Berkeley resident David DePape was more in the grip of drug-induced psychosis than ideology-induced fanaticism.
Leading politicians yesterday blamed the political Right for the brutal attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul. “This is despicable,” said President Biden. He noted that the alleged attacker, David DePape, 42, shouted the same line, “Where’s Nancy?” as the supporters of Donald Trump, who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. “And what makes us think that one party can talk about stolen elections?” said Biden. “COVID being a hoax? It’s all a bunch of lies.”
California political leaders agreed. “This heinous assault is yet another example of the dangerous consequences of the divisive and hateful rhetoric that is putting lives at risk and undermining our very democracy and Democratic institutions,” said California Governor Gavin Newsom. “This attack,” said San Francisco’s state Senator, Scott Weiner, “is terrifying and the direct result of toxic right-wing rhetoric.”
Journalists, en masse, agreed with their assessment. DePape “appears to have made racist and often rambling posts online,” noted AP, in a report this morning that encapsulated the media narrative, “including some that questioned the results of the 2020 election, defended former President Donald Trump and echoed QAnon conspiracy theories.”
But DePape’s politics have little rhyme or reason. In past years DePape shared a post about Stephen Colbert’s 2006 roast of President George W. Bush at the White House Correspondents dinner; linked to videos of Disney films altered to make it look like the characters were swearing; and claimed, “Jesus is the anti-Christ” — not exactly a litany of right-wing tropes.