Tea Parties -- It's Not Just About the Benjamins

By Andrea TantarosRepublican Political Commentator/FOXNews.com Contributor

As noise mounts in protest of our nation's rapid leftward lurch, the effort to expose a vast right wing conspiracy has returned, and this one is on a path to taking away basic American rights. This time we're more than a scheme; we're a threat. So much, in fact, that the Department of Homeland Security is "warning law enforcement officials about a rise in 'rightwing extremist activity," saying that with "the economic recession, the election of America's first black president and the return of a few disgruntled war veterans could swell the ranks of white-power militias,'" according to the Washington Times. -- Since when is it dangerous to disagree with your president?

Alert first responders: be on the lookout for citizens - gasp - practicing their First Amendment rights!

Apparently, free speech has become deeply threatening to our Commander in Chief. In interviews, President Obama has a tendency to appear annoyed at hardball questions or anyone who disagrees or challenges his ideas. Though his office has distanced itself from the report, his Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis, citing no specific threats, defines "rightwing extremism in the United States" as follows:

". . . Including not just racist or hate groups, but also groups that reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single-issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration," the warning says.

The timing of this report is so transparent. Today, hundreds of thousands of outraged Americans will gather in protest at "tea parties" across the country. The left has been trying to discount their popularity for weeks but this development is just further evidence that they are becoming more visibly concerned.

Most jawdroppingly the Homeland Security Department's warning reads:

[the federal government] "will be working with its state and local partners over the next several months" to gather information on "rightwing extremist activity in the United States. The joint federal-state activities will have "a particular emphasis" on the causes of "rightwing extremist radicalization."

Why conduct covert surveillance ops on nefarious overseas terrorist cells when you can monitor the Orange County Republican Club? -- And use taxpayer money to do it. I ask: where was the DHS when Code Pink was trying to handcuff former administration officials or when leftist groups like ACORN were slashing tires, intimidating voters and vandalizing campaign headquarters (not to mention bullying banks to give bad loans to people who couldn't afford them)?

Obama wants -- and needs -- an unreasonable enemy. The Clintons were experts at using their detractors to define them, and Obama has ripped a page of out their playbook. Who better to demonize into an irrational, national security threat than conservatives?

In fact, our new president spent the last few weeks apologizing for our country and making excuses for conservatives overseas. From his comment about Americans being "arrogant" -- uttered while standing on foreign soil -- to his obsession with winning a global popularity contest by lambasting the last eight years of the Bush administration (translation: the right) the president seems more interested with the threat here at homethan any abroad. Now we find out he's issuing warnings about Republicans.

The message that Obama is trying to silence is a good one: cut taxes, cut spending, and repeal the pork -- but there is much more at stake than the money. Our culture is in great danger. Our freedoms are at risk. And our constitutional rights are being put in jeopardy. The Homeland Security memo is just the beginning.

The Obama Doctrine seeks to do just that: strip power from people, put government -- and ultimately the tenants of radicalism - in control. This has a direct impact on our communities and our culture. And once the our culture has decayed, there is nothing left to fight for. When the government starts trying to discount and ultimately discredit a portion of its citizens for speaking their minds, a threat much bigger than spending or taxing is imminent.

On Tax Day, the argument needs to bigger than bucks. It should address cost, but the cost of losing everything.

Andrea Tantaros is a conservative commentator, columnist and the former Press Secretary to the House Republican Conference. Her commentary can be found at www.andreatantaros.comand www.foxnews.com/opinion.