The right-wingers have been in full-on gloat mode since the capture of the Boston Marathon bombers -- not because it turned out that they were right about the nature of the perpetrators (they weren't), but because speculation that they might be right-wing extremists was wrong. Only wingnuts can convert a sigh of relief into an attack on their opponents.
The problem is that all they're really doing is attempting, yet again, to whitewash away the very real existence of violent extremists on their own side.
Leading the charge is William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection, who published a post over the weekend titled "Add Boston Marathon Bombing to pile of Failed Eliminationist Narratives":
Yet there was a theory behind the madness, the Eliminationist Narrative created by Dave Neiwart of Crooks and Liars about an “eliminationist” radical right seeking to dehumanize and eliminate political opposition. It was a play on the over-used narrative of Richard Hofstadter’s “paranoid style” in American politics.
The Eliminationist Narrative was aided and abetted by an abuse of the term “right-wing” to include groups who are the opposite of conservatism and the Tea Party movement.
In the case of Sparkman, the accusations were just Another Failed Eliminationist Narrative. And the Eliminationist Narrative would fail time and time again:
The Cabby Stabber
The “killer” of Bill Sparkman
The Fort Hood Shooter
The IRS Plane Crasher
The Pentagon Shooter
We can now add the Boston Marathon Bombing to the pile. The wild speculation that there was a Tea Party or “right-wing” connection proved false.
Of course, it would always help if people like Jacobson managed to review the posts of the people he's attacking -- since neither I nor anyone at Crooks and Liars ever speculated in print that the perps were white right-wing extremists. Others did, however -- and frankly, we discussed it among ourselves. But we knew that it was irresponsible to speculate publicly until we knew more, and so we waited -- unlike a few progressives, and even many, many more conservatives. (More about that in a moment.)
The fact, however, is that the speculation about right-wing extremism's potential role was entirely rational, considering that in the past four years, there have been nearly 70 acts of domestic terrorism committed by right-wing extremists in the United States, compared to just over 30 such acts committed by Islamist extremists here. (I have prepared a report on this that Mother Jones will be publishing soon.)
And let's not overlook the OTHER terrorist attack that occurred in the same week -- namely, the ricin attacks on the White House and Senate, a case that is still officially unsolved, now that the original suspect has been released. However, considering both the targets and the fact that ricin has long been a favorite weapon of right-wing extremists, there is a high likelihood that one or more of them will eventually prove to be the source of these attacks.
Indeed, just in the past year alone, we've observed the following entirely successful acts of domestic terrorism, perpetrated by extremists animated by various kinds of far-right ideologies and their eliminationist rhetoric:
We've also had a couple of unsuccessful plots broken up: