Attempts by America’s liberal establishment to turn the shooting of Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords into a indictment of right-wing fanaticism (and of the Tea Party movement in particular) appear to be backfiring badly.
For starters, the facts that have emerged so far regarding Jared Lee Loughner – the alleged perpetrator of the Tucson killing spree – suggest that he lacked sufficient mental clarity to form anything resembling a rational ideology.
On top of that … the speed with which the left moved to ascribe a right-wing ideological motivation to the killings has left a bad taste in many Americans’ mouths.
“Within hours of the shootings, some on the political left began to publicly associate the attacks with conservative and/or libertarian political movements,” veteran law enforcement Mike Frederick wrote in a column published on FITS. “Paul Krugman, Jane Fonda, and the Daily Kos couldn’t help themselves – the theories flowed freely, and many made wild assumptions regarding the possible political motivations of the shooter.”
Those assumptions aren’t letting up …
In fact, even after it became abundantly clear that Loughner wasn’t the “right wing nut” that the left had hoped he might be, Krugman wrote a column for The New York Times on Monday in which he claimed that the gunman’s actions could not be disassociated from a “national climate” of toxic rhetoric – one emanating “overwhelmingly” from the right.
Krugman also suggested that future blood would be on the hands of the Republican party.
“Will the Arizona massacre make our discourse less toxic?” Krugman writes. “It’s really up to G.O.P. leaders. Will they accept the reality of what’s happening to America, and take a stand against eliminationist rhetoric? Or will they try to dismiss the massacre as the mere act of a deranged individual, and go on as before?”
Unfortunately for these left-wing rabble rousers it is becoming increasingly apparent that Loughner’s crime was just that – the isolated act of a deranged individual, a senseless, violent outburst that defies ideological taxonomy.
For example, records show that Loughner was a registered independent who didn’t vote in the 2010 elections. A former classmate described him as “left wing” and “quite liberal,” although based on the bizarre YouTube videos that he published it’s clearly going to be difficult (if not impossible) to ascribe any political motivation whatsoever to his actions.
Insanity has no set ideology … it is a sickness, not a school of thought.
Of course it’s not just “right wing” blogs (like the one you’re reading now) reaching this conclusion.
“In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, liberals sought to paint Loughner as an anti-government, tea party conservative,” writes political reporter Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post. “Conservatives retorted that Loughner lacked anything close to a coherent political philosophy — a case strengthened by subsequent glimpses into his personal life that suggests someone struggling with mental illness.”
The left bet everything on the belief that this killer would come straight out of central casting … that he could be easily pigeonholed as an anti-government, Tea Party-supporting, right wing extremist.
Frankly, a modicum of decency in view of the lives that were lost in Tucson should have been enough to impede such an opportunistic rush to judgment … but the left’s contempt for life is no secret (abortion on demand, anyone?) and after the shellacking liberals took at the polls two months ago, well … desperate times call for desperate gambles.