Matt Yglesias calls Joe Stack a tea party populist:
As you probably know, a white guy entranced by an extremely [sic] version of Tea Party-style right-populist paranoia deliberately crashed an airplane into an IRS building in Texas yesterday.
Ackerman goes further:
What Yglesias fails to understand is that the ideology Stack subscribed to is the problem. All across the country are sleeper cells preaching hatred of the tax code, gathering in public to denounce the results of a democratic election and sow the seeds of sectarian violence. They even have a major television network sympathetic to their sick agenda. The threat is there for all to see.
Steven Taylor counters, effectively:
[W]hile his anti-tax, anti-bailout rhetoric might fit broadly under the Tea Party rhetoric, his anti-George W. Bush, anti-religion, pro-health care reform rhetoric decidedly does not. As such, trying to associate him with “Tea Party-style right-populist paranoia” is unfair and incomplete.
Jonathan Capehart acknowledges that Stack is an ideological mutt but still uses him to whack the tea party activists:
Stack didn't like much of anything or anyone. He railed against President George W. Bush, Wall Street, insurance companies and capitalism, to name a few. That he ends his suicide note with an apparent nod to communism doesn't disprove the larger point. Stack was raging against a system he thought was unfair and contributed to his economic insecurity. There are extreme elements on the far right roiling with this same rage that must be called out before they root themselves further in a broader movement that has legitimate concerns about the federal government and the direction of the country. Michael Gerson does an excellent job of that today. Others must follow. We ignore others like Stack at our peril.
Note that he sees his violent response to his economic plight as a political act, a blow for freedom. I am certainly not advocating this course of action. But others start connecting at least some of the dots this way, seeing their financial stresses not as the result of bad luck or lack of sufficient effort, but as an indictment of the system. Given the breakdown of communities (for instance, the fall in involvement in local civic groups and shortened job tenures, both of which lead to weaker social ties and greater isolation), the odds that the disaffected will turn to violence is greater than in past periods of stress.
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