Joe Stack was a terrorist. Period. Yet some mainstream Republicans and tea partyers empathize with him.
Joe Stack was a terrorist. Period.
If intentionally targeting civilians with acts of violence is terrorism, then Mr. Stack was a domestic terrorist. So why the nonchalance, even empathy, from conservatives like Rep. Steve King (R) of Iowa and Sen. Scott Brown (R) of Massachusetts who are typically “strong on defense?”
The progressive blogosphere and media rushed to label Stack a “tea party terrorist” and associate him with the resurgent antitax protest movement in the United States (conveniently ignoring the concluding swipe Stack’s suicide note made at capitalism: “The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.”)
Yet despite this glaring omission of something you probably won’t see on a sign at your next tea party rally, it would seem that tea party activists have bought into the smear that Stack is one of their own. Their reactions have varied from explicit endorsements of Stack’s violence, like this appalling tweet from TeaPartyPatriots.org, “God bless Joe Stack an american hero,” to lukewarm condemnations and awkward dismissals of his behavior, à la Representative King and Senator Brown.
It’s hard for me not to feel like the only fervent antitax activist out there who is unequivocally opposed to Stack’s domestic terrorism. When I published an unqualified condemnation of Stack on my blog, I received comments like this one: “Sometimes there MUST be blood. Call me a troll if you must.… The problem with condemning the man’s actions while accepting his words is that we come across like a toothless sheepdog.”