I've often said that in Arizona you don't have to be a swastika-carrying neo-Nazi to have the same or similar beliefs. Which is why the presence of neo-Nazis and other right-wing wackjobs in the midst of the immigration donnybrook here in Sand Land has caused little or no outrage.
And yet, when the rhetoric of hate leads almost inevitably to bloodshed, the rationalizations and excuses begin. In the case of murderous neo-Nazi J.T. Ready, the historical revisionism and denial of guilt has found its ultimate shill in wingnut anti-immigration advocate Linda Bentley, a way-loony scribe who masquerades as a reporter for the über-right Cave Creek freebie, Sonoran News.
Bentley's column this week deals with Ready's massacre of four unfortunates, including a baby girl, before reportedly turning the gun on himself. But the purpose of her column is not to decry the horror of what happened, commiserate with the victims, or discuss how the community should deal with the tragedy.
Nope, all Bentley cares about is covering for Ready's onetime associates, such as state Senate President Russell Pearce, and all the other nativist haters on Bentley's side of the fence.
When it suited their purposes, they embraced dangerous radicals like Ready. Now that he's branded a baby-killer, they have an extra-special need to claim Ready was not part of their movement.
Here's what Bentley writes along those lines: