The Corner

Vote for the Stimulus or I’ll Shoot

That’s what a mentally disturbed North Carolinian, John Jackson Adams, said he told U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler in a phone message to the Democratic congressman’s Asheville office back in 2009. Shuler reported the incident to federal authorities, who later charged Adams. He was declared mentally incompetent and the charges were later dismissed.

Shuler made headlines a couple of days ago when he remarked that after the Arizona shootings, he would carry his concealed weapon more frequently. He sought his concealed-carry permit after the Adams incident in 2009. So, was the Adams threat caused by impolitic rhetoric by liberals and other advocates of Keynesian stimulus policies? Of course not. He is simply a nut. His actions have no bearing on the propriety of rhetorical choices made by stimulus proponents. In fact, Adams was so confused that while he told the authorities he had threatened Shuler’s life unless the congressman voted for the stimulus, the phone message Adams left seems to threaten him with harm if he voted for the bill. Big surprise: mentally unstable people can have a hard time communicating coherently.

Pundits who suffer only from bad faith, not mental illness, have less of an excuse for their incoherence.

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