Conservatives jumped on New York Times columnist Paul Krugman for blaming Republicans and conservatives for the Tucson, Ariz. shooting that left six dead and nearly killed Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. But new evidence is confirming that assessment and linking the shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, to the Tea Party movement and conservatives generally.
Records reveal that Loughner is a second cousin to Elbert Jackson, a Republican county commissioner in Missouri. Loughner also reportedly once drove past Republican Party headquarters in Arizona, an event which many say connects him to the political right.
Loughner also has said the word “conservative” in the past, according to former classmates. Although it’s unclear what the context of this utterance was, to many it’s proof that conservative rhetoric is ultimately to blame.
Another source points out that the name Jared Lee Loughner contains the letters g and o, and that if you add the letter p – the first letter of Sarah Palin’s last name – it spells “GOP.”
“This sort of evidence points to a violent rightwing motive,” said Krugman in a subsequent blog post. “Anyone who truly hates the left would naturally target a pro-gun formerly Republican congresswoman who called for stronger border security.”
The Communist Manifesto is among Loughner’s favorite books, according to his YouTube account profile. But Krugman denies this means anything.
“The only reasonable conclusion is that Loughner was not referring to the Karl Marx book, but instead some other book by the same name that is actually anti-communist,” continued Krugman.
Some have made an issue of a map depicted on the Web site of Sarah Palin’s political action committee, SarahPAC. The image features crosshairs centered over various congressional districts, including that of Rep. Giffords.
“All the evidence we know shows that Loughner was a well-balanced and mentally stable young man before this shooting,” said Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik. “This image, and by extension the Tea Party movement, is what made him to decide to shoot the congresswoman.”