First, other than the clear warning Hitler was giving the world about his genocidal anti-Semitism, the important takeaway from Mein Kampf isn’t its ideological coherence, but its author’s obsession with revolutionary change. (Depending on your translation) The word “fascist” appears twice in Mein Kampf, and “Fascism” only once, while “revolution,” “rebellion,” “overthrowing,” and the like festoon nearly every page. His chief obsession (other than the Jews) is with the revolutionary “idea,” the notion that the masses can be galvanized and commanded through a radical new way of thinking. “The appearance of a new and great idea was the secret of success in the French Revolution. The Russian Revolution owes its triumph to an idea. And it was only the idea that enabled [Italian] Fascism triumphantly to subject a whole nation to a process of complete renovation.”
Which brings me to the second point. Mein Kampf is not in any serious way the opposite or parallel “right-wing” work to the “left-wing” Communist Manifesto. The two works are very different in style, intent, audience and, yes, ideology etc., but they do share a commitment to revolutionary change. All of these people insisting that it is some grand contradiction to admire both books don’t know much about one or the other. And to the extent Loughner read these books (which, again, I doubt), it is entirely plausible that he would like both of them. This is a kid who thought the entire metaphysical system was a con job in need of being torn down (David Brooks was very good on this point the other day, by the way). On that sort of thing, Hitler and Marx saw eye to eye. What shouldn’t need to be said is that neither Mein Kampf nor the Communist Manifesto are prominent Tea Party tracts.
But the smears and rewriting of history will continue.