On a certain level, anti-tax extremism more or less automatically qualifies someone as a right-winger. Still, I don’t see this morning’s airplane attack on IRS buildings in Austin as explicitly political. The pilot’s suicide note mostly makes him sound like a tightly-wound guy who snapped after a long string of very bad luck.
Most of you have clearly read me wrong. Of course this is terrorism. His suicide note explicitly says so. Arguing that semantic point is idiotic, and it doesn’t address the question anyway. Everyone on the internet will spend the next umpteen days arguing about this not because of what the guy did but because of what he represents. Everyone wants to know whether Glenn Beck made a guy commit terrorism. Maybe he belonged to some tea party suicide cult or represents a racist militia. If he did, the event would validate everything that people like me and Dave Neiwert have said for years about nutcases on the right.
I do not think that is the case here. This particular perp sounds like an all-purpose paranoid misanthrope who hated just about every organization or institution that he didn’t belong to. Ten minutes after reading his note, the three objects of hate that I still remember (other than the IRS and his tax preparer) are Arthur Andersen, Enron and George W. Bush. Any minute now we will know whether he attended even one tea party or gave five bucks to Sarah Palin. For now, based on what little is out there, I don’t see it.