Frank Rich says what needed to be said:
Stack was a lone madman, and it would be both glib and inaccurate to call him a card-carrying Tea Partier or a “Tea Party terrorist.” But he did leave behind a manifesto whose frothing anti-government, anti-tax rage overlaps with some of those marching under the Tea Party banner. That rant inspired like-minded Americans to create instant Facebook shrines to his martyrdom. Soon enough, some cowed politicians, including the newly minted Tea Party hero Scott Brown, were publicly empathizing with Stack’s credo — rather than risk crossing the most unforgiving brigade in their base.
NO ONE should condone a man who burned down his house with his wife and kids inside, drove to the airport, and flew his PRIVATE AIRPLANE INTO A BUILDING. A commercial building, by the way, with 200 innocent Americans inside it. The first floor was mostly empty, but the IRS shared the upper floors with software companies and other private businesses.
Truthers and healthers alike have latched on to the killer as a hero. Republicans are flirting with disaster when they pander to this nonsense. This blog has tracked the strange dance on America’s right for a full year; last April, I predicted this moment in the right’s new permanent revolution. The teabag terror has emerged and the Grand Old Party is in its thrall.
We have seen this movie before:
But the internal dynamics are finally coming full circle as the establishment opens fire. POLITICO has an actual scoop for once:*
“I don’t believe we should be giving [extremists] a platform or empowering them to do anything based off their conspiracy theories,” said Ned Ryun, president of American Majority, “because they give the left ammunition to try to define the tea party movement as crazy and fringy.”
The attempt “to clean up our own house,” as Erick Erickson, founder of the influential conservative blog RedState, puts it, is necessary “because traditional press outlets have decided to spotlight these fringe elements that get attracted to the movement, and focus on them as if they’re a large part of this tea party movement. And I don’t think they are.”
Problem: They ARE a large part of the tea party movement. At least, the one that’s turning into a for-profit right-wing televangelism tour. Both the Tea Party Convention in Nashville and CPAC featured special wingnut training from folks like Andy Breitbart, Orly Taitz, and the Johnny Birch boys. RedState has apparently banned the birthers, but what about the freepers?
Which brings me to this discovery:
That’s the Rush Limbaugh of Huntsville taking on Parker Griffith.
Now I’m not saying there won’t be any tea party favorites elected in November, I’d say there won’t be many; and the reason why is plain to see in the strange career of Mr. Griffith, who in the course of one year transformed from an advocate of single-payer to a right-wing zealot. He has adopted every right-wing meme but the wingnuts are not impressed. Meanwhile, his opponent only has to point to Griffith’s record of achievement in office.
Remember O’Neil’s Law: all of politics is local.
The Teabagger Fail has begun…in Alabama.
*Maintaining my boycott of POLITICO links: