The Tea Party is beginning to approach some sort of event horizon where it starts collapsing in on itself. Behold two excellent House Teabagger candidates, Oregon's Art Robinson, who crossed swords with Rachel Maddow and stabbed himself in the face...
We do not think we took the candidate's words out of context nor do we think we were unfair in our line of questioning. We stand by tonight's show. Below are those statements written and edited by Art Robinson. You be the judge.
1. AIDS is a myth: "[T]he arguments presented against the HIV hypothesis are sound... "LINK
2. Just being gay causes AIDS: " ...median age at death for homosexual men dying of AIDS is 39 years and... for homosexual men who do not die of AIDS is 42. By comparison, the value for heterosexual married men is 75. This is evidence in support of the hypothesis that AIDS may be little more than a general classification of deaths resulting from exposure to homosexual behavior." LINK
3. AIDS is a government conspiracy: "Only government reclassification of more and more disease types as AIDS cases has kept the numbers of victims at politically necessary levels." LINK
4. Low-level radiation is good for us: "All we need do with nuclear waste is dilute it to a low radiation level and sprinkle it over the ocean - or even over America after hor-mesis is better understood and verified with respect to more diseases." LINK
...and Ohio's Rich Iott, who has some interesting extra-curricular activities.
An election year already notable for its menagerie of extreme and unusual candidates can add another one: Rich Iott, the Republican nominee for Congress from Ohio's 9th District, and a Tea Party favorite, who for years donned a German Waffen SS uniform and participated in Nazi re-enactments.
Iott, whose district lies in Northwest Ohio, was involved with a group that calls itself Wiking, whose members are devoted to re-enacting the exploits of an actual Nazi division, the 5th SS Panzer Division Wiking, which fought mainly on the Eastern Front during World War II. Iott's participation in the Wiking group is not mentioned on his campaign's website, and his name and photographs were removed from the Wiking website.
But as Rachel Maddow points out, if you feed the Tea Party enough unlimited campaign cash to prevent a collapse, they may just swallow our country instead.
Is Art Robinson likely to win this race? No. What if it were $500,000? What if it were $1 million? What if it were $150 million?
There's probably a direct relationship between the kookiness of any given candidate and the amount of money you need to make that candidate seem viable in a congressional election. As the kookiness of the candidate goes up, the amount of money you need to keep that candidate viable goes up, too.
The idea that a candidate is too kooky to be elected is only true in an environment in which there is not unlimited money to be spent to make that person seem less than kooky. But when the money is quite literally unlimited either by actual dollar ceilings or by the shame associated with being seen to donate that money, there is no ceiling on how kooky a candidate can be and still seem electable. As long as the money can go to infinity, so can the kook factor. The chart goes on to infinity and beyond.
Case in point: Sarah Palin. Think about her with unlimited campaign donations running for President. Scared yet? You should be. And give the Tea Party another year or so to find even crazier people to run for office in 2012 in House and Senate races, and you get the idea.
Fun times, huh?