I wanted something light and breezy to read, the sort of paperback one would bring to the beach. At Barnes and No Bull I picked up a copy of Over the Cliff: How Obama's Election Drove the American Right Insane by John Amato and David Neiwert. This important book describes the rage that has consumed right-wingers since the current president was elected. More importantly, it documents the origins of many of the talking points in the anti-government and white power militias that came to national attention in the 90's. After the Murragh Building bombing, many of these groups faded into the background, and they were not very active during the George W. Bush maladministration, but they came roaring back into existence when President Blackity Black Black was elected with a clear majority of the popular vote. Neiwert and Amato also detail the role of the Fox "News" cable station in stoking the perpetual right-wing outrage machine and the reverse Ouroboros (a snake pooping out it's own head) of Fox "news" reporters reporting on the outrageous rhetoric spewed on Fox opinion shows as if it were newsworthy.
The book is clearly and elegantly written, though the subject matter can be heavy. I'd breeze through a couple of chapters and force myself to stop so I didn't put my fist through a wall. One of the most important purposes served by the book is that it provides a catalogue of the parade of lone wolf right-wing loonies who have been driven to acts of violence, two bit losers like Richard Poplawski, James W. von Brunn, Scott Roeder, and a slew of others- all creeps whose names and deeds have been largely forgotten. My only beef with the book (said in a rueful combination of sarcasm and disgust) is that it should have been published in a three-ring binder, because the subject matter keeps accumulating.
All told, Over the Cliff is crucial reading material. It succinctly connects the current right-wing establishment with the fringe elements that have infiltrated it over the last two years.