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Grotesque

Josh Gerstein, a front page contributor at the liberal blog Politico, today trots out the old “some say” trick to spray veterans and conservatives with the acts of notorious racist James von Brunn, who yesterday shot up the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, killing security guard Stephen T. Johns.

Gerstein reminds us that Republicans roundly criticized a recent “report” from the Department of Homeland Security warning about right-wing extremism:

The sharpest criticism of the report, titled, “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,” was focused on a part of the report asserting that “the return of military veterans…could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks.”

As if on cue, some say that yesterday’s violence validates the DHS “report.” In this case the some are from the Southern Poverty Law Center, but any left-of-center bullhorn will do. Sooner or later one of them was bound to link the terms “Republicans,” “conservatives,” and “violent Holocaust-denying racists.” The only question was which liberal pretender to reasonableness would step in to help them try to sell it.

Here we have an 88-year-old man who last saw military service in World War II. And that’s if we believe von Brunn; so far as I know his service in WWII has not been verified. Regardless, Gerstein would evidently have us believe that von Brunn’s status as a “veteran” is somehow related to what he did yesterday. Is it just Gerstein, or are all left-wingers that nuts? Are the liberals at Politico so creeped out by “veterans” that they think we should keep these men on the ’might go off any minute’ radar well into their eighties?

Fortunately, Gerstein himself supplies the best explanation for what he’s trying to do. He quotes Newt Gingrich’s spokesman Michael Steel:

“Trying to exploit this awful tragedy to score political points – from the right or the left – is simply grotesque,” Steel said.

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