Violent Fringe Groups Mainstreaming into the Idaho Republican Party

Popkey has an article in the Statesman today on the "revolutionary" efforts of Ron Paul supporters (Ronulans) to take over the Idaho Republican Party and rid it of RINOs. They are led by this man, Challis McAffee, Republican Central Committee member, who "was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in August for pointing a revolver at Robert Lutes in Meridian. McAffee was documenting homes with delinquent mortgages for Wells Fargo & Co. In December, he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of assault. He served five days in jail and completed eight hours of anger management classes."

This is in anticipation of Ron Paul's visit to the state sponsored by other fringe groups like Idahoans for Liberty, Conservative Student Coalition, Idaho Rights Foundation, and our favorite, Wayne Hoffman's group, the Idaho Freedom Foundation. Earlier this week Randy Stapilus observed these teabaggers in Pocatello providing ten absolutely hilarious reasons for starting an Idaho militia, as if we needed more of these ad hoc groups of malcontents who twist history and logic for justifications to incite violent insurrection. Tara has the rundown on these kooks and their efforts to tar and feather anyone who doesn't agree with them.

A new report by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the group who helped rid Idaho of the Aryan Nations compound, has unearthed shocking data about the rise of militias, anti-government groups, and other right-wing extremist groups. The report, titled “Rage on the Right,” has found that there has been an increase of 244 percent in the number of these extremist groups in 2009:

The number of extremist groups in the United States exploded in 2009 as militias and other groups steeped in wild, antigovernment conspiracy theories exploited populist anger across the country and infiltrated the mainstream, according to a report issued today by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

Antigovernment “Patriot” groups – militias and other extremist organizations that see the federal government as their enemy – came roaring back to life over the past year after more than a decade out of the limelight.

The SPLC documented a 244 percent increase in the number of active Patriot groups in 2009. Their numbers grew from 149 groups in 2008 to 512 groups in 2009, an astonishing addition of 363 new groups in a single year. Militias – the paramilitary arm of the Patriot movement – were a major part of the increase, growing from 42 militias in 2008 to 127 in 2009.

Ironically there seems to be a symbiosis with mainstream Republicans enabling just this kind of virulent outbreak. The report notes:

As the movement has exploded, so has the reach of its ideas, aided and abetted by commentators and politicians in the ostensible mainstream. While in the 1990s, the movement got good reviews from a few lawmakers and talk-radio hosts, some of its central ideas today are being plugged by people with far larger audiences like FOX News’ Glenn Beck and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn). Beck, for instance, re-popularized a key Patriot conspiracy theory — the charge that FEMA is secretly running concentration camps — before finally “debunking” it.

Neiwert has some video with the author of the report.

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Neiwert is Prescient

He's been sounding the alarm for years, and more people should be paying attention. The fringe has taken over in Eastern Idaho, and the RINOs are being targeted for marginalization, the same as the Democrats and the generic liberals.

The funny (sick funny, not ha-ha funny) thing is that they still band together in their straight ticket voting, because even to a RINO, a moderate Democrat is still the devil.