Hardball | March 06, 2013
>>> welcome back to "hardball." the crazies are still on the rise. a study by the southern poverty law center finds the number of anti-government patriot groups has exploded over the last four years. according to the study, these groups typically believe that the federal government is conspireing to take americans ' guns away from them and destroy their liberties as it paves the way for a global one- world government . these are groups like the constitution party , we are change, tyranny response team, and americans for a free republic . and these anti-government patriot groups have skyrocketed a number during president obama 's time in office. tlrl only 149 groups in 2008 . in 2012 there's over 1300 . look at the chart there. yesterday the southern poverty law center sent a letter to homeland security secretary janet napolitano warning more growth could happen. and brian levin is with the study for hate and extremism. gentlemen, i want you to start tonight -- it's your report, mark, so lead the way here. let me ask you this. i'm going to get into this in my close tonight on the show. i look at obama as a perfect american. i don't mean politically. we can agree left and right. you can argue about the drones, fiscal policy and all that stuff. but as a citizen. he went to school, never broke a law, raised a wonderful family, good husband, good family. i don't think he's got a speeding ticket. the guy does everything right. and he's really been pretty moderate on guns until the horror of newtown. i don't know what they're so afraid of him for except he happens to be black. is there some reason why he has sparked this explosion in right wing organizing?
>> well, i think like you say, chris, i mean, it has to do with his color. what i would say is that with a lot of these groups it's not visceral clamlike racism. it's not we want to send people back to africa or along those lines. it's more i like at the white house , i see a black man there, i feel the culture is changing around me, by the way the economy is terrible. i can't get a job or i'll lose the one i do have. and it melds together in a feeling i've lost my country. somehow this is not the country my forefathers created. so i think there's racism in there.
>> let me argue that. there's so much of america that remains traditional. smalltown american life is very much smalltown american life . our religions are still our religions. i mean, movies can be racy but you can ignore their existence. television's pretty tame. what is it that really rocks them? that really makes them go my god it's not my life. i'm still looking for it. communities change ethnically. with something new, it's hard to accept sometimes. but these people live out in the rocky mountain areas, the northwest. there's not much ethnic change going on in their lives, is there?
>> there's more ethnic change in more places than you think. i lived in alabama which was a black people and white people area. now there's a latino hispanic population. but there's also cultural changes like for instance same-sex marriage.cluding majorities of americans are in favor. but for people of that thought it's a tough pill to swallow. certainly it's true. you don't have to watch racy tv, you don't have to see madonna on mtv or whatever it is. i think there's a feeling of things changing and changing quickly.
>> luckily for us our marriages are really the relationship between two people. me and my wife, my queen. it has very little to do with anybody else luckily. let me go to you, brian . maybe it's logical in their point of view the way they're thinking of demographic change. but guns, immigration, and gays. is that what you look at when you look at the people organizing hate groups ?
>> i think it's a lot of it, but we have to put it into context. the folklore of the far right and i'm not talking about mitt romney supporters. i'm talking about people who have opted out of our political process. and that's what problematic. these people see the terra firma under them shifting as something that angered them before no longer see them as angering them.
>> who do they root for?
>> they don't root for anybody now.
>> root for rand paul? pat buchanan ? they must love ted cruz . come on.
>> look. i think you hit a nerve. and what that is is there is now a part of mainstream politics which aligns with these kind of conspiracy theories and are getting away with what are traditional conservative republican anchors. that is small government , personal responsibility. the idea that we are part of a political process and if we didn't win this time, we'll try again. now we're hearing succession.
>> i like the way you talk. that makes sense. but what happened to the crazy -- i call them crazy because they have evidence to the opposite. why is donald trump with the fi sophistication of new york city around him, why does he pander to these haters? any time a guy with the money that has everything going for them and they can point to a guy like that and say he's not facing financial problems. he's not facing marital problems. he believes all the nutty stuff i believe. he panders to them. how does that fit into this stuff?
>> who in the world is to say what donald trump really believes? i think the reason people act the way they do in large part is because there's a base out there. you know, i also think that there's a kind of reverse part of this equation which is the characters like donald trump , like a lou dobbs formerly on tv. there are a number of people out there who are essentially acting as transmitters. who are bringing ideas from the very, very far fringes of the society into the mainstream. so we've got birtherism, we've got birthers. all kinds of conspiracies.
>> i'm hearing the same music from the more sophisticated and least sophisticated. but it's all the same. the country's turning brown and black and you're becoming irrelevant -- and gay. it's not all the messages of trump. he sells the idea our president snuck into this country and pretended to be who he is. and it's all a fraud. i think that's dangerous talk to.
>> i think it's worth adding how --
>> one of the things we're seeing here on both sides of the political spectrum and it's important to recognize that, we certainly have a risk towards more of the extreme right wing.
>> who on the left is talking nutty right now?
>> charles barron is talking nutty from the left. the truthers are talking nutty from the left. we have the people with anonymous, with all kinds of conspiracy theories . one thing i think is important and that is conspiracy theories and the decoupling from our democracy occurring on both sides of the political spectrum . saying bush was the antichrist as is obama possibly.
>> i don't buy that it's symmetric here. there are more birthers than truthers .
>> that's right. the idea there's an equivalency of the far left and far right i think is ridiculous. i agree with brian on that there are conspiracy theories on both sides.
>> this argument will continue --
>> the internet --
>> brian , perhaps i could talk a little too, huh?
>> we have conspiracyists on the lift. look at the truthers . look at all this kind of stuff on the left. we have it on the right as well. what i agree with mark is is that it is much more mainstream with regard to the institutions of the --
>> the republicans put in their platform, that's the difference. mark, your last thoughts quickly.
>> just that. look. it's the republican party that has adopted the agenda 21 conspiracy. the idea that there's a u.n. plot to strip away private property rights . it's just ridiculous to describe the extreme left at this point in our history.
>> thanks so much. we're going to have more on this as the year goes on. okay, brian . brian , we'll have you back too. thank you so much.
>>> up next, if hillary clinton runs for president, she's got to run on her record as secretary of state. what was her biggest diplomatic achievements? we've got an expert coming here. this is "hardball," the