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January 12, 2011

Charles Krauthammer: 'The origins of Jared Loughner's delusions are clear: mental illness. What are the origins of Paul Krugman's?'

Topics: Political News and commentaries

Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist, political commentator, and physician, Charles Krauthammer, so often a voice of sanity and reason (he is, after all, a psychiatrist) ... says today exactly what's been needing to be said, in what Peter Wehner refers to as "a 'spectacularly good column' that concludes with a devastating knockout of the New York Times columnist Paul Krugman."

Here are a few excerpts to pique your interest. The money quote is "The origins of [Jared] Loughner's delusions are clear: mental illness, What are the origins of [Paul] Krugman's?":

[...] The charge: The Tucson massacre is a consequence of the "climate of hate" created by Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, Glenn Beck, Obamacare opponents, and sundry other liberal betes noires.

The verdict: Rarely in American political discourse has there been a charge so reckless, so scurrilous, and so unsupported by evidence.

As killers go, Jared Loughner is not reticent. Yet among all his writings, postings, videos, and other ravings -- and in all the testimony from people who knew him -- there is not a single reference to any of these supposed accessories to murder.

Not only is there no evidence that Loughner was impelled to violence by any of those upon whom Paul Krugman, Keith Olbermann, the New York Times, the Tucson sheriff, and other rabid partisans are fixated. There is no evidence that he was responding to anything, political or otherwise, outside of his own head.

A climate of hate? This man lived within his very own private climate. "His thoughts were unrelated to anything in our world," said the teacher of Loughner's philosophy class at Pima Community College.

[...] This is not political behavior. These are the signs of a clinical thought disorder -- ideas disconnected from one another, incoherent, delusional, detached from reality.

[...] the available evidence dates Loughner's fixation on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords back to at least 2007, when he attended a townhall of hers and felt slighted by her response. In 2007, no one had heard of Sarah Palin. Glenn Beck was still toiling on Headline News. There was no Tea Party or health-care reform. The only climate of hate was the pervasive post-Iraq campaign of vilification of George W. Bush, nicely captured by a New Republic editor who began an article thus: "I hate President George W. Bush. There, I said it."

[...] the charge that the metaphors used by Palin and others were inciting violence is ridiculous. Everyone uses warlike metaphors in describing politics. When Barack Obama said at a 2008 fundraiser in Philadelphia, "If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun," he was hardly inciting violence.

Why? Because fighting and warfare are the most routine of political metaphors. And for obvious reasons. Historically speaking, all democratic politics is a sublimation of the ancient route to power -- military conquest. That's why the language persists. That's why we speak without any self-consciousness of such things as "battleground states" and "targeting" opponents. Indeed, the very word for an electoral contest -- "campaign" -- is an appropriation from warfare.

Take the time to read it all ...

In the context of Krauthammer's take, the left's rhetoric and mindless, baseless attacks can be seen as they indeed are -- disconnected from both reality and the American mainstream, and of no relevance or value to real political discourse.

'Have You No Decency, Sir?'
Sarah Palin Speaks On Tucson Murders; And The Loughner Left Has Gone Full "Conscience [sic] Dreaming"

Posted by Richard at January 12, 2011 11:37 AM

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