As the novelty of the Tea Party wears off and people begin to realize that candidates espousing the doctrinaire beliefs of that group are completely unelectable on a national level, you're starting to see the "true believers" who remain active
reveal their true colors. One such group seems to be the leadership of Tea Party Boise
. Here's a flyer
for a meeting they're holding this weekend in Nampa, for which getting people to attend seems to be a problem
One problem seems to be the "Featured Keynote Speakers". The guy
they have on Saturday is listed on the flier as an "Expert in International Conspiracies", but it's the Friday guy who seems to be causing (deservedly) the most backlash. It's Dr. Steven Jones
, who I've been mocking and belittling since 2005
Both of them are "Truthers"
-- people who believe that 9/11 was a U.S. Government plot. And by having them as featured speakers, Tea Party Boise is legitimizing this crackpot theory.
I'm not doubting that the government lies -- they clearly did when they said that Osama bin Laden was buried at sea
so as to satisfy Muslim traditions that burial take place within 24 hours when it was obviously done before Monday morning (U.S. time) to make sure that some lawyer couldn't file suit for possession of the body on behalf of some family member. People like the "Truthers", however, believe that the government always lies, and anything that doesn't match their own narrow worldview must be the product of some huge conspiracy
. People like the leadership of Tea Party Boise just can't understand how President Obama hasn't tried to confiscate their guns
yet -- after all, didn't all those people who jacked up the price
of ammo in December 2008 say he was going to? The more their predictions of doom fail to come true, the more they retreat into a delusional world where it's all part of an even more sinister and detailed conspiracy (usually led by Jews
). The 9/11 Truth movement is the apex of this line of thinking, so it's not surprising that they're headed into that territory.
It's not just Tea Party Boise that's fallen into this trap. Even a respected group such as the Elmore County Republican Central Committee has started to eat their own, passing a resolution
calling for the State GOP to investigate Gov. "Butch" Otter and his "Project 60"
because of fears that he's supporting a Chinese enclave just south of Boise
that will be a perfect base for a "Red Dawn"-style invasion. (Of note, then-Rep. Otter
proved his Libertarian bona fides
by being one of 3 Republicans to vote against the original Patriot Act -- even that isn't enough to protect him now from xenophobic Idaho Republican activists.) Like most Tea Party ideas, this one spread quickly via E-mail, finally hitting the Drudge Report, without anyone stopping to verify facts or realize that the whole idea was so far-fetched as to be unbelievable -- it was enough for them that it was more "evidence" of the government being evil.
I find it interesting that many of these people, when confronted with irrefutable evidence that a given pet conspiracy theory is wrong, will defend themselves with words to the effect of "Well, Obama is such a horrible person that I'm justified in believing he'd do that"; or, in other words, "It's Obama's fault that I believe this unbelievable thing". Coming from adherents of the philosophy of "Personal Responsibility", that's quite amusing. (Progressives did the same thing during the Bush era, but it's not as hypocritical coming from them because they aren't generally into "not blaming others for one's mistakes" so much.)
So what do you think? Will the Tea Party finally crash and burn when they eventually get so far into Tin-Foil Hat Land that eventually even the True Believers start having second thoughts? Or will it take the shock of actually nominating a Tea Party Presidential candidate and having them lose by 300 electoral votes?
(And for those who think that the government actually could pull off a stunt like wiring the WTC towers with explosives and doing the rest of 9/11 while being able to keep it a secret -- the world just doesn't work like that. You'll have to trust me on that one. We keep things like submarine operations fairly secret because, in the big scheme of things, nobody really gives a crap. For stuff like shooting down TWA 800
with a missile from a Navy ship or hiding aliens in Area 51, enough people do care, and at least one smart person among the thousands who would have to be involved would figure out a way to smuggle the evidence out in a flash drive.)