Nobody knows whether the right's "blast-furnace rhetoric" pushed James von Brunn over the edge, said Eugene Robinson in The Washington Post. But the 88-year-old white supremacist who allegedly killed a security guard at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., is precisely the kind of far-right "lone wolf" the Homeland Security department has tried to warn us about. "The Sean Hannitys, Rush Limbaughs, and Glenn Becks of the world" should acknowledge that they're riling up some dangerous people when they call President Obama a "socialist," call Sonia Sotomayor a "racist Latina," and claim that Democrats want to "take away your guns."
The people referring to James von Brunn as a "'right-wing' murderer" are trying to score political points, said John Hinderaker in Power Line. But his anti-Semitism, and his hatred of Christians, Bush, and neocons, are "overwhelmingly a factor of the Left in today's world." Still, it would be unfair to blame the Daily Kos for this "insane murder"—"vigorous political debate is legal," and nobody on the left or the right is responsible when "a lone nut takes their ideology to the extreme."
"James Van Brunn defies easy left-right classification," said Ben Smith in Politico. "Indeed, he's so far out to the right" that it seems silly to talk about him as some kind of "extreme" version of a Fox News Republican. "The Washington, D.C. Fox News Affiliate reports that his notebooks included 'a Fox News location' among potential targets"—so this is a man is clearly the product of an ideology with different roots.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- This is what happens when Republicans actually enact their radical agenda
- Russia is stealthily threatening America with nuclear war
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How I dug myself out of debt — and stayed that way
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- The impossible promise at the heart of Scotland's campaign for independence
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- If Scotland leaves the union, is Northern Ireland next?
- Can we lead spiritually fulfilling lives without religion?
Subscribe to the Week