Andrew Sullivan throws down the gauntlet this week, challenging Megan McArdle to provide evidence that Jared Loughner could have been influenced just as easily by Andrew's own writings as by those of the "right," including of course that nefarious person, Sarah Palin.
This post may be a little hard to follow at times due to the he-said/she-said nature of the narrative. For the record, I don't think Loughner was influenced by anyone except the voices in his head. His worldview was so bizarre that there is really no consistency in it whatsoever, and to label it as "left" or "right" is an exercise in futility. I went through some of his material posted on Above Top Secret and it makes no sense at all.
Andrew: "Megan takes issue with this post on Loughner:"
Megan: "Andrew's defense seems to be that there are a lot of right wing jerks out there, and that by combing Loughner's writing, he can find a few sentences here and there that sort of sound like things that might have been said by one of those right wing jerks. But I'm pretty sure that if I combed Loughner's writing, I could find some sentences here and there that imply that Loughner read Andrew's writing, or gay rights literature, or Edmund Burke."
Andrew: "Really? Go ahead. Make my day. Or withdraw the claim."
(The "this post" that Andrew is referring to is this one:
Andrew: "So far, the paranoia and conspiracy theories dominate - but they also dominate the atmosphere of the far right. And when a mentally ill young man complains of the "Broken United States Constitution", or regards legal tender as illegitimate “I did not pay with gold and silver!”, some of this nuttiness has penetrated. It didn't come from nowhere. And the critical point from the very beginning was not that Loughner was some kind of trained militia member killing a foe, but a mentally unstable person who, because he is mentally unstable, might be susceptible to extreme rhetoric from authority figures.")
One of Loughner's favorite books: "Gulliver's Travels"
The crazed internet rantings of Jared Loughner
Andrew: Gulliver in Afghanistan
Gulliver in Afghanistan
Loughner: too many incoherent rantings about "currency" and/or "gold & silver" to need citation
Andrew's endorsement of Ron Paul, an advocate of a return to the "gold standard"
Go Ron Paul!
Loughner: "Therefore, Iraq and Afghanistan war of 2010 is a war crime from the Geneva Convention articles of 1949."
Jared Loughner's Anti-War Views
Andrew: "It [the Iraq war] was, in many ways, a crime."
Shrugging at Torture
I see no reason for McArdle to withdraw her claim.