How will the white supremacist movement react to an Obama presidency? I probed this question in the wake of a bungled assassination attempt by two neo-Nazis. In a nutshell, here is what I determined:
On October 27, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms announced the arrest of two young neo-Nazis, Daniel Cowart and Paul Schlesselman, who allegedly plotted to assassinate Barack Obama. The strange event suggests that a criminal element within the white supremacist movement is hell-bent on racial violence if Obama becomes president.
On the other hand, key leaders of the movement’s organized front see a potential Obama administration as a rising tide that will lift their sagging boats. They hope to leverage white resentment against Obama’s presidency to generate unprecedented funding, bolster membership rolls, and influence the political mainstream.
Hours after my story appeared at the Daily Beast, I received in my mailbox exclusive footage of a leading white supremacist radio show and a cheerleader for anti-abortion terrorism organizing at a rally for Sarah Palin in Virginia Beach. The footage clearly supported my analysis: that the organized factions of the extreme right have attempted to mobilize white, Christianist anti-Obama resentment to pave a path back into the political mainstream. Together with the Daily Beast staff, I edited that footage into a revealing piece of video, “Guess Who Came To The Palin Rally:”
A full description of the characters who appear in this video is below the fold.