On tonight's edition of his Fox News show, Glenn Beck railed against former Vermont Governor Howard Dean for asserting that he "grew up in an era when the left-wing was ... burning down buildings" and "doing appalling things that they had no business doing just as the right is doing today." Beck dismissed the notion of right-wing violence, pointing to Bill Ayers and "radical leftists" to support his claim that violence only comes from the left.
But there have been numerous attacks on progressives and right-wing acts of violence in recent years, including a shootout and assassination plot against organizations attacked by Beck by ex-con Byron Williams.
After airing a clip of Dean's remarks, Beck stated that he hasn't seen anyone on the right "burning down buildings and targeting cops like [Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn] did in the 1960s." Beck later added: "In fact, I haven't even seen as much as a potato chip bag left at a rally let alone some shrapnel or dead bodies or burning buildings.
For instance, Byron Williams engaged in a shootout with police after being pulled over on a California highway. After being taken into custody, Williams reportedly told investigators that "his intention was to start a revolution by traveling to San Francisco and killing people of importance at the Tides Foundation and the ACLU," two frequent targets of Beck's wrath. Williams' mother reportedly said he was upset that Congress was "railroading through all these left wing agenda minds" and Williams himself said that the things Beck exposed "blew my mind."
Furthermore, during an October 2010 event for Rand Paul, an employee of Moveon.org was attacked, allegedly by Paul supporters. The woman was thrown to the ground and repeatedly stepped on, causing her head to be smashed into the pavement and giving her a concussion.
Additionally, Democratic legislators received threats and had their offices vandalized after they voted for health care reform. Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) was the target of threatening faxes and phone calls, including death threats, after he voted for the final version of the health care bill, and the offices of Reps. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) were attacked with bricks shortly after the congresswomen voted for the legislation.
Contrary to Beck's claim right-wingers have also "target[ed] cops." Nine members of the "Hutaree militia" were arrested in March 2010 and charged with plotting a violent uprising against the U.S. government, a plot that was to begin with an attack on law enforcement personnel. The Southern Poverty Law Center has called the Hutaree militia a member of the radical right-wing patriot movement.
And then there are the numerous terrorist attacks committed by right-wing extremists, including Jim David Adkisson, who in 2006 went on a shooting spree at a Tennessee church "because he hated its liberal politics," and Scott Roeder, who was sentenced to life in prison for killing Kansas abortion provider George Tiller in May 2009.
More recently, Kevin William Hardham, a 36-year-old Army field artillery veteran was accused of planting a "weapon of mass destruction," along a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade route in Spokane, Washington. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Hardham "was a member of the neo-Nazi National Alliance in late 2004."
Finally, while it occurred almost 16 years ago now, there is also the infamous case of Timothy McVeigh, who was executed for killing 168 people in the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.