Who will call the Austin suicide pilot a martyr?
This morning's news from Austin, Texas, was startling. A Piper PA-28 crashed into an office building full of IRS workers.
Click here to read the entire AP article.
The FBI tentatively identified the pilot as Joseph A. Stack, 53. Law enforcement officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation was still going on, said that before taking off, Stack apparently set fire to his house and posted a long anti-government screed on the Web. It was dated Thursday and signed "Joe Stack (1956-2010)."
In it, the author cited run-ins he had with the IRS and ranted about the tax agency, government bailouts and corporate America's "thugs and plunderers."
Now let's see how long it will be before Mr. Stack's malevolent spirit is raised from the dead, to be crafted into a heroic, martyr-like figure by elements of the anti-tax, anti-government right-wing fringe. Yes, I'm saying it's likely we'll soon be hearing how the poor man just couldn't help himself; he didn't really want to hurt other people, etc.
Will we see Fox News covering a big-ass tea party, thrown down in Stack's honor? If so, then let's see how many Republicans will show a reluctance to cast this man's hateful last act in a bad light.
Whether an airplane-flying, death-wishing attacker is a Christian anti-American, or a Muslim anti-American, or an atheist anti-American, how much difference does it really make to the victims of the attack?
Moreover, how is one deliberate crashing of an airplane into an office building full of innocent people a criminal act, and the other an act of war?
Today's news from Austin has created a perfect storm of an opportunity for the most impatient power hungry conservatives, politicians and pundits, alike, to flaunt their true colors. I'm guessing some of them just won't be able to resist it.
Like, what will Sarah Palin write on her hands about all this?
Updates (Feb. 22):
For a couple of stories that discuss the Stack as hero/martyr angle, click here and here.