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Mainstreaming the Militia

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I'll be discussing the themes of this post all morning on AM760 here in Colorado. Stream the show live at - and join the conversation at 303-713-7600. - D

In my book, The Uprising, I have a chapter on the Minutemen that's called "Mainstreaming the Militia." I think between the media coverage of yesterday's Tea Parties and the national Republican Party effectively coming to the public defense of right-wing extremist groups against the Department of Homeland Security, that mainstreaming has gone into overdrive.

I'm not saying everyone - or even a majority - of those who attended the Tea Parties are violent extremists. But I am saying that there is a very calculated and coordinated campaign to mainstream extreme right-wing politics - and this shouldn't be surprising. The uprising that I reported on last year has only intensified since I reported the book, and as I noted at the time, that uprising is both a left and right phenomenon.

Indeed, the battle for the future of the country will be a battle between the left and right uprisings - a battle to see who can out-organize the other in the fight for the hearts and minds of the country. The Obama campaign's stellar organizing success clearly shows there's a progressive majority ready to be organized, but the right's counter salvos these last few weeks shows that if Democrats keep handing over trillions to Wall Street, there will be an opening for conservative populism.

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So while we can (and should) ridicule the Tea Parties, we should also recognize that they A) highlight very real anger out there at government giving away the store to Corporate America and B) preview a long battle over economic policy that will unfold over the next few months and years.

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David Sirota is a full-time political journalist, best-selling author and nationally syndicated newspaper columnist living in Denver, Colorado. He blogs for Working Assets and the Denver Post's PoliticsWest website. He is a Senior Editor at In These Times magazine, which in 2006 received the Utne Independent Press Award for political coverage. His 2006 book, Hostile Takeover, was a New York Times bestseller, and is now out in paperback. He has been a guest on, among others, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and NPR. His writing, which draws on his (more...)

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any politics so I am not a part of any of that stu... by shadow dancer on Thursday, Apr 16, 2009 at 10:59:07 AM
A well regulated militia being necessary to the se... by Arktig Silver on Thursday, Apr 16, 2009 at 11:52:56 AM
I actually went to the local teabag party yesterda... by wagelaborer on Thursday, Apr 16, 2009 at 12:09:18 PM
wagelaborer, you are quite confused yourself. Inst... by Arktig Silver on Thursday, Apr 16, 2009 at 12:48:30 PM
I didn't justify stealing. I was talking about hi... by wagelaborer on Thursday, Apr 16, 2009 at 1:03:04 PM
This guy doesn't sound like a right-winger. He loo... by Arktig Silver on Thursday, Apr 16, 2009 at 1:44:56 PM
This writer correctly points out how many in the m... by Thaddeus Kaczor Jr on Friday, Apr 17, 2009 at 12:36:11 AM
"Indeed, the battle for the future of the cou... by William Whitten on Friday, Apr 17, 2009 at 9:56:41 AM
Why Anyone Would Ally Themselves With An 80,000 Pa... by Brad Evans on Friday, Apr 17, 2009 at 4:12:28 PM