There’s no suspect yet for the spate of mail bombs terrorizing America, but don’t expect this minor detail to prevent the opinion-makers from divining the sender’s motives. I mean, who needs a suspect to know exactly what he, or maybe she, secretly wants?
So far, many have blamed right-wing extremism. And perhaps that’s only natural given the intended recipients, a Who’s Who list of President Donald Trump’s political nemeses, including Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Maxine Waters, George Soros, even Robert De Niro. I don’t mean to reject as baseless the presumed linkage between targets and motives. After all, research has found that the target is a fairly reliable indicator of the terrorist’s ideology. Who usually bombs abortion clinics? That’s right, anti-abortion extremists. Still, it’s wise to wait for a suspect to materialize before looking into his heart.
Predictably, some on the political right are convinced that the unknown perpetrator is a left-winger trying to make them look bad. John Cardillo, a right-wing media personality, tweeted this “false flag” theory: “Investigators need to take a serious look at far left groups like #Antifa when investigating the bombs sent to Soros, Obama, and the Clintons. These smell like the false flag tactics of unhinged leftists who know they’re losing.” Bill Mitchell, another Trump booster, elaborated: “These ‘explosive packages’ being sent to the #Media and high profile Democrats has Soros astro-turfing written all over it so the media can paint the #GOP as ‘the dangerous mob.’ Pure BS.” Not to be outdone, Frank Gaffney, the founder of a right-wing think tank, tweeted his suspicion that the mail bomber is a wily Democrat “trying to deflect attention from the Left’s mobs.” Right on cue, Fox News fanned this theory, too.