Today a very disturbed man flew his small plane into an Austin, TX building housing IRS personnel. The pilot, Joe Stack, and an unnamed victim died at the scene and 13 people were injured. Prior to this act, the Stack set fire to his home.
Stack posted a long anti-government rant before he flew his plane into that building. Because of these lunatic ravings, there are many on the left who are calling this a terrorist act that they are linking to the Tea Party movement. Now, one would expect something like this from lefty blogs, but the Washington Post has picked up the meme, as have other mainstream media outlets (I'm sure Olby and Maddow will be all over it tonight). As of this writing, if you google 'Joe Stack', 'Joe Stack Tea Party' is number 8 on the suggested search list.
There is much about Stack's post that they aren't talking about, though - things that would change the post from an anti-government Tea Party slanted rant into what it really was - the rabid ramblings of a man teetering on the brink.
HotAir's Allahpundit has a great rundown of the liberal slant:
What is really interesting is the media response to the University of Alabama murderer as opposed to the fervor of the coverage of Stack's actions. This woman was obviously sick, but, by the same standard the media is using for Stack, Amy Bishop should be making headlines for her rabid obsession with Barack Obama (a clearly disturbed woman obsessed with the President? not good) and obvious feelings of entitlement towards tenure - very liberal positions.5. He was mad at the IRS, and left what CNN reports was a suicide note on a local website, detailing his trials with the agency. In fact, a lot of his rhetoric could have been taken directly from a handwritten sign at a tea party rally.Yeah, it could, although I confess to not having noticed a strong “capitalism is for suckers” vibe at rallies that are, let’s face it, driven mainly by laissez faire libertarian impulses. Meanwhile, Time magazine, while mentioning the anti-Bush passage, slipped the following hyperlink into its story on Stack:
According to news reports, 199 IRS employees work in the building, and all are accounted for. Toward the end of what appears to be his final note, Stack wrote, “Well, Mr. Big Brother IRS man, let’s try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well.” (See the making of the Tea Party movement.)
But we're not hearing too much about Ms. Bishop, are we? We're not hearing about her liberal congressional protector. We're not hearing that this Obama worshipping, Harvard-trained university faculty member was a Socialist (but only after class!). If a Tea Partier had perpetrated this crime, do you think it would have made the news cycles that the three victims were minorities?
I'm not trying to say that Bishop killed Adriel Johnson, Maria Ragland Davis and Gopi Podila out of some sort of ideology (although there actually was an attempt to lump her in with the Tea Partiers, if you can believe it). She is a seriously ill woman who had a history of violence who had gotten away with murder and attempted murder before. Violence became an acceptable solution.
As for Joe Stack, he was a frustrated man who was pushed to the brink by a system that, in his unbalanced mind, became predatory.
These events are not politically motivated, they are the product of unstable minds. On the surface, John Hinkley, Jr.'s assasination attempt on Ronald Reagan could have been politically motivated. But just scratch the surface a little, and it's obvious the attempt was based on the movie Taxi Driver and was designed to impress Jodi Foster, not make a political statement.
For those who say he was a terrorist, I can see that point. But, then, so would Amy Bishop - murder, attempted bombing, random violent attacks. For me, though, a terrorist is someone who is participating in a campaign of terrorist attacks, be it based on religious or political ideologies. The Ft. Hood shooter was a terrorist. IRA bombers were terrorists. Stack and Bishop were just plain crazy.
In this post 9/11 world, it is easy to see dire subtexts in everything, but sometimes the acts of a crazy person are just that - the acts of a crazy person.