And I am almost not kidding there. I hate to say this, because I am sure I know Tea Party people and believe that some are at least in the in-laws side of the family, but their knowledge of policy and governance is abysmal. As Josh Green notes, many of the Rand Paul supporters clearly have not been paying attention.
In my talks with voters on the campaign trail today and yesterday, the idea that the Republican Party is as complicit as the Democratic Party in what ails the country is something I heard again and again. I made a point of seeking out registered Republican voters, and the frustration with Mitch McConnell, Kentucky's senior senator and the Senate Minority Leader, seemed indistinguishable from--or perhaps better to say, "was a large part of"--the general frustration with Washington. "Republicans in Washington, D.C. are just playing 'follow the leader,' Janice Cox told me at a rally in Paducah earlier today, to which she'd brought her daughter, grandchildren, and a jumbo-sized American flag. "We need a true constitutional conservative."As many bloggers have noted, McConnell has to be pulling out what is left of his graying hair. If anyone has worked to obstruct and obfuscate and deny and disparage and dissemble about the Democrats, it is McConnell. Imagine his frustration. He spends all this time as an obstructionist asshole and the Tea Party people think he is just a "follow the leader" Republican.
And what exactly do these Tea Partiers want from policy? According to this, Rand Paul, following in the wingnut tradition of his crazy father, wants to balance the budget in one year. One year. Paul is deeply afraid of inflation and promises to his wingnut base that he will fight what he calls the "sneakiest tax of all." Of course, our inflation is not even noticeable right now, and some have worried more about deflation, but why bother with facts?
One of my Texas friends has framed most of this in response to Obama, as if the Tea Party is really Obama's fault. It dawned on me yesterday that this is really a Republican problem, and one that the Republicans created and encouraged. And now, it is coming back to bite them on the ass.
Mitch McConnell and the rest of the GOP had a chance to stand up to Rush and the Tea Party and the idiots and say, "hey, disagree with the Democrats, but let's not make shit up. There are no death panels and Obama doesn't want to send soldiers to arrest you for not buying health insurance. Oh, and he isn't Muslim, or Hitler, and he IS an American citizen."
Not saying that would have banished the Tea Party, but it would have gone a ways to marginalize them. Those same Republicans should have also called their buddies at Fox and said, hey, don't promote the wingnuts.
But they didn't. And you know why? Because they looked at them as benefitting them in the short run. They thought that the Tea Party idiots shouting at people in Town Halls would allow them to kill healthcare. They thought that the mobs of people brandishing guns and talking about hitler would allow them to gain seats in November.
And now, they are here, and the GOP is the one with the problem. I don't really think the Tea Party is going to do much but push the GOP toward the absolutely idiotic and ridiculous. They are doing more to push the Republicans out of sanity's range than anything. And Fox and talk radio are urging them on. Why would they not? It sells ad space and tin foil and MREs.
No, this is the GOP's fault. You thought you could play with the tiger and it would just be nice and help you defame the evil liberals. But the tiger is not very smart, and really can't tell the difference between that rag doll of Obama and your face.
Good job, GOP. Good job.