Anyone who’s listened to Rush Limbaugh’s daily stream of hateful Democratic Truther talking points knows the answer.

John Patrick Bedell, whom authorities identified as the gunman in the Pentagon shooting on Thursday, appears to have been a right-wing extremist with virulent antigovernment feelings

Details of Mr. Bedell’s case are still emerging. But writings by someone with his same name and birth date, posted on the Internet, express ill will toward the government and the armed forces and question whether Washington itself might have been behind the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

However, law enforcement officials have yet to publicly state their theories as to Bedell’s motives…

According to the Associated Press, an Internet posting made by someone using the name JpatrickBedell expressed a determination to see justice served in the case of Marine Col. James Sabow, who was found dead in his California home in 1991. Authorities have ruled this case a suicide, but it has become a cause célèbre among extremists who consider that ruling a coverup by the government.

No mention in the story of Bedell’s Bush-hatred or his party affiliation. It fell to the boss emeritus to dig that up, not for the purpose of indicting Democrats for what he did but to try to preempt the inevitable tedious attempts to lay this at the feet of conservatives. I don’t think she has much to worry about this time. It’s simply too far a logical leap to blame the military-loving mainstream right for an attack on the Pentagon, which explains why even noted “wingnut” critics like John Avlon and Sullivan staffer Patrick Appel are taking a pass on this one. If there’s any silver lining in the very dark clouds created by Bedell and Joe Stack (and even the Kentucky census worker fiasco), it may be that partisans on both sides have necessarily become more cautious about trying to divine coherent motives from incoherent minds. Not all partisans, natch, but some.

Your exit question: Is it possible to be a “left-wing extremist” anymore or do nuts who embrace some lefty ideas before launching an attack automatically fall under the broader heading of “anti-government,” a term that’s conveniently also used to describe conservatives’ opposition to statism? That’s why CSM ended up labeling him a right-winger, I suspect. Righties want a smaller federal government and Bedell hated the military and the military’s part of the federal government. Voila!