About Atheism has some interesting and insightful comments on the Tea Bagger loonies:-
It would be difficult to understate just how bigoted America’s Tea Bagger movement really is. It’s unlikely that many are consciously bigots, like members of the KKK, but they do subscribe to an extreme form of tribalism in which white, Protestant Christians are the only “true” Americans.
The extremes to which this can be taken are evident in Texas where State Rep. Joe Straus should have the votes to become Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives, but a coalition of Tea Baggers is fighting him — and one of their key arguments is that he’s a Jew. The anti-Semitism of their anti-Straus campaign is evident to everyone but them — they seem to believe that they are immune to anti-Semitism because they are Christians guided by God.
– “Straus is going down in Jesus’ name,” said one e-mail, whose origins were unclear.
– Straus “clearly lacks the moral compass to be speaker,” said another, written by Southeast Texas conservative activist Peter Morrison. A Morrison e-mail said that Straus’ rabbi sits on a Planned Parenthood board and then pointed out that Straus’ opponents in the Speaker’s race “are Christians and true conservatives.” Morrison is a contributor to the white supremacy website VDARE.
– The Tea Party-backed groups are now running anti-Straus robo-calls and e-mails demanding a “true Christian speaker,” reports News 8 Austin.
– The Quorum Report, an online newsletter, reported extensively late Monday on e-mails that mentioned Straus’ Judaism, his rabbi and the Christian faith of his House critics, who include Rep. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola.
– Patrick Brendel reported that David Barton, leader of the group WallBuilders, has helped organize much of the anti-Straus campaign. Barton is a frequent contributor to the Glenn Beck program.
– Kaufman County Tea Party Chairman Ray Myers sent an e-mail last week praising a Straus opponent as “a Christian Conservative who decided not to be pushed around by the Joe Straus thugs.”
Source: Think Progress
It’s important to recognize that these aren’t just some fringe Tea Baggers at work here. All of these groups have operated alongside other conservative groups without a problem for a while now. They are accepted as being as “mainstream” as a group can get in conservative circles today. What this means is that this anti-Semitism, bigotry, and extreme tribalism are also accepted as “mainstream” among conservatives and Republicans today. Indeed, they are arguably what is driving modern American conservatism.
Myers, Morrison, and others have signed letters and worked in conjunction with major right-wing and Republican groups, like Americans for Prosperity. Americans for Prosperity, funded and financed by billionaires David and Charles Koch, is one of the most prominent conservative organizations in the country. Its leader, Tim Phillips, ran a similarly anti-Semitic campaign before being asked by David Koch to manage Americans for Prosperity.
That anti-Semitic campaign was, interestingly enough, against Eric Cantor in 2000. Today Eric Cantor is one of the leaders of the Republican Party — and he hasn’t wasted a second of his precious time condemning or even mildly objecting to the anti-Semitic tribalism or Christian Nationalism of his political cronies. He doesn’t have enough self-respect to complain when it’s directed at him, much less enough respect for others to stand up for them — not even when they are conservative Republicans.
This is the true heart of the American Tea Bagger. Gaze upon it well, for sooner or later it will direct its hatred in your direction. This sort of tribalism always seeks out new targets to attack, until there is nothing left but to turn in on itself and become self-destructive.