Writing in today's New York Times, Rich finds many reasons to doubt the phony patriotism of guys like Andrew Stack, the Austin man who committed suicide (and committed murder) by crashing his airplane into an IRS office building.
Rich connects the dots between Stack's violence and the Tea Party gang:
[Stack left] 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.
Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa, even rationalized Stack’s crime.Outrageous, don't you think? We have so-called patriots—and a Republican senator and congressman!—defending and even celebrating violence.
So much for reasoned debate from our friends on the Right. The full Rich column is here.