What We're Learning About the Man Who Attacked Paul Pelosi

AP Photo/Eric Risberg

I regret to inform the meme makers, the narrative builders, and all those involved in the herculean effort to make Paul Pelosi’s attack suspect into a stand-in for the right-wing boogeyman, the after-party has been canceled.


The pathetic human known as David DePape was, until recently, a public backer of Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ causes. At least, that’s what we can surmise by surveying his “home” in Berkeley. DePape had a “Black Lives Matter” sign in the window and an LGBTQ rainbow flag, emblazoned with a marijuana symbol, hanging from a tree outside his house.

Author Michael Schellenberger describes the scene outside DePape’s residence and took a dive into his social media to — not surprisingly — come up with a far different portrait of Pelosi’s attacker than the already-set narrative being pushed by the mainstream media.

Neighbors described DePape as a homeless addict with a politics that was, until recently, left-wing, but of secondary importance to his psychotic and paranoid behavior. “What I know about the family is that they’re very radical activists,” said one of DePape’s neighbors, a woman who only gave her first name, Trish. “They seem very left. They are all about the Black Lives Matter movement. Gay pride. But they’re very detached from reality. They have called the cops on several of the neighbors, including us, claiming that we are plotting against them. It’s really weird to see that they are willing to be so aggressive toward somebody else who is also a lefty.”


CNN reported that DePape told a woman he worked with briefly that “He talks to angels,” she said and told her that “there will be a hard time coming.”

I am going to repeat this again because it continuously fails to get through on the left and the right: Mentally ill people do not have “political agendas.” They have “visions.” They have “delusions.” They see things. They hear things. There is no left. There is no right. There are only the voices in their heads, and to believe otherwise is to prove that you should join them in the asylum.

These pathetic human beings can be dangerous, and most should not be left unsupervised. But the notion that they are warriors for Antifa, QAnon, or MAGA is bats**t crazy.

But much of the rest of the news media, particularly local journalists who could have interviewed DePape’s neighbors, were swept up in the narrative that DePape was more like John Wilkes Booth, the fanatical but sane assassin of Abraham Lincoln, than John Hinkley, Jr., the mentally ill man who shot Ronald Reagan. DePape is much more like one of the hundreds of psychotic homeless people I’ve interviewed in recent years than the fanatical climate ideologues who I’ve been writing about in recent weeks.

Wrapped up in their own obsession with Trump Republicans, most journalists have missed the real story. David DePape is not a microcosm of the political psychosis gripping America in general. Rather, he’s a microcosm of the drug-induced psychosis gripping the West Coast in particular.


Indeed, as Schellenberger so eloquently points out, the “drug problem” has become a “mental health problem” and has naturally progressed to become a “homeless problem.” There’s no separating any of it, and it starts in the statehouses and mayor’s offices run by radical left politicians.

That, we can blame on politics. Bad politics, suicidal politics. And trying to distract from the real political problems created by radical Democratic politicians by blaming Republicans for the pathetic ramblings of a psychiatric, incoherent homeless addict only highlights the Democrats’ disgrace.


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