So it seems clear at this point that the fires of Jared Loughner’s insanity were not directly stoked by the language of violence that the Tea Party uses to excite its base. (Its use of such language is still wrong, and should still be decried, but it has yet to motivate an actual instance of political violence.) Rather, he found his legitimizing ideology in the “sovereign-citizen movement,” which posits that the constitution is actually a kind of word game designed to secretly strip people of their rights. See Mother Jones’s article on the subject for details.
Meanwhile, discussion of violent rhetoric is still the order of the day. Scott Eric Kaufmann laments that the term is being used seemingly detached from it’s meaning, and has provided a thorough definition.
Finally, Sarah Palin is an idiot. Having the opportunity to validly criticize those who are attempting to directly tie her to Jared Loughner, she instead hands everyone something new and completely legitimate to lambaste her for. She has described the things being said about her as “blood libel.” Because being told that you use inflammatory speech is a lot like being accused of secretly murdering babies. My favorite commentary on this so far comes from Patton Oswalt, who tweets, “There’s a veritable Holocaust of cream cheese on this bagel. #palin” and by John Scalzi who explores other applications of the Palin Equivalence Filter.