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer wrote an oped in USA Today calling ObamaCare opponents “un-American”. Rep. Steve Kagen had said irate townhall participants were “uncivilized,” and Rep. Baron Hill called them “political terrorists.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid proudly labeled them “evil mongers.”

Rep. Brian Baird called opponents of ObamaCare “Brown Shirts” and compared them to domestic terrorists, “Some of the rhetoric that we’re hearing is… eerily reminiscent of the kind of things that drove Tim McVeigh to bomb the federal building in Oklahoma.”

So, these smears are nothing new.  Americans for Limited Government President Bill Wilson said it was all a part of a contrived political theater: “These attacks have all the hallmarks of a coordinated effort to discredit and marginalize millions of Americans as extremists.  Meanwhile, these are citizens who want nothing more than less government control over their lives.   For that, they are pariahs and must be destroyed.”

What makes it dangerous, however, is that this sort of thinking may be influencing federal security policy.  In 2009, the controversial Department of Homeland Security (DHS) “rightwing extremism” memo targeted “groups, movements, and adherents… that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority” and “groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.”

In other words, millions of Americans who adhere to a philosophy that calls for limiting government power were considered by a top federal agency to be dangerous ticking time bombs just waiting to go off.

A Freedom of Information Act request filed by Americans for Limited Government in 2009 revealed that the Department’s sourcing included using news stories, kooky websites, and conjecture instead of actual hard intelligence reporting.

The memo had also reported that “rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans”.

At the time, ALG’s Wilson commented, “the memo did not illuminate on any actual planned attacks or any groups known to be planning attacks, or any groups with histories of perpetrating attacks that are currently conducting any types of operational recruitment, meeting, or planning attacks.”

Wilson explained, “The background DHS used was not based on credible intelligence sources, reporting, and analysis.” So, it was nothing more than a dangerous witch hunt that apparently is believed by Biden who has gotten in trouble in past for saying what’s really on his mind.

His spokesperson, Kendra Barkoff attempted to explain it away, saying, “The word was used by several members of Congress.” Oh, that makes it better.  Apparently, a dangerous lie told often enough becomes the truth.  The myth persists, and thanks to Biden, now it will escalate.

Robert Romano is the Senior Editor of Americans for Limited Government.

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