Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Ah, remember the innocent days of, say, early 2010, when Jane Hamsher could write this (emphasis added)?

... Granted, the tea party messaging can be pretty schizophrenic and has often served as a grab bag of anti-Obama sentiment. But their primary message has always been economic, and they have their roots in the libertarian-leaning, anti-interventionist conservatism of Ron Paul.

Well, now it appears that somebody forgot to tell the members of Congress who've taken up the tea party banner that they're supposed to be anti-interventionist:

Tea Party Caucus members endorse Israeli attack on Iran

... Almost two dozen Tea Party-affiliated lawmakers cosponsored a new resolution late last week that expresses their support for Israel "to use all means necessary to confront and eliminate nuclear threats posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran, including the use of military force."

The lead sponsor of the resolution was Texas Republican Louie Gohmert, one of four congressmen to announce the formation of the 44-member Tea Party caucus at a press conference on July 21. The other three Tea Party Caucus leaders, Michele Bachmann, R-MN, Steve King, R-IA, and John Culberson, R-TX, are also sponsors of the resolution. In total, 21 Tea Party Caucus members have signed on....

Last week, a Tea Party-affiliated grassroots organization launched a nationwide campaign to build popular opposition to the administration's nuclear reductions treaty with Russia, called New START. The group is led by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas's wife Ginny and it dovetails with similar efforts by former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney....

The sound you don't hear in the distance is grassroots teabaggers protesting this. You don't hear it because they're not protesting -- at all.

Ironically, Hamsher was writing back in February in response to Sarah Palin's speech at the Nashville tea party convention, in which she said, among other things, that President Obama could ensure his reelection by declaring war on Iran. Hamsher fretted that, by rattling sabers, Palin "drove a wedge" between supposedly anti-interventionist teabaggers and mainstream Bushite Republicans. Funny thing: actual teabaggers were far less upset with Palin's words -- were not upset at all, in fact -- and have continued to rally around her, and around Bachmann and her merry band.

The big reveal, of course, will come just after the November elections, when we learn that the teabag legislators are also exactly the same as old-fashioned GOP far-rightists on "family values" issues. On that one they're holding back, because they know that some tea-friendly and tea-curious voters don't agree with them on abortion and gay rights and similar issues.

But on warmongering, they have no such fear. They know that the teabag rank-and-file gets revved up by war and the notion that Democrats are "weak." And yes, I think that's true even of many Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan fans -- they like everything else those guys say about how awful Obama and government and liberals are, so they choose to ignore the odd paleocon expressions of war skepticism.

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