I swore I wasn’t going to write anything about yesterday’s mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona.
It’s not really in our bailiwick, and there is already so much coverage out there about it. Open any news site, and the top story — probably the top eight or ten stories — will be about Jared Lee Loughner (the alleged murderer), Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Judge John Roll, the other victims, the reaction of politicians, interviews with mourning families, etc. etc.
And there’s not much to add to what the bloggers are saying. Jim at Gateway Pundit has the best coverage — just open his site and keep scrolling. Or go over to Michelle Malkin; she kept updating her post all day yesterday.
However, I’m interested enough in the political memes to give them a brief mention. The political spin started almost from the moment the gunshots quit echoing in front of that Safeway in Tucson. When the first news alert came in, I told Dymphna: “If the guy who did this is white, it’ll be the Republicans’ fault. Wait for it.”
And, unfortunately, that was exactly what happened. As soon as the name and photo of the shooter emerged, the talking heads and liberal opinionators began assigning the blame to the tea parties and Sarah Palin. When Mr. Loughner’s YouTube channel was discovered, his obsession with the currency was cited: “Aha! A gold bug!” And he hated the government — he must be a right-wing crank.
Everyone pushing this meme ignored the fact that the kid listed The Communist Manifesto as one of his favorite books (along with Mein Kampf — he liked a full smorgasbord of socialism). They overlooked the interviews with acquaintances who said he had very liberal political views.
Nope, the “right-wing crank” meme was their story, and they were sticking to it. The New York Times wrote an appalling piece fabricating a conservative nut-job framework for Jared Lee Loughner on the flimsiest of evidence, spun from the finest gossamer.
But it was Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik who won the prize for the Most Outrageous Politicizer of a Horrible Tragedy. Given that he is the lead investigator assigned to the case, in any sane society he would have refrained from speculating about the political motives of the suspect without a shred of evidence — and on national television, too. But we don’t live in a sane society, and the sheriff is a loyal Democrat, so that is exactly what he did.
Read more about the odious Sheriff Dupnik at NRO, or Ace of Spades HQ (including video), or Don Surber.
Late this afternoon, however, the air began to leak from the Left’s “right-wing nut” balloon. It turns out that Jared Lee Loughner had a second YouTube channel, containing only a single video, this time with live action instead of text. In it you can see the young man, dressed in a very bizarre costume, setting fire to an American flag.
That’s a pretty strange sort of tea party guy, to burn an American flag. Don’t see too many of them doing that. Why, even the gold bugs respect the flag. Hmm…
If you’re interested, I suggest watching the video now, while you can, because it’s only a matter of time before YouTube scrubs its servers clean of all the evidence of this disturbed young man.
The sad fact is this: based on his writings and the accounts of people who are acquainted with him, Jared Lee Loughner has no coherent political philosophy whatsoever. He is simply mentally ill, possibly a schizophrenic, and his condition may have been exacerbated by drug use. If his bizarre prose is any indication, he was off his meds.
We may assume that the media will continue to bat the Evil Right-Winger meme around for a while longer, until it is fully deflated and useless for their purposes. The rules of the game are simple:
- If a right-winger does something bad, it’s because he’s evil.
- If a left-winger does something bad, it’s because a right-winger forced him into a corner, and drove him crazy, or left him no choice, or something similar.
- It’s still always George Bush’s fault.
So this has to have been the doing of the Republicans. It can’t be any other way.
Mind you, I don’t absolve the Republicans of anything because of this. If the conditions had been right, they would have run the game from the same playbook. Just imagine what would have happened if the shooter had been, say, a disgruntled illegal immigrant. We all know what talking points certain well-known VRWC talking heads would have been using on this morning’s news shows.
Any news story that becomes prominent enough to gain the public’s attention has to be politicized. There’s no option for any other behavior. Think Hurricane Katrina, or the swine flu.
We live in a time when everything, without exception, has become political.
Hat tips to Larwyn and Vlad Tepes.