Note to Frank Rich: If You Want to Play “Pin the Ideology on Joe Stack”, You Should Read and Think First. UPDATE: John at Power Line Blog Dismantles Rich Point-by-Point
Frank Rich (one of the Four Donkeys of the Apocalypse over at the Treason Times) has a column (if you can call it that) out today that is precisely what you have come to expect: an attempt to tie Joe Stack to Tea Parties in general, and elected Republicans specifically.
Frank takes great pains to state that the Tea Partiers are a dangerous, unaffiliated, armed group that the GOP has tried but failed to coop; at the same time, he wonders why some GOPers won’t denounce behavior that, by Rich’s own admission, comes from a group the GOP has nothing to do with.
Rich apparently longs for the halcyon days when James Carville’s strategy of blaming congressional Republicans for Timothy McVeigh were at least marginally successful in undermining the GOP. Only this time, sans any connection whatsoever to the right-wing.
Since Rich obviously doesn’t read anything to the right of Pravda, I think it would be helpful if we could put the Joe Stack ideology run-up on the cosmic score board:
Hated IRS after decades-long personal battles: Push
Hated George W. Bush. “The recent presidential puppet GW Bush and his cronies in their eight years certainly reinforced for all of us that this criticism rings equally true for all of the government.” Advantage: the Left
Hated drug and insurance companies. “Yet at the same time, the joke we call the American medical system, including the drug and insurance companies, are murdering tens of thousands of people a year and stealing from the corpses and victims they cripple”. Advantage: the Left
Hated capitalism, appreciated communism:
The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.
The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.
So if my math is right, there are far more indicators that the man was a radical leftist than he was a Tea Partier. Frank points to his supposed anti-government proclivities, without bothering to make the distinction that Tea Partiers want less government, period; Stack, like some of the more radical elements of the left, hated our present government for the fact that it was insufficiently redistributionist. Now let me think: which side of the political spectrum favors intrusive government empowered to redistribute person property?
Advantage: the Left.
My point isn’t that Stack was a leftist and therefore, we should expect Nancy Pelosi and company to grovel in front of the cameras apologizing for, and distancing themselves from, Joe Stack; my point is that Stack was a lone wolf wackadoodle who lost his mind and decided that violence was the only answer to his problems. Unless there’s an association of people who have had a decades-long beef with the I.R.S., that meets regularly, shares the same difficulty in personally understanding tax-code, and holds a charter, I’m not sure why anyone on Capitol Hill needs to apologize for Stack’s atrocity. But Rich and like-minded scribblers feel the need every time someone flies off the hinges to go around asking the GOP to grovel and beg forgiveness.
UPDATE: John at Power Line has an almost perfect point-for-point refutation of everything Rich says. As usual, Rich is a disingenuous little weasel. Money quote: “You really shouldn’t read the New York Times. It has lower editorial standards than any other newspaper in America, and if you read it enough, it could make you stupid. Like Frank Rich.”