The Big Militia Comeback
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors right-wing extremist activity, finds “that an astonishing 363 new Patriot groups appeared in 2009, with the totals going from 149 groups (including 42 militias) to 512 (127 of them militias) — a 244% jump” from 2008.
There’s a lot of commentary about how conservatives are hamstrung when talking about race, or issues that touch on race at all — immediately, they’re accused of racism. But I think that militia/right-wing extremism presents a comparable rhetorical problem for the left. Pointing out that militia activity or conspiracy-mongering is on the rise is, as we saw last year, seen a slander on Americans who criticize the government, an attempt by liberals to rule all of that out of bounds.