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Violence from the right

Given the modern conservative movement’s obsession with guns and eliminationist rhetoric, it wasn’t that surprising when Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and a host of bystanders were shot last Saturday. Unfortunately, the Tucson, Ariz, shooting wasn’t an isolated instance. 

At a time when Republicans are desperately encouraging the media to pretend that the left and the right are equally culpable in fomenting violence, it’s important to look at the facts. And the facts are clear: The violence has come entirely from the right. Here’s a partial list, compiled in most part by Dave Neiwart of the invaluable blog Crooks and Liars:

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July 2008: A gunman agitated at how “liberals” are “destroying America” kills two and wounds four at a Unitarian church.

October 2008: Two neo-Nazis are arrested in Tennessee for a plot to murder Barack Obama and dozens of other African-Americans.

December 2008: A father-son team involved in the “patriot” movement try to extort a bank with a homemade bomb; they end up killing two police officers. 

January 2009: A white supremacist in Brockton, Mass., rapes a black woman, kills her sister and a homeless man, and is captured while en route to a Jewish community center.

April 2009: A white supremacist and gun nut kills three Pittsburgh cops because he believed conspiracy theories about President Obama taking away his guns. He had been posting Glenn Beck videos on a neo-Nazi website.

May 2009: Another right-wing crazy in Okaloosa County, Fla., also fearing his guns would be confiscated, kills two cops before being shot dead.

June 2009: A Holocaust denier and right-wing tax protester kills a security guard at the Holocaust Museum.

July 2009: A woman takes a break from posting Glenn Beck videos on her MySpace page to case an Air National Guard Base in Long Island. Upon her arrest, authorities find an assault rifle, a shotgun and 500 rounds of ammo in her car.

August 2009: A man in Collier Township, just south of Pittsburgh, walks into a women’s aerobics class and kills three women. His diary states, “Good luck to Obama! He will be successful. The liberal media LOVES him. Amerika has chosen The Black Man. Good!”

February 2010: An anti-government tax protester flies his plane into the IRS building in Austin, Texas, killing himself and one other.

March 2010: Seven militiamen in Michigan and Ohio are arrested for plotting to assassinate local police officers to spark a new civil war. This is also the month that an anti-government extremist walks into the Pentagon and opens fire, wounding two, before being shot dead.

May 2010: A mosque in Jacksonville, Fla., is firebombed. 

July 2010: A Glenn Beck fanatic loads his car with weapons and drives to the Bay Area to attack the offices of the Tides Foundation and ACLU. He is wounded in a shootout along with the patrolmen after they intercept him on a routine traffic stop.

September 2010: A Concord, N.C., man who refers to himself as the “Christian counterpart to bin Laden” is arrested and charged with plotting to blow up an abortion clinic.

Make no mistake — this violent rage is being fueled from the top of the modern conservative movement — Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh and champions like Sharron Angle (with her calls for “Second Amendment remedies”). 

There’s nothing like it on the left. Not even close. 

Moulitsas is the founder of Daily Kos and author of American Taliban: How War, Sex, Sin and Power Bind Jihadists and the Radical Right.