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  • Deniable-Intimidation Echoes

    Posted by TM Lutas on January 1st, 2011 (All posts by )

    Cross posted at Flit-TM

    Wretchard has a good article on the Left’s habit of indulging in deniable intimidation. The use of left-anarchists as street troops to signal that one part or another of the Left is not sufficiently militant is real and well taken. It isn’t the whole story as there’s a mirror image effect on the Right. There, the less militant in the GOP use the threat of waking up the beasts on the Left to reign in more militant factions.

    I have personally been warned multiple times to avoid being too strident in my own political activities with tales of past political assassinations of reformers who went “too far”. Of the ones I recall (and can anonymize), two were delivered by town chairmen, one by a committeeman. These are not generally hysterical people yet my little attempts at stirring up small-government activism were viewed with real alarm. Even though they did not show it under most circumstances, these people are terrorized.

    The terrorizing of GOP party officials is a generally hidden reason why the GOP often doesn’t take full advantage of its opportunities and generally acts in more of a squishy fashion than you would otherwise expect. If retribution comes, they reason, it will come to them, personally or to their families.


    3 Responses to “Deniable-Intimidation Echoes”

    1. Michael Kennedy Says:

      The Democrats have been successful for many years at intimidating the Republicans like an oafish neighbor who threatens terrible things if your kids step on his lawn or throw model airplanes into his garden. I think Darrell Issa, who has an aura of a tough guy and who is rich enough not to care about damage to his post politics employment, will spend the next two years showing Democrats what it was like to be in the sights of John Dingle a few years ago when he was in his prime. He has named seven subcommittees and expects each to have two hearings a week. It should be fun to watch.

    2. Steve K. Says:

      Arm yourselves.

    3. Lina Inverse Says:

      Steve K.: Arm yourselves doesn’t particularly solve the problem of protecting your children, who if you’ve consigned to the public school system spend far too much time in an official Victim Disarmament Zone.

      We shouldn’t also demand that everyone who wants to play the reform game practice the Constant Vigilance that would give them a change against a determined adversary. Not to mention our adversaries’ fondness for arson and explosives; most of these types have absolutely no intention of engaging in anything resembling a fair fight (their violent street theater depends on the authorities not replying in kind; as Clayton Cramer recently commented, they “would be machine gunned or sold into slavery by the private security firms that would exist in a true anarchy.”). At best defensive measures might make their actions more expensive but there’s no ignoring the principle that a shield needs to be matched with a sword.

      In this case that ideally would be authorities infiltrating and shutting down these groups, which if they’re doing the dirty work of one faction of authority is not likely to be sufficiently effective. Going beyond that to direct action against the so called anarchists moves in the direction of a hot civil war (I hope nobody denies were in a cold civil war) and of course can lead to the sort of “anarchy” (blood in the streets et. al.) that leads to a lot of people to desiring a strong authority to suppress it.

      To further reify this, look at the example in New Orleans where anarchists surrounded a restaurant where a Republican dinner was being held with 3 sitting governors, chased the various parties as they exited and brutally assaulted the one they caught up with: Jindal’s head fundraiser and her boyfriend; leg broken in 4-5 places, etc. etc. Perhaps the most interesting thing about this case is how little Jindal was interested in bringing the thugs to justice (evidently something the State Police are not happy about). Needless to say the city police gave every indication they were on the side of the anarchists. If Louisiana is like many states, you can’t carry concealed in a restaurant that serves alcohol, so your advice would likely be of no avail to the small fry who don’t have their own bodyguards.

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