I love Charles Krauthammer. A Harvard-trained physician and psychiatrist, he knows what true mental illness is, and he lends his measured perspicuity to our understanding of Jared Lee Loughner:
“His [Loughner's] own writings are confused, incoherent, punctuated with private numerology and inscrutable taxonomy. He warns of government brainwashing and thought control through “grammar.” He was obsessed with “conscious dreaming,” a fairly good synonym for hallucinations.
This is not political behavior. These are the signs of a clinical thought disorder – ideas disconnected from each other, incoherent, delusional, detached from reality.
These are all the hallmarks of a paranoid schizophrenic. And a dangerous one.”
This is not a facile diagnosis. Krauthammer brings both political expertise and medical acumen to his anslysis, unlike certain Nobel laureate economists. As Krauthammer demonstrates—and as many of us at NewsReal have shown as well—there is not even a modicum of evidence that Loughner was acting out of a perverse love of Tea Party conservatism. In fact, all the evidence runs counter to this thesis. Here’s Krauthammer again:
“Furthermore, the available evidence dates Loughner’s fixation on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords to at least 2007, when he attended a town hall of hers and felt slighted by her response. In 2007, no one had heard of Sarah Palin. Glenn Beck was still toiling on Headline News. There was no Tea Party or health-care reform. The only climate of hate was the pervasive post-Iraq campaign of vilification of George W. Bush, nicely captured by a New Republic editor who had begun an article thus: ‘I hate President George W. Bush. There, I said it.’”
I know it’s considered trendy and what-not to encourage debate, but as far as I’m concerned the debate on this issue is over. Now Paul Krugman can get back to what Keynesians do best: making us all poor.