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The rabid-right is rushing to distance itself from Pentagon shooter John Patrick Bedell, the latest nutcase with a grudge, guns and gripes against the government.
The same “he ain’t one of us” frenzy emerged when Joe Stack crashed his plane into an Austin, Texas building because of a grudge against the IRS.
The conservative blogosphere erupted into self-righteous anger over a Christian Science Monitor story that asked “did right-wing extremism lead to shooting?”
When it was first posted Friday, the Monitor story suggested Bedell “appears to have been a right-wing extremist with virulent antigovernment feelings.”
The news site has since backed off that statement, posting an update saying “as more information emerges about Mr. Bedell, the less it appears that any coherent ideology was behind his actions, except that he was deeply antigovernment.”
In some cases, the right-wing has a point in its indignation. Bedell was a registered Democrat and his involvement in the 9/11 “truther” movement is more anti-Bush.
But, as Ken Vogel at Politico points out:
Bedell’s riffs against the American monetary system and “far-reaching violation of property rights” would fit in well at a rally of libertarian hero Ron Paul’s supporters (or even at the Conservative Political Action Conference, for that matter).
Like many extremists, Bedell’s beliefs were all over the place, which — if nothing else — proves that extremism — and the insanity that fuels it — can be non-partisan and reach across both political and ideological lines.