I’d been on Twitter on and off for the better part of the afternoon and evening since Jymn had posted about the shooting of Arizona’s Eighth District Democratic Congresswoman, Gabrielle Jeffords. Jymn has been updating here and at his place.
The right tweeters, in an obvious attempt at a preemptive strike against those left of center started blogging and posting about how the shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, was this ultra left winged pot head. Well, in all fairness, the wingnut element on Twitter were given amunition by a tweeter who claims to have gone to high school with him. If you wish to follow her, it’s @caitieparker. Caitie Parker (assuming that’s her real name) claims that in high school, four years ago, he was a left winged pot head. While that may have been true back in the good ol’ days of high school, it certainly doesn’t mean that he stayed that way. How many of us have changed our political leanings over the years, due to either an event we’ve witnessed in history, or some personal thing that happened in our lives? It seems that Miss Caitie hasn’t seen or heard from Loughner in four years. How would she know who he is today? She’s all a tweetin’ about offers to go on the morning tv show circuit, it would appear. Me thinks she is nothing more than someone using this tragedy to gain her 15 minutes of fame. Frankly, nothing short of despicable, if that’s true. Furthermore, that certainly should take credibility away from here.
Also, the back and forth over what Loughner’s favourite books were. I’d seen it all from Mein Kampf to The Communist Manifesto to Animal Farm to Ayn Rand novels. Meaningless. If I were to pick up a copy of, say, Atlas Shrugged, would that make me a follower of objectivism? Of course not. The same would go for The Communist Manifesto. In fact, it was required reading for a history class I took when I was at Concordia over 15 years ago. At least some of his favourite books listed are required reading in certain courses in schools; it certainly wouldn’t dictate one’s political leanings.
I had taken a gander over at Loughner’s Youtube channel and while I found a man who was disillusioned with politics in general, I had found no evidence that he was partisan. For all we know, he probably found out a politician was going to be at a public venue and decided he would go cause mayhem; perhaps if John McCain were at that Safeway, the result would have been the same. All I saw on his youtube channel were just a bunch of rather incoherent videos. Videos that showed a very disturbed individual.
I came across a blog, Yid with Lid, that goes into length, illustrating a portrait of a disturbed and sick individual. This blogger did quite a bit of heavy lifting, providing links and mad incoherent rantings of Loughner’s problems regarding language, currency, mind control among other distorted themes.
All that said, though, the tea-baggin’ right, and in particular, Sarah Palin’s disciples have certainly earned any kneejerk reactions directed at them with their past rantings and actions. For openers, Gabrielle Jeffords had her offices vandalized and she had received threats mainly due to her support for health care reform. Then, there’s Sarah Palin’s targetted congressional districts who voted for health care reform.
Plus, there is that ominous passage of Palin’s:
Palin puts a bull’s-eye on 20 House districts under a headline that reads, “We’ve diagnosed the problem…Help us prescribe the solution.”
What is one supposed to infer from that? Not to mention, she took down her ghastly site. However, here is a cache of it (Thanks Fern Hill).
And of course, let’s not forget Sharron Angle’s “Second Amendment remedies”.
The right in Canada in recent times have proven to not be much more balanced between the rantings of Garry ‘Brute’ Breitkreuz (or staffer) calling for Iggy to be ‘beaten black and blue’, Tom “Fatwa” Flanagan’s musings of ’calling for the assassination of Wikileaks’ Julian Assange and a paper from supposed mainstream media’s (Sun) calling for the ‘Lock ‘n’ Load’ of Tamil migrant ships.
Indeed, is it any wonder many of us no longer call today’s conservatism a political view, but rather, a diagnosis? For the past rantings of conservative tea-baggers, the past threats to Ms Giffords as well as the vandalism to her offices, and yes, it is suspicious that Sarah Palin had her site pulled all of sudden, it isn’t that far fetched for many of us to think that this is the act of Amerika’s wingnut faction. However, at this time, I’m not convinced that Loughner was anything more than a crazed man disillusioned with politics and politicians of any stripe; Democrat or Republican.
However, the latest updates indicate that a second shooter is being sought out.
Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said they are not convinced the alleged gunman, who was tackled by “two brave individuals” acted alone in the shooting. U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, who was shot in the head, was among at least 19 people shot.
“There’s some reason to believe he came to this location with another individual,” Dupnik said in a news conference Saturday night, adding they have pictures of a second suspect.
Quite plausible. If Loughner had a partner, perhaps that individual would’ve been a hyper partisan tea-partier who could’ve sought out Loughner, an already obviously unstable and politically disillusioned man who’s rantings were on line for all to see to help him/her carry out his/her evil deed. Mind you, I’m just speculating right now.
Who knows? Perhaps I will be proven wrong down the road as more behind this tragedy unfolds in the coming days and weeks.