For 7 years after 9/11, American concerns about "extremism" were usually preceded by the word, "Muslim". Today the Dems are back in power and "extremism" is once again preceded by "Right-Wing". But buying into the notion that our focus should be on "Right-Wing Extremism" means buying into a 9/10 mentality. And for anyone regardless of their political affiliation, who had their eyes opened on 9/11, this cynical attempt to divert attention from the real threat of Islamic Terrorism, in order to scapegoat the political opposition should be easy enough to reject.
But the Republican party isn't tearing itself apart. Neither is the blogsphere. There is a division happening between those who are getting back to the issues and standing up to a corrupt out of control administration-- and those who are spending all their time criticizing them for it. That division is between the relevant and the irrelevant. The mitosis that leaves one dead cell and one active and living cell. That is of course what grass roots movements are all about.
Contrary to the official press coverage, this isn't a split between the right and the left. It is a split between the self-defined moderates who have nothing to offer but alarmist campaigns against the "right wing threat" and a grass roots movement that is sick of an out of touch Republican party that has swung too far to the left and compromised core beliefs on government spending, government power, immigration, individual freedoms and the war on terror.
Grass roots means a public movement pushing for reform. The so-called "moderates" by contrast represent the old way that has failed, resistant to change and incapable of rationally arguing their position, they instead resort to mud slinging and demonization of their opponents as dangerous and violent.
The 2008 Republican candidate gave the "moderates" just about everything they could want. McCain was socially liberal, pro-illegal immigration, opposed to the religious right and could easily pass as a Conservative Democrat at a casual glance. And he failed and the way of the moderates failed with him. No one can forget McCain repeating "My friends" over and over again, or going on about bipartisanship. And few really want a repeat of that in 2010 or 2012.
The "moderates" had their chance and they blew it. Now the Meghan McCain side of the party, rather than meaningfully participating in resisting the wrongheaded policies of the Obama Administration, is busy trying to delegitimize those who are actually returning to the roots to build a movement that can reshape the party and give it the edge it needs to take back America from big government spending, terrorist appeasement and politically correct tyranny.
But all that the Meghan McCain side of the party has accomplished is to make themselves irrelevant. The only people listening to them now are fellow liberals and whoever still watches CNN. Their regular denunciations have no meaning because they are destructive, rather than constructive. The only thing their rhetoric accomplishes is to marginalize them from any role in the party's future. And while the grass roots may often be abrasive or vocal, if you have to choose between the Glenn Beck side of the party of the Meghan McCain side of the party. It's not a very difficult choice.
"Right Wing Extremism" is of course a threat. But it is a threat mainly to the political establishment that led the Republican party to defeat. It is a threat to the Obama Administration and to his cronies. It is mainly a threat to those who insist that Republicans be Democrats with more homey appeal and slightly tougher rhetoric. That worked well enough for Bush, but the people demand more.
In 2008 it wasn't the moderate Democrats who won. It was the extremists. If the Republicans win in 2012, it won't be the moderates who will win either.
That is why responding to the Meghan McCain side of the party is a waste of time and a distraction. It accomplishes nothing except to give Obama's people another victory. The future will not be built through civil war, but by those who see the issues that matter and fight for them.