It’s Monday, and the federal government appears to be functioning much as it did on Thursday. Either Operation American Spring has failed, or the mainstream media has predictably covered up the resignations of the President and congressional leaders from both parties, along with the repeal of virtually all federal taxes. My money is on the second one, because I am a self-deluding maniac. In retrospect, Col. Harry Riley’s prediction that “10 to 30 million” patriots would mass on the National Mall this weekend may have been unreasonable. But isn’t that what the Tea Party/constitutional patriot movement is all about?
One of the best/worst parts of being a member of Tea Party Nation are the daily* emails from founder Judson Phillips. Phillips is not a craftsmanlike writer, but he’s passionate. He’s not afraid to invoke Karl Marx, make broad statements about Muslims, or point out who and sometimes what hates America. But as a just-folks kind of guy, Phillips also lards his statements with the homey, personal touches of an Andy Rooney. Consider his reflection from last Sunday, which begins with this glimpse into his daily life: “When I was in Washington this past Friday, I walked by the United Methodist Building, next to the Russell Office Building. The sign in front of the United Methodist Building said, ‘Pass the DREAM Act.'” Three hundred words later, he arrives at this conclusion: “For the few remaining patriots in the Methodist church, know what that church supports and then you should abandon the church, much like the Methodist church as abandoned American values and patriotism.” Where he goes in between is pretty exciting, too.
Now that Election Fever has passed, and we are left with only Election Post-Fever Palsy, it’s time to take stock of what we’ll miss. I personally miss the last campaign cycle in roughly the same way King Kong misses vaudeville, but it did have its highlights. There were the insane commercials, for example, which a slightly less hysterical electorate and some version of the DISCLOSE Act will hopefully ensure that we never see again. There was Christine O’Donnell, who is presumably doing buttershots in a Dave & Buster’s right now. Best of all, there was Tea Party Nation, whose unstoppable email apparatus sent me two, sometimes three emails a day.
If you don’t already subscribe to the Tea Party Nation newsletter, you are missing some great stuff. The TPN is only one of several groups that claim to be the national Tea Party organization—it’s unclear yet whether they’re the Bolsheviks or the Mensheviks, so to speak—but they are the canary in the dark, radon-filled mine that is America’s conservative subconscious. First of all, sorry for cramming three metaphors into one sentence. Second, TPN’s most recent screed, entitled The Horrors of Illegal Immigration, is short and spooky enough to quote at length. Check it after the jump.
Here’s a head-scratcher: Say you’ve got a nascent political party—it’s got a name and everything—comprised of people primarily unified by their distrust of politicians. Your party is the culmination of a grassroots movement, a coming together of regular folks who are sick of the kind of people who relentlessly grasp at power. You’re going to remake the country you love, by doing away with top-down leadership, the arrogance of office, exclusionary parliamentary procedure and stultifying bureaucracy. It’s a revolutionary movement! So, um, how do you decide who runs it?