Wait, how did I miss Rush Limbaugh?

Yet another dumb right-wing Virginia Tech excuse: Cho was a liberal!

Published April 24, 2007 1:06PM (EDT)

I've been trying to track the worst explanations for the Virginia Tech massacre, and I don't know how I missed this one. ABC News' Jake Tapper reports that on April 19, days before Newt Gingrich blamed liberalism, Limbaugh went one better, insisting that shooter Cho Seung-hui himself "was a liberal."

How did Limbaugh reach that conclusion about the mentally ill Cho, raised a devout Christian in a red state, who had no apparent political affiliations? "This guy had to be a liberal," the pain-med aficionado told his listeners. "You start railing against the rich and all this other -- this guy's a liberal. He was turned into a liberal somewhere along the line. So it's a liberal that committed this act. Now, the drive-bys will read on a website that I'm attacking liberalism by comparing this guy to them. That's exactly what they do every day, ladies and gentlemen. I'm just pointing out a fact. I am making no extrapolation; I'm just pointing it out."

As I wrote Monday, I'm not aware of any major liberal or Democratic political leader or pundit who has blamed conservatism for Cho, or claimed he was a Republican. And if one did, he or she would be consigned to the outer fringes of Ward Churchill-land. But hate-mongers like Limbaugh have bullied political discourse so far to the right that such claims go unchallenged and even sometimes unreported. Thanks to Tapper for picking up on that one.

By Joan Walsh

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