Bill, even if they decide the killer is insane, that’s fine with the left, in classic Soviet style: after all, anyone who disagrees with them is on the lunatic fringe, and belongs in a psychiatric hospital. The dialectic permits no rational discussion, since that requires a grounding in reality, which is forbidden territory. To the left, all critics are nuts.
In Washington, two things (among many others) are predictable: first, if a worthless bureaucrat is fired, he will immediately file a discrimination complaint. The EEOC inbox is so overstuffed that the EEOC lawyers routinely settle such cases, giving the complainer an average of $15,000 as a settlement — and he keeps the job, gets his promotion, and continues to play solitaire all day on his government computer. Lesson: all unpopular decisions by management are actually motivated by bigotry.
The other predictable: the insanity defense as a convenient refuge for political assassins (all of whom are “lone gunmen”). This ruse actually broadcasts the perception that strongly-held anti-government opinions are actually a sign of mental instability.
Speaking of which: a friend of mine knows several people who work at Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital, where John Hinkley, who shot Ronald Reagan in 1981, is incarcerated as a mental case. “There are some real crazy people there,” one medical professional observed. “But not Hinkley — he’s a criminal.”1:16 pm on January 10, 2011 Email Christopher Manion