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Tea, Anyone?

Hemlock, then?

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, September 15, 2010.

The Republican Party in the last half century devoted itself to peeling off the old time Copperheads and Dixiecrats and outright bigots into the GOP. It was Nixon's Southern Strategy, and it worked. When times changed, the GOP's traditional fiscal conservative wing gagged and increasingly courted the generally lower class social conservatives of the South and West who existed in their own little world of Protestant delusions and patriarchal cults. Fiscal conservatives pretended to care about the often imagined and petty insults and issues important to the uneducated and perpetually scared: superficial patriotism like a flag burning amendment to the Constitution, anti-abortion legislation, prayer in school, and strict patriarchal social formations and regulations of other people's sex lives lest anybody be happier than they are.

"Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices," said Voltaire, and nowhere in modern times is that better observed than in the intellectual cess pit of what is called The Tea Party.

The Tea Party is the far right of the Republican Party as Nixon conceived it, Karl Rove tweaked it, and Reagan courted it. It is marked by thumping ignorance, racism, actual stupidity, and the smug self-satisfaction of zealots on the rise after several of their own won Republican primaries last night. Democrats are officially thrilled because they believe that TP candidates - and isn't that a handy abbreviation - cannot win in the November elections in a nation mostly sane and smart. I'm not so sure the nation is sane or smart anymore and it is certainly possible some of these crack pots can win if Democrats sulk because Obama isn't superman.

To be sure, the Tea Party talks the line about debt and financial clich├ęs they don't understand, but it's all cover. The never mention the Iraq War was declared with no method to pay for it, and that the financial meltdown started and burst long before Obama was elected, and that this administration predicted we would have to spend to prevent a depression. But the Tea Party lies and pretends that the debt started with Obama taking the oath. And if we believe that palpable absurdity, the worm can is opened.

The GOP this week is confronted with the spawn of their half century of work. The eggs parented by the likes of Jesse Helms, hatched under Gingrich, and long nurtured have learned to fly, developed a taste for tea, and the darlings are now returning expecting to be fed by the national committee. Democrats see them as metaphorically apt cuckoos. If only. They're pterodactyls.

Appalled, but not willing to admit this was a self administered horror, the national Republican party is pulling financial support from the Tea Party candidates they feel cannot win. It has happened here in Colorado where perpetually broke Republican Gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes has no money, isn't able to raise any, is accused of being a con man by powerful members of his own party, and yet has the nomination. If that weren't bad enough, Tom Tancredo, a xenophobe, left the GOP and joined a small conservative party to run against the Republican and Democratic nominees. In practice, this means if Democrat candidate John Hickenlooper is found having relations with an underage male Mexican Chihuahua without papers on national television while burning an American flag and wearing an Oakland Raiders T-shirt after a day recording advertisements for skiing in Utah, his margin of victory will still be in double digits.

Worse, it Maes comes in third, as he likely will, it could mean the GOP will cease to officially be a major party in Colorado. How incompetent can Dick Wadhams, the state GOP chair, be? At least the Independence Institute has something to think about.

In Delaware last night, an equal con woman damned by former staffers as living off campaign contributions like Maes here and merely mouthing conservative mantras - and demonstrating an ignorance, stupidity, and religious ethic that recalls only fellow Tea Party nominee Sharon Angle in Nevada - won over the sitting Republican Congressman with a ton of seniority. Karl Rove immediately announced the GOP was toast in that race, and the national money men were not moving to help their candidate.

In New York, the GOP nominee for Governor recently was caught sending out racist and sexual themed emails of inappropriate character. He isn't going to dent Mario Cuomo in November.

The GOP, which since Reagan has tried to become the majority party, does so intending to represent both money and a religion that damns it in theory and lusts for it in fact. They are the party of social resentment and fiscal hypocrisy, and they have some 'splainin' to do. Primarily to themselves today.