Hatriot Politics Created the Las Vegas Killers
Jerad and Amanda Miller, the Wingnuts whose killing spree left two policemen, a civilian, and themselves dead, were inspired by fright-wing radio hosts and militia movement groups.
By John Avlon
Miller’s anti-government rants ramped up after he served seven days in jail for a pot-related conviction. After his sentencing in 2013, he proudly posted: “Mark one up for freedom today. I stood before a fascist judge today and implied that he was a Nazi.”
According to Amanda Miller’s Facebook page, she worked at the Hobby Lobby as head of the needlework department. (Hobby Lobby has been embroiled in a faith-based lawsuit over covering contraception as part of the Affordable Care Act.) In addition to dressing as The Joker and his date for a Halloween party and exchanging gun-related gifts, the couple’s favorite book according their Facebook page was the Bible. They apparently skipped over some key sections, such as the New Testament.
Miller was a vocal supporter of libertarian Ron Paul, posting during the fall of 2012: “Ron Paul is the only hope for america and we have all failed him, our children and our grandchildren by failing to demand fair coverage of all presidential candidates. Today and everyday that passes by our country falls deeper into the clutches of fascist hands. Hope you wake up before its to late, hell, it may already be to late.”
Miller reposted articles from Alex Jones’s InfoWars website, promoted slogans about the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives being a domestic terrorist organization, and was deeply into Second Amendment advocacy organizations. Significantly down the political food chain, Miller also seemed to identify with the sovereign citizens movement and the Three Percenters organization, whose founder Mike Vanderboegh’s homepage warns, “All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war.”
By John Prager
Miller’s profile picture is that of right-wing Facebook page, Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children, one of the many conservative bastion of racism and hatred on the Internet—and a group that was largely behind the miserable abyss of humiliation that was Operation American Spring.
Interestingly, the man who incoherently screamed “WHERE ARE YOU AT?” when Operation American Spring turned out to be a star-spangled flop, is a representative of that group. Not entirely relevant, but amusing none the less.
The group regularly preaches insane right-wing conspiracy theories, rants against President Obama and pro-Cliven Bundy misinformation.
Fox News foments another violent outbreak: From Cliven Bundy to Jerad Miller, words matter
Five years after I clashed with O’Reilly about his network’s dangerous rhetoric, it's still promoting extremism
By Joan Walsh
Five years later, just as Fox promoted anti-Obama extremism in the first months of his presidency, so did it try to turn Cliven Bundy and his armed supporters into the second coming of the American Revolution, rising against the “tyrant” in the White House. Over 12 days in April, Fox spent almost five hours covering the ranch standoff, led by Sean Hannity. (To be fair to O’Reilly, he actually challenged one Bundy backer he interviewed. Some Republican lawmakers joined in: Nevada Sen. Dean Heller called the Bundy Ranch defenders “patriots,” and 2016 contenders like Rand Paul and Texas Gov. Rick Perry also jumped on the Bundy bandwagon--only to disembark when their hero made predictably racist statements about “the Negro.” They never explained--and they never were forced to explain--why they endorsed an armed militia threatening federal agents with violence, merely because those agents were threatening to enforce the law.
And now we have the Millers, who were, to be fair, too extreme for even the Bundy encampment; apparently Jerad Miller was turned away because he had a felony record. But it’s not just the Millers; they were almost upstaged in the past week by “sovereign citizen” Dennis Marx, who shot a sheriff’s deputy and planned to take over the courthouse in Forsyth County, Georgia, before he was killed by police. The sovereign citizen “movement” doesn’t acknowledge the legitimacy of the U.S. government. (Oh, and by the way, Forsyth County was the site of an early 20th century race riot that resulted in 98 percent of its black population moving away. Fun fact.) Meanwhile, the parents of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl are facing what the FBI considers credible death threats for the crime of trying to get their son out of captivity by the Taliban. The beat goes on.
I’m getting tired of writing patient explainers like this one--thanks, Paul Waldman, for taking one for the team this time. I just want to say what Digby said: She quotes Waldman, and earlier pieces by Rick Perlstein and David Neiwert, showing how the election of Democratic presidents so often leads to spikes in violent rhetoric and violence itself. John F. Kennedy’s election was followed by rising hate from the John Birch Society and armed anti-Communist “Minutemen”; Bill Clinton coped with a rising militia movement and the Oklahoma City terrorist attack (along with the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre demonizing federal agents as “jack-booted thugs”); Barack Obama begat the paranoid and often racist anti-government Tea Party, abetted by Fox News and, of course, the NRA’s LaPierre.
What’s different is that under Obama, the rhetoric from elected Republicans and mainstream conservative pundits has gotten more extreme. One-term congressman and Fox News contributor Allen West has declared, “We have a tyrant in the White House.” As Congress and the White House debated common-sense gun regulation in the wake of the Newtown massacre, Fox’s guests and hosts were warning that Obama was planning massive gun confiscation and comparing him to Hitler. At CPAC this year Sen. Ted Cruz suggested that Obama’s use of executive orders means “you have a president picking and choosing which laws to follow and which laws to ignore,” and therefore “you no longer have a president.”
Which means you have a dictator, or, again, a tyrant; someone whose blood might need to water the “tree of liberty,” to quote from the T-shirt that gun-toting liberty lover William Kostric wore to a 2009 Obama rally in New Hampshire.