Joe Stack: 'Tea Party terrorist'?
He flew a plane into a government building in an anti-tax protest. Does that make him a Tea Partier?
Many commentators have been quick to describe Joe Stack, who crashed his plane into an IRS building in Texas last week in an apparent one-man revolt against the government, as a domestic terrorist. But the substance of Stack's complaint and his anti-tax "suicide manifesto" has also led some observers to link him with the libertarian Tea Party movement. Conservatives counter that Stack was simply an extremist whose political motivation had nothing to do with the Tea Party philosophy. Who's right? (Watch Joseph Stack's daughter call her father a hero)
This is just anti-conservative media bias: The Leftist media is playing "connect the dots," says media analyst Bernard Goldberg at his blog. But this time they have fabricated a link "from conservatives to violence." Let me make this plain: "There is no evidence whatsoever that Joe Stack belonged to any Tea Party organization or ever attended a Tea Party."
"Liberal media playing connect the dots - again!"
His screed sounds like a Tea Party rant: We don't yet know if Joe Stack was "involved in any anti-goverment groups," says Jonathan Capehart at the Washington Post. But from the evidence of the "34-paragraph screed" he left behind, his "alienation" is similar to what we hear from "extreme elements of the Tea Party movement." Evidently, this kind of feeling affects "more [people] than we care to admit."
"Alienated in Austin"
But Stack was not an ideologue: Stack was certainly aggrieved at the IRS, says James Taranto at the WSJ. But his suicide note "runs counter" to the "stereotype of a right wing nut." He rails against the church and George W. Bush, and concludes by quoting from the "communist creed." Clearly, his attack was personal, "not ideological." He was a "lone nut," pure and simple.
"Pot calls kettle Stack"
SEE THE WEEK'S LATEST COVERAGE OF JOSEPH STACK:
• Who is Joseph Stack?
• Joe Stack and the Austin plane crash: What we know
• Video: Who is Joseph Stack?