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.