Jared Loughner didn't get the memo that the threatening rhetoric of the right is all theater.
When the GOP didn't have the votes to stop healthcare reform from passing, their strategy -- and it almost worked -- was to scare Democratic elected officials. That was the point of telling everyone to shout themselves hoarse at the town halls: to terrify House members. Convince them that their constituents were incensed.Alex Pareene has a lot to say. Read it all. I think he's a bit eager to let the teabaggers off the hook, but he's right about this:
Jared Loughner ... most likely is ... some weird politically incoherent amalgamation of extremist beliefs tinged with paranoia.Violent cultures beget violent acts. Our culture started off a violent one, and the right wing - yes, including so-called mainstream Republicans - has made it more violent. Arizona, in particular, has yielded to extremism on guns and eliminationist rhetoric.