With each passing day, the evidence accumulates that Jared Loughner suffered from a mental illness completely disconnected from the political world, putting in context just how despicable the accusations were that a 10-month old electorcal map published on a Sarah Palin website contributed to the murders.
The Wall Street Journal has obtained online posting by Loughner at a gaming website from last year. Here is the summary by The Journal:
Even in a setting that includes the raw and often raunchy thoughts of young men, Mr. Loughner’s postings were startling. They show an obsession with language, a hatred of the educational system and aggression—all of which later became themes of videos posted by Mr. Loughner on YouTube in the months before the shooting. In the forum posts, Mr. Loughner never mentions any political views explicitly, nor does he name any political figures.
The Journal article contains numerous quotes from the online postings, and they truly are disturbing. Here are just two examples:
On April 24, Mr. Loughner titled a new online thread: “Would you hit a Handy Cap Child/ Adult?” He wrote: “This is a very interesting question….There are mental retarded children. They’re possessing teachers that are typing for money. This will never stop….The drug addicts need to be weeded out to be more intelligent. The Principle of this is that them c— educators need to stop being pigs.”
Later that day, he posted a rant titled “Why Rape,” which said women in college enjoyed being raped. “There are Rape victims that are under the influence of a substance. The drinking is leading them to rape. The loneliness will bring you to depression. Being alone for a very long time will inevitably lead you to rape.”
Some participants in the forum suggested that he must be on drugs, while others said he may be mentally impaired. One forum participant who has read his postings says it was only in retrospect, after the shootings, that he realized that Mr. Loughner appeared mentally unstable in his messages.
Sarah Palin is owed an apology by the people who connected her to the shooting, starting with Matthew Yglesias and Markos Moulistas, who pushed the story immediately after the shooting that Palin’s electoral map somehow was connected to the shooting, and the mainstream media which jumped on the runaway train of blaiming “right-wing” rhetoric.
Then we can move on to the thousands of people posting vile messages on Twitter and Facebook, including many calling for Palin’s death, and then to the politicians like Sheriff Clarence Dupnik who have sought political gain from this episode.
I don’t know if Palin Derangement Syndrome is a medical diagnosis yet, but it should be.
Update: Charles Krauthammer –
The origins of Loughner’s delusions are clear: mental illness. What are the origins of Krugman’s?