Remember Jared Loughner? His favorite book was the Communist Manifesto. He hated George W. Bush so much he got angry at the mere sight of him. He was a fan of “a radical leftist punk band whose music focuses on themes of corporate greed, U.S. foreign policy and opposition to war,” and a friend described him as “left wing, quite liberal.”
So, naturally, the L.A. Times declared that his ideology “was rooted in the far right.” And Sarah Palin was blamed, because of a map that had nothing to do with the shooting, whatsoever. (Remember that word “map.” It will come in handy later in the post.)
They cited “experts,” relying heavily on Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center. (Remember that organization: “Southern Poverty Law Center.” It will come in handy later in the post.)
[E]xperts said that several oft-repeated phrases and concepts — his fixation on grammar conspiracies, currency and the “second United States Constitution” — seem derived from concepts explored with regularity among elements of the far right.
“What you can see across the board in his writings is the idea that you can’t trust the government — that the government engages in mind control against its citizens,” said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has long monitored the radical right.
Loughner’s assertion that he would not “pay debt with a currency that’s not backed by gold and silver” is a running theme among right-wing opponents of the Federal Reserve system.
Potok, on the SPLC’s site, wrote:
Is Jared Lee Loughner, the alleged mass murderer who shot U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, a right-wing extremist?
It’s hard to say.
. . . .
That said, there are some clues.
At one point, Loughner refers disparagingly to “currency that’s not backed by gold or silver.” The idea that silver and gold are the only “constitutional” money is widespread in the antigovernment “Patriot” movement that produced so much violence in the 1990s.
. . . .
At this early stage, I think Loughner is probably best described as a mentally ill or unstable person who was influenced by the rhetoric and demonizing propaganda around him. Ideology may not explain why he allegedly killed, but it could help explain how he selected his target.
Remember those quotes in bold. They will come in handy later in the post.
So. A guy who was purely crazy
and whose ideology, if anything, was mixed, with heavy elements of left-wing ideology arguably predominating, was declared a right-wing extremist based on . . . nothing. Meanwhile, Sarah Palin was blamed, and received an explosion of death threats.
It’s hard not to think about this history today. Why would that be?
Because today we learned about a killer named Floyd Lee Corkins and why he picked his targets. Was it because he was a left-wing extremist? As Mark Potok would say, it’s “hard to say” but “there are some clues.”
One clue as to what motivated him — and I sure hope I’m not reading too much into this, as it’s subtle and hard to interpret — but one clue is that Corkins TOLD POLICE HE GOT IDEAS ABOUT WHO TO SHOOT FROM A HATE MAP PUBLISHED BY THE SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER.
The Family Research Council shooter, who pleaded guilty today to a terrorism charge, picked his target off a “hate map” on the website of the ultra-liberal Southern Poverty Law Center which is upset with the conservative group’s opposition to gay rights.
He told the FBI that he wanted to kill anti-gay targets and went to the law center’s website for ideas. At a court hearing where his comments to the FBI were revealed, he said that he intended to “kill as many as possible and smear the Chick-Fil-A sandwiches in victims’ faces, and kill the guard.”
This leads me to suspect — and it’s just a feeling that I have; one that I can’t quite shake — that he might have gotten ideas about who to kill from a “hate map” from the Southern Poverty Law Center.
You know, because that’s what he said he did.
You see, Watson, once you look at the clues in the right way, it seems almost obvious, doesn’t it?
I think it would be absurd, of course, to blame the SPLC for this shooting. Or even to blame left-wing ideology, when killers tend to be crazy. But, channeling Mr. Potok, I am sorely tempted to say that I think Corkins is probably best described as a mentally ill or unstable person who was influenced by the SPLC rhetoric and demonizing propaganda issued by the SPLC.
(Remember how I told you to keep those bolded quotes in mind?)
So that’s the SPLC. What about the L.A. Times? Surely they are all over this.
P.S. By the way, Neal Rauhauser has often bragged that he gets people written up by the SPLC. So future mentally ill left-wing shooters know the research is sound and trustworthy.