It's your basic Invisible Empire, and it's quite profitable.
Even the people busy trying to shoot it down can't believe how powerful it's become. It's like Krugman said back in 2003. There's been a revolution, and the old guard is still fighting the last campaign, unable to accept the opposition is doing the unthinkable.
Like Joe Bageant points out, the real Invisible Empire makes use of its hand puppets and gives them useful positions to defend:
... For instance, according to the famous Morris Dees, whose Southern Poverty Law Center pulls in some $40 million a year mainly from the hate crime industry, my home state of Virginia has 31 organized hate groups. Now as much as I have criticized Republican Virginia in print as one of the stupidest and cruelest damned places in America, and though the ANSWP commander Bill White lives in Roanoke, Virginia, even I don't believe there are anywhere near 31 organized hate groups here, and certainly none that are beating people in some unseen alley. Hell, ANSWP by its own count, presently has 227 members nationwide, and picks up maybe 30 more virtual members monthly via the Internet. Not too many people get beaten up in alleys by Internet Nazi wannabes who think Swastika bling is cool looking stuff.
But when it comes to beating folks up, this country has nearly a million people legally authorized to beat, kidnap at gunpoint (arrest) and kill if deemed necessary, a large portion of which exercise the first two of these rights thousands of times daily. At last count in 2002 America had 14,254 law enforcement agencies employing 675,734 sworn officers and 294,854 civilians. With the "war on terror," heaven only knows how many have been added.
Public protest usually provides a glimpse into this force, and every year we see more smuggled videotapes that somehow seldom make the news. Jumpy footage of ordinary folks beaten with wooden clubs, shocked with Tasers, and riddled with rubber bullets, even while on their knees praying. Elderly protesters of Miami's free trade zone were Maced in the face and dragged across the ground in handcuffs and a female reporter testified she was forced to strip before male cops. People who bother to find and watch these videos on the Internet keep saying the same thing over and over again: "This is not America." Unfortunately, it is...
Four-fifths of the American Nazi's platform is attractive to white working Americans (the other 20%, anti-Semitism and racist, come with the package and conveniently offer someone to blame). American Nazis promote bringing all foreign jobs back to America, the nationalization of Wal-Mart, reestablishing small farms and the supremacy of working class whites. Be thankful working class Americans are not yet exposed to it in significant numbers. But as push comes to shove, and working mooks discover that the bottom has completely dropped out of all their presumed security and civil liberties, they will be ripe for the kind of change not being offered by either major party in this country.
Not offered by either major party, perhaps, but look at the security for sale to the Discriminating bidder.