If Only They Could Read

There’s a profile of Jared Loughner at the New York Times that is mildly interesting, but doesn’t say much you probably don’t already know if you’ve been following the news. The weird part of the story is that rightie bloggers are linking to it in outrage because (they think) it says that Loughner was “affiliated” with right-wing groups.

But it doesn’t say anything of the sort. The article stresses, over and over, that Loughner was highly isolated from everybody, probably including his own family, and living in his own psychotic world. He wasn’t “affiliated” with anything or anybody except for the voices in his head.

For example, ZIP at Weasel Zippers actually quotes part of the story that (he thinks) makes a claim of affiliation, and nowhere in the quote does it say anything about affiliation. It says Loughner soaked up some of the ideas he found rattling around on the web and incorporated them into his imaginary world. And, yes, these ideas were primarily (although not exclusively) out of the Right. He also seems to have thought the sky is orange.

Unbelievable. I guess if you want to be mad about something badly enough, you make stuff up to be mad about.

13 thoughts on “If Only They Could Read

  1. But it’s the liberal New York Times. It’s the evil liberals, that means it’s claiming he was a rightie whether or not it used those words. Projection, much?

  2. I believe ZIP’s confusion arises because “soaking up some of the ideas you find rattling around on the web and incorporating them into your imaginary world” could describe the way many of the Tea Partiers work. It’s just that their imaginary worlds aren’t quite so total or so schizoid, and they tend to limit the places they look for ideas rattling around the web. So most of them still believe the sky is blue, though they don’t believe the climate is changing.

  3. Perhaps if you take “individual responsibility” far enough, you could end up conflating “picking up ideas” with “affiliation”.

    There does seem to be a bit more than the usual (overwhelming) dose of defensiveness on this issue. Almost like they were caught sleeping with their hands below the covers.

    Or maybe he just felt he was below his MDR of moral outrage.

  4. I guess if you want to be mad about something badly enough, you make stuff up to be mad about.

    You do. And if you are persistent, you can make an industry of it.

  5. There’s an old expression: When faced with the truth, lie like a rug.
    Conservtives have amended that to, ‘When faced with anything, lie like a rug. Or make something up.’
    Grow up.
    Get over it.
    It’s not all about you.
    Get over it.
    Grow up.
    Now, shut up.

  6. Of interest is a new poll on the repeal of HCR, ABC, I think. Taken after the shooting, it shows a minority in the GOP 49 percent, want repeal. IMO, there is going to be a lasting shift in mood. Anger is less ‘cool’. Ever the optomost, I hope that ‘Remember Tuscon’ will be invoked every time a teabagger goes over the top. The link between anger and violence is enough. The new poll shows it.

    • They aren’t going to repeal HCR. The insurance industry has decided HCR ain’t so bad after all (especially without the public option). They’re going to get more than 30 million new customers, after all.

      Also, the lobbyists have gone forth to tell their lapdogs Republican legislators that they had better back off the individual mandate, like last week. If the provision that insurers can’t refuse to cover people with pre-existing conditions remains in effect but the individual mandate is repealed, the insurance industry really will be in a huge pickle.

      So, it ain’t gonna happen. Republicans will put on a good show for the folks back home, but they aren’t going to repeal HCR. At most, their tweak some of the tax provisions and leave the rest alone.

  7. Doug – that’s exactly what I’m hoping. Maybe it opens a fracture that allows some “sane” R congress critters to break from the party line. Not that we’ll get anything good from this congress, but maybe they’ll leave enough to work with.

  8. Perhaps if you take “individual responsibility” far enough, you could end up conflating “picking up ideas” with “affiliation”.

    Exactly.That’s why the righties were screaming so loud about Loughner having read Mein Kampf or the Communist Manifesto. Since when does an affiliation become attributed to the materials you read. I’d sure hate to be branded as an affiliate by the things that I have read in my life or the authors whose works I’ve cared to explore. I think the righties would do well if they developed their minds by reading diverse ideas instead of staying in the same rut of being spoon fed intellectual trash by a select number of blowhard numskulls and gasbags.

  9. The reaction on both “left and right” was predictable, but not in the way some may think.

    The left’s reaction that the shooter was a right-wing nut is understandable (even if there should not have been jumping to conclusions) because a democrat was shot, because Arizona has been a hotbed of right-wing craziness, and because in all fairness there’s been plenty of violent rhetoric coming from the right. It was wrong, but wrong in a way where you can understand the mistake being made – and if one thinks of it rationally, a mistake that does not indicate evil intent.

    The right’s reaction has been a kind of high-speed blame game, dodging, and festival of false equivalences. This is not the case of an understandble if terrible error – this is a case of desperate dissembling and publicity pushback. This is deliberate, even if some motivations are on a subconcious or semi-concious level.

    This was the high-profile shooting that the right wing has, down deep, feared would happen – it just turned out this time it was some poor lost soul. But I honestly believe for a moment, conciously or not, a lot of the right was afraid that this was it. Even now they’re still dodging because it’s brought the violent rehtoric to light.

    I also am sadly sure that the next time some right-wing nut takes a gun goes after the Tides foundation or some other Glen Beck/Palin target, they’ll look at the conclusions jumped to in Arizona and try and justify the shooting.

  10. There was a good diary at DailyKos a few days ago, from a DrSteveB, who listened to a talk by Wendell Potter, the former Cigna insurance executive, who explained what’s next for HCR:

    Yesterday, I posted part of a talk given by health insurance company whistle blower Wendell Potter, explaining how the corporate PR playbook works.

    Today’s diary covers the second half of his talk wherein he suggests how the coming attack on health reform (PPACA) is really going to play out.

    Hint: It does not involve total repeal, and it definitely does not involve a narrow repeal of just the individual mandate.

    The health insurance industry was actually in some trouble. The cost of their product was getting too high, and kept going up. The quality and value of their product kept going down, as evidenced by high deductible plans, higher co-pays, etc. Polling showed more and more public dissatisfaction with private health insurance, including in their own internal polling a majority of Americans supporting government intervention.

    In order to be assured of getting customers, the health insurance industry NEEDS the individual mandate, and wants the employer mandate.

    The phony repeal bill is two-pager written by a PR person paid by industry to make people afraid.

    Therefore, once the symbolic vote for repeal fails, as it is pre-scripted to do, their real campaign will begin….

  11. Ya got that right Swami. My taste runs from South Park to Celtic Woman, and everything in between. Crap, when I had my diving business in L.A., I used to watch Opra while motoring in to the dock most nights, after moving boulders around with a come-along underwater all day long..My sweetie and I watch Stacie and Clinton, the next day I’m out running a chainsaw. That is one strange puzzle for a “proflier”.It’s the journey, not the destination.

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