Friday, February 19, 2010

"Shorter Scott Brown"

Reading the suicide screed of the IRS kamikaze bomber, my first thought was that it was a distillation of the  noxious brew of inchoate rage that's fueling the tea party movement. Then I thought, don't go there -- let's not insta- politicize the paranoid homicidal insanity of someone who complains of "the storm raging in my head." True, Stack understood his own grievance as a political one, but he was so clearly insane that I would hesitate to impute his craziness to the tenor of ideas that his resemble, even if those ideas are finding extreme expression in what now passes for our mainstream. But then, Scott Brown swiftly drew a political moral, expressing implicit approval of the focal points of Stack's insane rage:
Appearing on Fox News soon after Stack flew an airplane into a building, Brown told the national television audience that he "feels for the families" affected by the attack. In the next breath, however, the senator added:
"I don't know if it's related but I can just sense not only in my election, but since being here in Washington, people are frustrated. They want transparency. They want their elected officials to be accountable and open and talk about the things affecting their daily lives. So I am not sure if there is a connection, I certainly hope not, but we need to do things better."
Brown added that an incident like the one in Austin is "extreme," but added, "No one likes paying taxes obviously."
A commenter on Steve Benen's site caught Brown's logic perfectly:
Shorter Scott Brown: People are so frustrated and despairing that they are starting to do dangerous and crazy things, like crashing planes and voting for people like me.
Viewed another way, Scott's reaction is analogous to that of people who clucked that the 9/11 attack was deplorable but understandable, given U.S. actions in the Middle East.

1 comment:

  1. It would be wrong I think to say that because a terrorist was insane, his behavior should not be pointed to as evidence that the ideologies he believed in are dangerous. What's dangerous about these anti-government, anti-establishment ideologies is that they can animate insane people to do insane things.