Follow me now:
- Joe Stack, the lunatic who flew a plane into an IRS office in Austin, was unhappy with the United States government.
- The Tea Partiers are unhappy with the United States government.
- Therefore, the Tea Partiers are responsible for Joe Stack.
If you can’t see the simple logic in that, you’re not Frank Rich. And I really hope you’re not. I wouldn’t wish such a fate on anyone. Except, of course, Frank Rich.
His latest excretion into the New York Times, “The Axis of the Obsessed and Deranged,” is every bit as thoughtful and well-reasoned as its title would suggest. John Hinderaker at Power Line cleans up Rich’s mess for him, and here’s just a brief sample:
Rich starts with “the murder-suicide of Andrew Joseph Stack III, the tax protester who flew a plane into an office building housing Internal Revenue Service employees in Austin, Tex., on Feb. 18. It was a flare with the dark afterlife of an omen.” The last sentence is classic Rich. I’ll hazard a guess that Stack’s murder-suicide was not an omen of anything, and will not ignite a rash of intentional airplane crashes.
Rich admits that “Stack was a lone madman, and it would be both glib and inaccurate to call him a card-carrying Tea Partier or a ‘Tea Party terrorist.'” No kidding: Stack had zero connection to the Tea Party movement. None. So why would it occur to anyone to refer to him as a “Tea Party terrorist”? This is not guilt by association, this is guilt despite a complete lack of association. Rich suggests that the answer lies in Stack’s online political screed:
But he did leave behind a manifesto whose frothing anti-government, anti-tax rage overlaps with some of those marching under the Tea Party banner.
No, it doesn’t. Stack’s essay is left-wing, not right-wing; it ends with a denunciation of capitalism and a quote from the Communist Manifesto. The Tea Party is a highly diverse movement, but you will find very few Communists in it.
Well, okay. But since when do facts matter? Look, the Tea Partiers are the enemy; Stack did something awful and insane; therefore they’re connected. Now shut up. Shut up. Shut up. Shut up. Shut up.
P.S. Shut up.
P.P.S. Has a single Tea Partier committed a violent act? One guy got beat up in St. Louis, and another fellow had his finger bitten off in Thousand Oaks. Those are the only two acts of Tea Party-related violence I can recall, and in both cases the Tea Partiers were the victims. How inconvenient that is. How unhelpful to these attempts to frame the narrative. Stay strong, Frank!
P.P.P.S. Rich’s Tea Party crystal ball is pretty darn cloudy.