I was pretty horrified to get home from watching some football to see what had happened in Arizona. You won’t get any news from me here that you couldn’t easily find elsewhere, but I do want to echo what James Fallows had to say. In the very long American history of murder (or murder attempts) of elected politicians, there is frequently no rhyme or reason matching the political motives of the murderer with the politics for which the politician is most associated. To give just one example, John Hinckley shot Reagan not because he was a leftist, but because he wanted to impress Jodie Foster.
I write this because I know a lot of people are riled up about Sarah Palin’s list in which she used cross-hairs over the districts of Representatives she wanted removed, a list that included Giffords. And like a lot of people, I really don’t like Palin, and I really don’t think that she should use such incendiary tactics. That being said, the early things I am seeing about the shooter suggest he is quite mentally ill. I will try not to speculate much before I learn more, but I suspect he will join the long list of assassins who kill not for political reasons, but for no real reason at all.