Janet Napolitano made the media rounds this morning to face the public firestorm over DHS’s hit job on conservatives.
I’m calling it the Extremist Makeover tour.
She offered an apology to veterans, saying it wasn’t her intention to offend. It may not have been the intention of the report authors or Napolitano to offend or overreach, but that was certainly the effect. And it remains a mystery why Napolitano felt it necessary to distribute a shoddy nine-page report that was supposedly in the works under the Bush administration for a year, as Napolitano claims, containing zero data backing up the claim of a “resurgence” of rightwing extremist violence — and was padded with analysis from the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center to stir fear of “disgruntled military veterans.”
On Fox and Friends this morning, Napolitano admitted that she would have changed the definition included in the report.
Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.
So, how exactly would she rewrite the definition?
We rightwing extremists want to know.