We encounter this stop-the-presses moment approximately 30 minutes about a close brush with Matt Taibbi's account in Rolling Stone of infiltrating a Tea Party rally in Kentucky, from which is carved this bit of political taxonomy (actually the editorial work of the inimitable Tom Sullivan, not me), the five common characteristics of the Tea Party "movement":
One: Every single one of them was that exceptional Republican who did protest the spending in the Bush years, and not one of them is the hypocrite who only took to the streets when a black Democratic president launched an emergency stimulus program. Two: Each and every one of them is the only person in America who has ever read the Constitution or watched Schoolhouse Rock. Three: They are all furious at the implication that race is a factor in their political views -- despite the fact that they blame the financial crisis on poor black homeowners, spend months on end engrossed by reports about how the New Black Panthers want to kill "cracker babies," support politicians who think the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was an overreach of government power, tried to enact South African-style immigration laws in Arizona and obsess over Charlie Rangel, ACORN and Barack Obama's birth certificate. Four: In fact, some of their best friends are black! And five: Everyone who disagrees with them is a radical leftist who hates America.
Reminds us of the conversation we overheard at the recent Watauga County "press conference" against the quarter-cent sales tax referendum. A woman said with Christmas Eve style anticipation that she was going to the Glenn Beck rally on the National Mall in D.C., "but I'll probably get killed by the Black Panthers." We think she was serious.