When Jared Lee Loughner allegedly shot Giffords and 18 others on Saturday, it was part of a pattern. Yet among conservatives, there's a frantic effort to deny that there's any political context to this attempted assassination.
Certainly, there are crazy people across the political spectrum. But somehow, in recent decades, the vast majority of political violence in this country comes from the right and is directed at either liberals or the federal government. Yes, judging by his incoherent YouTube videos, Loughner was mentally ill, prey less to a coherent ideology than to the hallucinatory fantasy world in his own head. But that fantasy world was informed by the real one. His videos, which mostly feature black and white text, have a few moments of lucidity, and in those moments, Loughner parrots Tea Party obsessions. "The majority of citizens in the United States of America have never read the United States of America's Constitution," he wrote in one titled "My Final Thoughts." "You don't have to accept the federalist laws. Nonetheless, read the United States of America's Constitution to apprehend all of the current treasonous laws."
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