Sunday, January 23, 2011

What was Loughner thinking?

We've seen a rapid swing on the Gabrielle Giffords shooting, from the initial charges on the left that the shooter was encouraged by wild rhetoric from the extreme right, to an almost immediate backlash from the wingers who denied that he was motivated by right-wing views, to even claiming that he is a leftist.

Now we have a report that examines the actual content of his writings and guess what: his writings are saturated by some of the most extreme, right-wing anti-government ideas, conspiracy theories, and lots of pet claims by the extreme right (denial of the legitimacy of paper money, for instance).

Is this a claim that he was acting at the direction of Sarah "Crosshairs" Palin? No. I'll stipulate that Crosshairs wasn't seriously trying to provoke an assassination attempt when she published her violent campaign poster.

But there is no question that, to the extent Loughner's writings set forth any political ideology, it is the ideology of the extreme right.

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