This story got very quickly overshadowed by world events, but last week police arrested a man allegedly planning to blow up a Dearborn, Michigan mosque with 'high-end fireworks'*. Needless to say, the Usual Suspects lined up to try the entire "right-wing violent nut inspired by [INSERT NAME HERE]" gambit - because Obama's Tucson Speech apparently only applies to other people, not Think Progress and/or Talking Points Memo** - only to just now discover that the alleged attacker is... well, you make the call.
- The accused was arrested and convicted in Vermont in 2004 for threatening George W Bush (as well as bomb threats against a VA facility), made an insanity plea because of various mental disorders, was released in 2005 from a Massachusetts facility because he was "cured," and apparently started showing signs of going around the bend again in the last few months.
- The accused has also claimed to be a convert to Islam - which is not a sign of mental illness; but the public, 'rambling' claims seem to have predated his allegedly going around the bend in both events.
- And there's a substance abuse problem there: pot smoking (which got him thrown out of a VFW post, although the racial epithets probably helped there) and booze (yes, it's odd for a convert to Islam to go drinking in bars).
I would like to simply conclude that the lesson one should take from all of this be that you should probably not let people with a history of mental disorders - and I mean brain-chemistry imbalance stuff, here - smoke marijuana; but since the Left has decided to make it political, I guess I need to point something else out. To wit: if you want to believe that the accused was programmed by right-wing rhetoric, then you have to also believe that he was also programmed by left-wing rhetoric in 2004. Rhetoric that was passed along by sites like... why, Think Progress and Talking Points Memo!
And there is no getting around that; and there is no getting around the inconvenient fact that under this interpretation most of the members of the Left blogosphere who were around in are liable for the violence and threats of violence made against the previous administration... and that those Lefty bloggers are required to take responsibility for those events. Which they will not do. We have had that discussion, already - and by 'have had that discussion' I mean 'watched Megan McArdle ripped out Michelle Goldberg's heart and ate it in front of her, while the latter pouted.' And I don't blame them for not wanting to take responsibility, per se: absent actual calls to overthrow the government and/or start shooting conservatives, their rhetoric isn't a cause of violence. But, guess what?
Neither is ours.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*What, exactly, this guy was carrying in his trunk is not really clear from the article: they were called 'high-end fireworks,' which suggests what's commonly called 'display fireworks' (which are regulated like anything in this country these days) - but they were also called 'Class 3 fireworks,' which are generally what you can buy in various stores in various states. Apparently the confusion on this sort of thing is widespread.
**Neither of which has yet to update their posts to educate their comments sections - who, by the way, are living proof that inflammatory rhetoric does not send most unhinged sorts over the edge into actual violence, thank God.