impotent rage


Senior Member
In Washington, the NRC had issued a list of ninety nuclear facilities in thirty-seven states with safety problems ranging from ‘moderate to serious.’
Moderate to serious, great, Gardener thought, feeling the old impotent rage stir and twist, biting into him like acid. If we lose Topeka, that’s moderate. If we lose New York, that’s serious.

Source: The Tommyknockers by Stephen King

I understand that impotent to mean : not having the power or ability to change or improve a situation, but I am uncertain how one can feel impotent rage.

Thank you
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    Senior Member
    American English
    It's rage you feel when you can do nothing about the situation that is causing the rage. Therefore, it's impotent: powerless.
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