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LINKING BOMBERS, EXTREMISTS FAIR

House Speaker Newt Gingrich got all hot and bothered the other day when a reporter dared ask whether the wackos believed to be responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing might have been influenced by anti-government politicos. He called such a question "grotesque," and several talk radio screamers seconded the admonition.

Maybe it's time they all fessed up. Not only is the question justified, but it has an easy answer: Sure, there's a connection between conservative bombast and extremist muscle-flexing. Sometimes tangible, sometimes subliminal, it's been apparent to anybody picking up a newspaper or turning on the car radio. It's a connection of rage, of threats, of one-sided diatribes. The president has been hit the hardest, of course, though anybody in government - be they clerk or policymaker - is bound to be targeted.