Jonah Goldberg

When an abortion provider in Wichita, Kan., was murdered, the predictable chorus pointed fingers at Fox News' Bill O'Reilly. After all, O'Reilly had said that George Tiller was a "baby killer" and had railed against the doctor's late-term abortion practice for years. He must be to blame! No one bothered to ask whether Tiller's accused murderer had ever watched O'Reilly, or to ponder whether a militant pro-life extremist really needed a talk-show host to tell him anything he didn't already know about one of less than a dozen doctors in the country who still performed third-trimester abortions.

But, never mind. Such details don't matter when you're trying to delegitimize people.

Now we have James von Brunn. He is an 88-year-old loon, considered a dangerous nut even within the dangerous-nut community. He took his gun and shot up the Holocaust Museum and murdered a guard. Reporting suggests that von Brunn wanted to fulfill his revenge fantasies against the Jewish-neocon globalist cabal, which apparently outsources much of its work to the Bush family. A 9/11 truther, convinced that the bagel-snarfing, string-pulling Jooooooooooozzz are behind everything, von Brunn is the kind of fanatic the zombies who talk to themselves at the bus station would give a wide berth.

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But, of course, we have Sarah Palin to thank for von Brunn. So says some genius at the Daily Kos. A competing braniac at the Huffington Post says, "Thank you very much Karl Rove and your minions." Pretty much the entire media establishment is comfortable labeling von Brunn as a member of the "far right." Putting aside other objections to that nomenclature, if von Brunn is a member of the far right, then it would be helpful and journalistically responsible if the press would start calling Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich, Sean Hannity, et al., moderates and centrists.

That won't happen, because the whole point of these exercises is to paint the right as an undifferentiated blob of evil.

Never mind that von Brunn isn't a member of the far right. Nor is he a member of the far left, as some on the right are claiming. He's not a member of anything other than the crazy caucus. Von Brunn's True North is conspiratorial anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. He's not a member of the Christian Right. In fact, he denounces Christianity -- just as Hitler did -- as a Jewish plot against paganism and Western vigor. Nor is he a capitalist. Again, just as Hitler did, he hails socialism as the solution to the West's problems.


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
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