Which doesn't stop people from trying. A conservative argues, Left-Winger JARED LOUGHNER – He Likes Watching US Flags Burn & Favorite Book is Communist Manifesto. A liberal friend claims he must be rightwing because he's pro-life, anti-Fed, and supports the gold standard.
I've encountered a few pro-life communists, and people on the left and right oppose the Fed, but the gold standard is the big clue to Loughner's politics. It's an obsession of right-libertarians.
The DHS is following at least one rightwing lead. From DHS probing shooter's ties to fanatical group:
A Department of Homeland Security memo quoted by Fox News says the agency is looking into whether Loughner is “possibly linked” to the fanatical group American Renaissance.American Renaissance "is a monthly conservative racialist magazine published by the New Century Foundation." Its editor, Jared Taylor, is "somewhat unique among American white nationalists for his opposition to anti-semitism."
The group promotes views that are “anti-government, anti-immigration, anti -ZOG (Zionist Occupational Government), anti-Semitic,” the DHS memo says.
It’s not immediately clear that Loughner was actually a member.
Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the target of Loughner’s firing frenzy, is “the first Jewish female elected to such a high position in the US government. She was also opposite this group’s ideology when it came to immigration debate,” according the DHS memo.
So Giffords being Jewish may not be part of the reason Loughner targeted her. Then again, it may, because prejudice against Jews turns up in others who seem to have infuenced Loughner.
The obsessions with new currency and the dream world point to David Icke, who thinks the world's rulers are reptilian space aliens. The motto on Icke's site is "exposing the dreamworld we believe to be real." From Wikipedia: "Some of Icke's theories have attracted the attention of the far right and the suspicion of Jewish groups; for example, he has argued that the reptilians were the original authors of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a 1903 Russian forgery purporting to be a plan by the Jewish people to achieve world domination. Icke strongly denies there is anything antisemitic about this claim."
Loughner's concerns also point to Alex Jones, who thinks Fiat Currencies May be Replaced by Gold Standard. Wikipedia says, "Jones sees himself as a libertarian, and rejects being described as a right-winger. He has also called himself a paleoconservative. In a promotional biography he is described as an 'aggressive constitutionalist'." Alex Jones wants control of the Tea Party and despises the neocons who are taking it over.
Another rightwinger comes up with Loughner's obsessions: Lyndon LaRouche, a former leftist who officially opposes abortion and wants currency change.
And then there's Glenn Beck, who's big on the gold standard.
The Tea Party unites these folks. From Tea Party Lights Fuse for Rebellion on Right:
Tea Party events have become a magnet for other groups and causes — including gun rights activists, anti-tax crusaders, libertarians, militia organizers, the “birthers” who doubt President Obama’s citizenship, Lyndon LaRouche supporters and proponents of the sovereign states movement.Ultimately, what's clear is that Loughner needed therapy. The national debate about his attack should include a discussion about the state of mental health in the US. I wonder if Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer regrets signing off on a $36 million reduction in funding to the Arizona Department of Health Services?
It is a sprawling rebellion, but running through it is a narrative of impending tyranny. This narrative permeates Tea Party Web sites, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and YouTube videos. It is a prominent theme of their favored media outlets and commentators, and it connects the disparate issues that preoccupy many Tea Party supporters — from the concern that the community organization Acorn is stealing elections to the belief that Mr. Obama is trying to control the Internet and restrict gun ownership.
WorldNetDaily.com trumpets “exclusives” reporting that the Army is seeking “Internment/Resettlement” specialists. On ResistNet.com, bloggers warn that Mr. Obama is trying to convert Interpol, the international police organization, into his personal police force. They call on “fellow Patriots” to “grab their guns.”
Mr. Beck frequently echoes Patriot rhetoric, discussing the possible arrival of a “New World Order” and arguing that Mr. Obama is using a strategy of manufactured crisis to destroy the economy and pave the way for dictatorship.
P.S. On twitter, Doug Lain mentioned Larouche, Jones, and Icke when I was wondering about Loughner; he should get any credit, but no blame, for pointing out the dots.
ETA: See also David Wynn Miller, another possible rightwing influence on Loughner.