Innocent Until Proven Conservative

Within hours of reports of a firebombing at Rep. Russ Carnahan’s (D-MO) campaign finance office last Tuesday, St. Louis’s leftist bloggers leapt to the cause. In what seems to have been a coordinated attack, Riverfront Times and several progressive blogs and web sites ascribed culpability for the crime to St. Louis Tea Partyers.  At one point, Chad Garrison of RFT flatly stated that the suspect “fit the description” of a tea partyer, a statement he later attempted to soften by claiming that firebombing is “too sane” a crime for Tea Partyers. Gateway Pundit broke the story on August 25, that the lone suspect in the case is a former Carnahan staffer and progressive activist. The leftist bloggers continued to lie, continued to obfuscate, and continued to deflect culpability toward St. Louis Tea Party until Rep. Carnahan admitted that the case appeared to be an inside job.  The leftist bloggers shameless and with malice stretched reason and defied logic the way a child does when attempting to avoid punishment for failing to do his homework.

Now that Congressman Carnahan has been forced to admit that the suspect is a former employee and that his office was aware of the fact for some time, the significance of this story begins to strike home.

  • Carnahan knowingly allowed conservatives to take false blame for the crime.  His office staff even joked online about the attack.
  • Carnahan’s staff lied to the press about being members of the campaign . . . on second thought, denying any association with the Carnahan campaign is completely reasonable, even if it is dishonest.
  • St. Louis media – some knew the ID of the suspect – could have at least mentioned that the suspect was not a conservative.  This was not the paid press’s greatest moment.
  • Arsonists are very disturbed individuals. It seems odd for the city counselor to order the suspect’s release while awaiting reports from the lab.  Here’s a profile of arsonists from American Chronicle:

Ninety percent of fire setters are male. They are preoccupied with fire. They get an emotional release from starting fires. There may be sexual overtones. Some researchers claim fire setters are sexually repressed males who masturbate at the fires they set. Whether this is a fact or not, many fire setters are social outcasts and tend to have unsuccessful relationships with women. Fire gives them an excitement they cannot find elsewhere. Finally, for many, fire setting satisfies their need to be recognized and establishes their sense of self worth.

For others, setting fires is an act of aggression. It allows them to express anger and frustration which they are unable to do in their daily social interaction. Many have repressed rage for authority figures. Some get the satisfaction of "getting away with a crime."

And from WebMD, according to the FBI:

According to a 1987 report in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, the vast majority of "profiled" arsonists have a below-normal IQ -- typically between 70 and 90. About one in four fall in the below-70 IQ range that qualifies them as mentally retarded -- not to say that all mentally retarded children are going to grow up to be arsonists.

We love due process. But the person who torched Carnahan’s office is a person who belongs behind bars or in an institution, no matter how long he worked for the Carnahan campaign. You throw a bomb, you go to jail. But, in this case, the Carnahan people played politics with a guy who seems to be in need of serious help.

This whole episode shows that Carnahan is unfit for Congress, that Tea Partyers deserve apologies from many quarters, and that Democrat-on-Democrat crime is a growing problem in America. Oh, and one other thing: in this country, you’re innocent until proven conservative.