Supercop: “There’s no doubt in my mind” that Loughner was affected by rhetoric, although I have no evidence of it

posted at 8:19 pm on January 11, 2011 by Allahpundit

Skip ahead to 1:30 for Matthews’s question about “atmospherics,” followed by Dupnik casually asserting that Loughner must have been especially vulnerable to “anger, hate, paranoia, and so forth.” If he has proof of that, he conveniently forgot to mention it. Over to you, Arizona Republic:

Was Dupnik unnecessarily inflammatory? It seemed so. But it came mere hours following a horrific, bloody mass murder. If you weren’t on edge, you weren’t being human. But then, on Sunday, the venting continued anew. And a horrified nation began paying closer attention to the Pima County sheriff.

The world’s eyes, once again, focused on Arizona for the worst of reasons. And Dupnik stood before the cameras interpreting the shootings as politically motivated, despite an increasing weight of evidence depicting the shooting suspect, Jared Loughner, as a mentally ill young man who rambled incoherently about pervasive bad grammar and other apolitical obsessions. Even Dupnik has observed that Loughner had made death threats against others and that they had been investigated by police…

Dupnik took up his cause again on Monday. And, in response, we have to say at last . . . enough. Enough attacks, sheriff. Enough vitriol. It is well past time for the sheriff of Pima County to get a grip on his emotions and remember his duty.

Dupnik needs to recall that he is elected to be a lawman. With each additional comment, the Democratic sheriff of Pima County is revealing his agenda as partisan, and, as such, every bit as recklessly antagonistic as the talk-show hosts and politicians he chooses to decry.

Other county sheriffs in Arizona have now started grumbling about him, even as Dupnik goes around telling people like Olbermann that it’s basically his legal duty to float half-witted psychological theories about how Sarah Palin’s fundraising literature may or may not affect the mind of someone who’s seriously deranged. And after days of gratuitously inflaming an already highly inflamed situation, what does he get? Why, a thank-you call from the president. Of course.

If you’re looking for a thoughtful psychological profile of mass murderers, if only to cleanse your mental palate of what you’re about to see, Ronald Bailey has a piece at Reason that’s worth your time. Nutshell version: “[U]nmarried, childless, unemployed white male with no readily discernible political motivations who just experienced a major life failure.” To follow on that thought, I was wondering last night after writing this post about Loughner’s mental state, is there any actual scientific reason to believe that deranged people are more susceptible to being incited by heated political rhetoric? Intuitively, it makes sense: An already agitated mind is apt to turn in extreme, unpredictable directions under further agitation. But as I say, that’s intuition, not science. Maybe some agitated minds would find political bombast too intense to stand, like turning a sun lamp on someone whose skin is hypersensitive to light. Or maybe, even within the category of deranged people, there’s some room for personal tastes and preferences when it comes to persuasion. Maybe having Glenn Beck scream at Loughner about Woodrow Wilson would increase the risk of him killing someone — or maybe it would just really freak him out. Maybe, per Loughner’s bent towards math and pseudo-philosophy, he’d be more easily programmed to kill by calmly feeding him “logical” conclusions (e.g., “all liberals/conservatives are racist, society is better off without racists, ergo society is better off without liberals/conservatives”). It stands to reason that pathologically erratic personalities will respond to stimuli in unpredictable ways — and yet here we have Dupnik, blithely insisting that, no, surely, surely, Jesse Kelly’s campaign events played some role in this. It takes a Supercop to read minds in ways that not even psychiatrists are able to, my friends.

Be sure to watch the whole clip for Matthews’s assertion that when Mark Penn said a new Oklahoma City might help Obama out politically, he only meant that it would give O a chance to play peacemaker. That’s simply not true: You can watch the original clip at Mediaite, with Penn talking about Obama using a tragedy like OKC to “reconnect” with voters after the midterm landslide. Even lefty Tommy Christopher was horrified by it.

Update: Speaking of Loughner and deranged minds, cops have revealed the text of another letter found in the safe in his house alongside the ones reading “I planned ahead,” “My assassination,” and “Giffords.” The text: “Die, bitch.”

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This just in, Dupnik is an alleged child molester….though I have no evidence. That was easy, I could be a Pima County Sheriff too offering OPINION, not facts.

dthorny on January 12, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Just what is Matthews’ problem? If it is not “teabaggers” then it is “nutbags.” Does the man have a fixation?
skeeter on January 11, 2011 at 9:33 PM

Methinks you’re onto something there, skeeter.

VelvetElvis on January 12, 2011 at 2:20 PM

If you look at the FBI statistics, Dupnik’s county has 10X the crime rate as Sheriff Joe’s county. No wonder liberals love him.

Bevan on January 12, 2011 at 3:08 PM

From Loughner himself, he was affected by conscience dreaming.

maverick muse on January 12, 2011 at 3:34 PM

Dupnik’s county has 10X the crime rate as Sheriff Joe’s county.

I’m asking, what type of crime rates are 10X higher in Pima than in Maricopa County, AZ? Property theft, most likely, being on the Mexican border. After all, Arpaio’s Maricopa County host America’s #1 kidnap capital, Phoenix, where coincidentally Loughner is to be tried in the State’s capital. Every county in America has its problems with crime. You should read the Dupnik rant a few years ago about his wanting illegal immigrant children to register as such at school, but refusing to enforce his own desired mandate which Giffords’ response denied his legal right to require illegal immigrant children to register as such at school, though she “understood his frustrations” given the problems associated with the illegal alien population in Pima County. [Tucson Daily Star archive]

maverick muse on January 12, 2011 at 3:41 PM

Actually he could be right. Loughner might have been affected by the rhetoric of Sheriff Dupnic back when the Sheriff proclaimed that he would not enforce the laws of Arizonia that he didn’t agree with. That tpye of thing might be read by a crazy person like Loughner as confirmation that personal ideas of right and wrong were superior to the law and it is OK to act accordingly.

MikeA on January 12, 2011 at 4:05 PM

I’m still trying to figure out which one is the fool and which one is the other fool.

Kind of like my brother Darryl and my other brother Darryl.

belad on January 12, 2011 at 4:35 PM


Dupnik would have five days to resign his position following the filing of a successful recall petition.
Article I, Section 8 of the Arizona state constitution:

Officers Subject to Recall; Petitioners

Every public officer in the state of Arizona, holding an elective office, either by election or appointment, is subject to recall from such office by the qualified electors of the electoral district from which candidates are elected to such office. Such electoral district may include the whole state. Such number of said electors as shall equal twentyfive per centum of the number of votes cast at the last preceding general election for all of the candidates for the office held by such officer, may by petition, which shall be known as a recall petition, demand his recall.

363,909 total votes were cast for sheriff in 2008, meaning that 90,978 residents of Pima County would have to sign a recall petition to force a recall election of Sheriff Clarence Dupnik. (Dupnik’s Republican opponent received 128,146 votes.) The petition would have to contain a general statement of 200 words or fewer outlining the case for recall.

Dupnik would have five days to resign his position following the filing of a successful recall petition. If he failed to do so, a recall election would be scheduled as provided by law. The Pima County Board of Supervisors would be required to call for a recall election within 15 days, to be scheduled for the first available election day — provided it is more 90 days away from the announcement. Pima County holds elections in March, May, and November — so May would be the first plausible date.

Dupnik would appear on the ballot un-nominated, along with any other candidates duly nominated according to Arizona election procedures. A two hundred word or fewer explanation of Dupnik’s course of office would also appear on the ballot. Whichever candidate achieves a simple plurality would be elected to fill the remainder of Dupnik’s term.

Col.John Wm. Reed on January 12, 2011 at 5:09 PM

I thought I’d seen this guy before. Wasn’t he in the movie “The Bank Dick”?

chickasaw42 on January 12, 2011 at 5:50 PM