Usually it's just fun to laugh at wingnuts; they're generally harmless, spewing shit so idiotic that no one in their right mind would ever pay attention to them. Whether it's Obama's birth certificate, his choice in mustard, gay marriage leading to the downfall of civilization, or they're named Glenn Beck... they're usually just silly old crazy people, like the kind you'd find pushing around a shopping cart, but not in a grocery store. Unfortunately, the ultra right-wing is growing increasingly frustrated as they become increasingly irrelevant and as a result, they're becoming more dangerous.
All this psychotic rage seemed to begin around the end of the presidential campaign when the McCain/Palin events became glorified hate rallies. We all remember McCain reining in the crazy old woman who called Obama an "Arab," but Governor Avon Lady didn't stop fanning the flames of wingnuttery when she started insinuating that her opponent was a "terrorist." With policemen (in uniform) and various religious leaders to help spread the smears as well, they set the table for the crazies to come feast.
Aligning with psychopaths is a lot like opening Pandora's Box, there is no going back, the toothpaste is out of the tube, insert other cliché here. Obama won the election, but the Republicans had all these new found loonies shuffling around aimlessly like the mindless zombies they are, so they all got together and had themselves a little Tea Party. The tea parties were hijacked from the Libertarian movement and turned into campaign events, funded by neocons like Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey. The teabagging did nothing except show how hypocritical and out of touch the Republican Party was with America; they were essentially complaining that they had to pay for the tow truck after a night of drunk driving resulting in wrapping their Mercedes around a telephone pole. But that didn't stop the crazies from showing up, oh no... the teabaggers weren't just coming to talk about taxes, they had plenty of wingnutty goodness to go around.
But then it got scary, unlike when McCain reined in the racists at those campaign rallies, the Republicans embraced the tea parties and we got a glance at just how fucking insane this party has become. Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann wanted her contstituents "armed and dangerous," Texas Governor Rick Perry talked about seceding from the union and Republican strategist (and complete scumbag) Dick Morris, took a page out of G. Gordon Liddy's handbook and said, “Those crazies in Montana who say, ‘we’re going to kill ATF agents because the UN’s going to take over’ - well, they’re beginning to have a case.”
All this crazy boiled over earlier this week when Dr. George Tiller, a doctor who helped women and their families through an agonizing decision, was assassinated by a right-wing extremist. And then, several sick and demented psychopaths celebrated. I'm not going to get into the abortion debate here - if you agree with a woman's right to choose then I'd just be preaching to the choir; if you disagree, neither of us will convince the other otherwise - but if you think Dr. Tiller was performing these late-term abortions just because the mother "changed her mind," then you're a fucking moron. Pro-"life," but only if it's unborn... grown adults are apparently fair game, and killing them in church is a-okay too. Crazy and hypocritical... a dangerous combination.
But it doesn't stop there... in the last two days, a man is roaming around somewhere in the country, armed to the teeth and carrying a small fortune, plotting to assassinate the President of the United States. Today, a different man was arraigned in New York after plotting to "blow up" President Obama and Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Mix this in with all these random shooting sprees that have been popping up all over the place and one might think this country has officially lost its goddamn mind.
A lot of people have placed part of the blame on Fox News, especially Bill O'Reilly, for the assassination of Dr. Tiller. As much as I'd like to blame them specifically, it goes much deeper than that. This culture of fear and paranoia has been growing since 9/11, partially because the Republicans have exploited it for political gain, partially because we still have a lot of racists and bigots living in this country and partially because we'll always have people who are just plain bonkers. That Homeland Security report about right-wing extremists (the one the Republicans went nuts over even though it was authorized by the Bush Administration) was spot-on, and I worry that this problem is only going to get worse before it gets better.