Friday, February 19, 2010

Media, bloggers follow imaginary trail of tea leaves

February 19, 2010
Colorado, USA

Dissident Daughter Just yesterday I said those that don't GET the Tea Party movement will seek to discredit it by applying disparaging labels or by implying association with nefarious ne'er-do-wells. So - yesterday after a very troubled, very confused, suicidal, manifesto-writing, nut job flies his plane into an IRS building in Austin, Texas the media, bloggers, law enforcement officials and so on... could not wait to plaster tea bags all over the incident without so much as a tea leaf of evidence. Like I said, they don't GET it.

I, a law-abiding, tax-paying American Patriot aka Tea Party Patriot, have plenty of problems with the way the President and this administration are running the government. For certain, I am no fan of the IRS (a malfunctioning bureaucracy if there ever was one), but that doesn't make me anti-tax, or anti-government, nor does it make me crazy (OK - wait - sometimes taxes makes me crazy - but it's a temporary malfunction). I heartily resent being associated with a Kamikaze Lunatic. That's right. Kamikaze Lunatic.

I can't imagine anyone making excuses for Joseph Stack, the 53-year-old software engineer who crashed his small plane into a seven-story office building in Austin, Texas which happened to house IRS offices. The man had tax problems. That's not the same thing as being anti-tax. It matters not one whit who he associated with or identified with. That's like saying people who observe the same religion (Jeffrey Dahmer, one of the most infamous and notorious serial killers in American history was raised in the Church of Christ) or listen to the same music or watch the same TV shows are guilty by association with any malcontent who walks the street or flies the skies. The man was a criminal. He perpetrated a pre-meditated violence upon society with criminal intent. End of story.

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Michelle Malkin, Townhall.com -- : This nutball had deadly grudges that transcended partisan lines. But within minutes of the story breaking, a furious left-wing blogger at the popular Daily Kos website -- where countless Democratic leaders have guest-posted -- fumed: "Teabagger terrorist attack on IRS building." The article immediately cast blame on the anti-tax Tea Party movement: "After months of threats on the United States government, and government institutions, the Anti-Government forces known as the teabaggers have struck with their first 911 (sic) inspired terrorist attack."

At the eponymous mega-website of Arianna Huffington, a 2,000-plus comment thread was filled with allusions to "teabaggers":

I would bet he has a membership card to teabag nation and the Glenn Beck fan club!
Tea bag bomb.

Good to see natural selection still works! Tea party Unite!

This guy sounds just like a teabagger.

Oh please. This has tea bags dripping all over it.

I hope teabaggers are proud!! ... Great opening day for CPAC (the Conservative Political Action Conference) isn't it??

This guy sounds like a Tea Partier first class! Maybe that movement is more DANGEROUS to our freedoms than they let on! Be afraid America, BE VERY AFRAID!

He was a Tea Party Terrorist.

In the early aftermath of the suicidal pilot's attack, there was no evidence that Stack belonged to a Tea Party organization. In any case, no law-abiding Tea Party group would ever condone what he did. But it didn't stop the haters from immediately smearing advocates of limited government. And it's just the latest in a long line of calculated attempts to paint the vast majority of peaceful Tea Party activists as terrorist threats to civil society.

This week, absurd liberal pundits and bloggers also tried to connect the tragic University of Alabama-Huntsville murders to the Tea Party movement. No matter that the alleged killer, Amy Bishop, was an Obama-worshiping academic who repeatedly got a soft-on-crime pass. Or that Democratic Rep. William Delahunt of Massachusetts was the former prosecutor involved in dropping charges against Bishop in the deadly shooting of her teenage brother. Or that liberal-dominated campus officials apparently looked the other way in response to Bishop's several red-flag flashes of violence leading up to the U of A shootings.
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Jana Winter, Fox News.com -- Joseph Stack, the 53-year-old software engineer who crashed his small plane into a seven-story office building in Austin, Texas, was part of a growing, violent anti-tax and anti-government movement that has become increasingly alarming to law enforcement agencies.

Experts are pointing to the incident as further evidence of what they say is a proliferation of anti-government militia groups.

"There is a real rage out there, and this terrible attack may be a reflection of that," Mark Potok, the director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Project, said in a statement to FOXNews.com. The SPLC has been studying the resurgence in anti-government militias and groups, which it attributes to a perfect storm of economic, political and social factors.

"There's been an explosive growth of anti-government militias and so-called Patriot groups over the past year, and the central idea of many of them is that taxes are completely illegitimate," Potok said.
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Richard Adams Blog, guardian.co.uk,
...based upon the man's angry, rambling 5,000-word suicide note.

In it, Stack details his decades-long conflict with tax authorities, and includes violent language addressed to the IRS: "Violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer.... Well, Mr Big Brother IRS man, let's try something different; take my pound of flesh and sleep well."

Stack's strident complaints quickly sent bloggers on the right onto the defensive. There's no evidence of any link between Stack and the various political anti-tax movements, but many on the right are concerned that Stack's violence could become linked with the wider causes of tax cutting and reform. Blogger Right, Wing-Nut of New Jersey was among them:

"...how long until this act is tied to the Republicans, and the 'tea-partiers' (can you imagine how hard the MSM is working, as we speak, to make the connection)? I say 15 minutes."

The same blogger was quick to add:

Finally, although the rage is justified, the action is not. This is a constitutional republic, we made our choice of government, now we have to live with it. We can moderate it come November, and that's about it. We are about to learn painful lessons that hopefully will stick with us for generations; taking a flaming shortcut into an IRS building won't change that.

Bloggers at Ace of Spades had no doubts either:

"...so he's a general crank and malcontent, it seems. I still think the media is going to try to portray him as a right-wing nut, and specifically a Tea Partier – since the Tea Party is formally nonpartisan, they can more easily tag him as being a 'Teabagger type' and not sweat the actual politics, which seem LaRouchian and/or Paulian."

At the American Spectator's blog, Jeffrey Lord was more incendiary. "Austin Plane Crash: Is It Obama's Fault?" was his title, explaining:

"President Obama and his liberal allies will surely now concede that their push to spend trillions, a push that they intend to use as an excuse resulting in higher taxes, is responsible for sending this apparently crazed pilot plunging into this Austin IRS headquarters."

Sure enough, there were plenty of online commentators making the link between Stack's crazed antics and the right. Jonathan Capehart in the Washington Post wrote: "I am struck by how his alienation is similar to that we're hearing from the extreme elements of the Tea Party movement." And actress Janeane Garofalo was tweeting:

Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly created the atmosphere for a Joe Stack!
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People attack and try to destroy what they do not understand... or what they fear. I said yesterday the key word here is DISSENT. The powers that be do not understand it, don't really want to understand it and are having a devil of a time squelching it.

I'll leave you with Michelle Malkin's closing statement:


The smear merchants, of course, are simply following Rahm Emanuel's advice to exploit every crisis. Pointing fingers at the Tea Party gremlin demonizes the left's most potent political opponents. This is the blame-gamers' ultimate agenda: criminalizing dissent.

Source: Townhall.com, Michelle Malkin It's All the Tea Party's Fault
Fox News.com, Jana Winter Radical Anti-tax Groups Growing Threat, Say Law Enforcement
Dissenting Times, Dissident Daughter Do You Agree with the NYT description of a Tea Party Patriot
Richard Adams's Blog, UK, Austin plane crash: the online reaction

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