Posted on | April 27, 2010 | 12 Comments
Willy-nilly lumping together of libertarians, conservatives and kooks like Alex Jones? Check. Obligatory inclusion of high-profile Fox News personalities? Check. Time for somebody to do some actual reporting:
Catherine Bleish is a 26-year-old libertarian who was a Ron Paul delegate to the 2008 Republican National Convention. She is a leader of the Liberty Restoration Project which, among other things, opposes the federal “War on Drugs” and denounces the Patriot Act as “an assault against the civil liberties of Americans.”
Perhaps you disagree with those views, but is Bleish dangerous?
The Southern Poverty Law Center seems to think so. In a special report called “Meet the ‘Patriots’” issued last week, the SPLC named Bleish as one of 35 people “at the heart of the resurgent movement.” The report — which also names WorldNetDaily publisher Joseph Farah and Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy in Media — describes the movement thus:
“In the last year and a half, militias and the larger antigovernment ‘Patriot’ movement have exploded, accompanied by the rapid expansion of other sectors of the radical right. … [T]he so-called Patriots [are] people who generally believe that the federal government is an evil entity that is engaged in a secret conspiracy to impose martial law, herd those who resist into concentration camps, and force the United States into a socialistic ‘New World Order.’”
The SPLC’s scary references to militias and conspiracies and a “resurgent movement” very much echo Bill Clinton’s recent conflation of the tea party with Timothy McVeigh and, like Clinton, the Montgomery, Ala.-based organization singled out Rep. Michelle Bachmann, calling her an “enabler” of the Patriot movement. Also labeled “enablers” by the SPLC were Glenn Beck and Andrew Napolitano of Fox News, as well as Ron Paul, the Texas congressman whose quixotic 2008 presidential campaign helped turn Bleish into a full-time political activist. . . .
Please read the whole thing. Whatever you think of Ron Paul and his supporters, the SPLC’s insinuation that they pose a threat to public safety — The Libertarian Menace! — is unwarranted. And the Paulistas certainly aren’t part of a “movement” that also includes, inter alia, Cliff Kincaid and Michelle Bachmann.
It’s amazing what you can find out about the SPLC with just a little effort. Yesterday, I spoke to a guy who decided to spend his weekend reading their financial disclosure forms and said the $190 million organization apparently has accounts in the Cayman Islands. And another guy told me that, for the first time in three decades, SPLC founder Morris Dees has donated money to a Republican.
UPDATE: The Libertarian Menace!