Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Does the Tea Party Have a Brain?

Josh Green from The Atlantic thinks they do, and that brain is currently occupying the body of Ron Paul. I'm just now getting around to reading Green's excellent piece on Paul from this past November. I'll have more to say about it later but one passage made me laugh over my morning coffee. Here is Green's opening,
Ron Paul led the annual Fourth of July parade through Friendswood, Texas, from the back of a gleaming pickup truck that inched along behind a replica of the Liberty Bell and just ahead of Lady Liberty herself, who was sitting in a Corvette and seemed to have wilted under the oppressive noonday sun. Or perhaps the oppressive policies of Barack Obama—it was hard to tell which. Along the parade route, the Stars and Stripes vied for prominence with STOP OBAMA signs.

Friendswood lies just south of Houston, in a district that voted 2-to-1 for John McCain, and for George W. Bush before him. But the distinctive flavor of the local conservatism is most vividly conveyed by Paul, the 75-year-old arch-libertarian congressman and sometime presidential candidate whose disdain for federal power is so severe that he once voted to deny Mother Teresa the Congressional Gold Medal because the Constitution does not expressly authorize such an expenditure. Paul thinks the government ought to be doing a whole lot less, and his constituents seem to agree. They’ve been returning him to Congress since the 1970s by growing margins.
And what, pray tell, has the fine citizens of Friendswood* so up in arms? What bit of Federal over-reach has stirred their rage? Obama dared to end their Federal gravy train,
At the parade, the proximate cause of anger was Obama’s decision to end the manned-spaceflight program at the nearby Johnson Space Center, a major employer, and to retire the space shuttle.

The principled conservatives of the Tea Party movement in their full glory. It's a "Keep Government Out of My Medicare" moment. All the more fitting that it should occur in the Ron Paul's district, as Paul is one of the more outlandishly hypocritical voices on the debt in government today. He's a man that gets elected by subcutaneously denigrating government and bringing home the pork every chance he gets.

*does this sound like the name of a town that Dan Savage would make up to anyone else? 

1 comment:

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

If I had to pick a single person as the wellspring of the Tea Party Movement it would be Glenn Beck, not Ron Paul.