No, that cynical grin isn't permanently affixed to my face -- it comes and goes. John Hinderaker
always knows how to coax it forth:
Making Hay While the Sun Shines: The Left Politicizes Elliot Rodger
You have to hand it to the liberals: they never miss an opportunity to convert tragedy into political gain.
This is hilarious. Remember all those conservative bloggers who published claims that Occupy Wall Street was somehow involved with the "Dark Knight" massacre? Those lies began on the day of the event.
Remember the right-wing conspiracy nuts who immediately flooded the internet with inane Sandy Hook theories? Most of these theories held that Obama had somehow engineered the event.
Remember how, in the wake of that tragedy, the right reflexively said: Now is not the time to discuss gun control
. Yet nothing stopped them
from talking about gun control directly after Sandy Hook.
Hindraker proves himself a hypocrite by the time he gets to his next paragraph:
Rodger, like most of the others, was a devoted liberal. He followed the Young Turks on YouTube, a far-left group led by a goof named Cenk Uygur who once was an MSNBC host.
Shorter Hinderaker: Politicization is all right when we
I was surprised by that "Like most of the others" remark. What does Hinderaker mean by that? Does he intend to resurrect the rumor that James Holmes was part of OWS?
Let's look at the record. Let's see whether "most of the others" were the kind of people likely to care about the things that Cenk Uygar has to say.
was raised by a mother who was a right-wing gun kook.
was a Glenn Beck aficionado who feared a coming "Obama gun ban."
Jake England and Alvin Watts
were racists who killed five black men in Oklahoma.
James Wenneker von Brunn
, the shooter at the Holocaust Museum, was a neo-Nazi.
Wade Michael Page
, the guy who shot up that Sikh temple, was another neo-Nazi. Not the kind of guy who normally reads Salon or The Nation.
was utterly deranged and incoherent. He acted under the delusion that he was a member of a CIA death squad, which is not the kind of hallucination likely to be formed by someone who watches a lot of MSNBC.
was crazy even by "crazed gunman" standards. Nevertheless, no-one can dispute that he was particularly drawn to Zeitgeist
, a right-wing conspiracy movie. (I talked about that film at greater length here
.) And no-one can dispute the fact that he fired at a liberal politician.
, who killed six people at a Lockheed Martin plant, was a right-winger and a racist.
, the Virgina Tech killer, seems to have had no coherent political beliefs. Like Loughner, he even nuttier than most of the other nutballs listed here. Nevertheless, his writings indicate some familiarity with the right-wing conspiracy theorist subculture.
, who shot up a nursing home in Carthage, North Carolina, did not act from a political motive. Still, he was a hard-drinking hunting enthusiast from a southern state. That doesn't sound like the kind of lifestyle one traditionally associates with liberalism.
Nidal Malik Hasan
was a convert to Salafist Islam, which no sane person could categorize as a liberal
probably does not belong on this list, since we're concentrating on American mass killers and he was not American. Still, he was a Nazi (of a strange new breed which demonizes Muslims instead of Jews) and a regular reader of Pam Geller.
, one of the Columbine killers, was an utter psychopath. I'm sure that he was incapable of formulating anything like a cohesive ideology. Still, he did admire the Nazis -- and that fact alone arguably places him somewhere on the extreme right. Even if you can't buy that argument, this much is indisputable: Neither he nor Dylan Klebold ever said or did anything that would indicate a liberal peacenik influence.
Terry Michael Ratzmann
was not motivated by ideology; he was your typical depressed and angry loner. Still, he was a devoted member of a conservative church -- not the kind of fellow likely to watch The Young Turks.
Need I say the obvious? Tim McVeigh
, perpetrator of the Oklahoma City bombing, was inspired by the anti-Clinton conspiracy maniacs of his day.
Some readers will look at this list and say: "Many of these people weren't motivated by politics or ideology. They were simply nuts." Of course!
But if you will recall the beginning of this essay, motive
was not the standard set by John Hinderaker. He simply stated that "most of the others" came from a background of "devoted" liberalism. He wants us to believe that any given mass killer is more likely than not to have a history of watching MSNBC.
That claim is obviously not true. If you had asked most of the aforementioned killers "What do you think of Cenk Uygar?", most of them would have responded: "Cenk who?
" (By the way, I don't think Uygar is a "goof." As we've seen, that epithet belongs to Hinderaker himself.)
It'll be really cute if Hinderaker reads this and accuses me
of politicizing the tragedy in California.