“It’s not about Republicans, Democrats or independents, it’s about getting people back to the Constitution, cutting the size of the federal government.”
That line comes from William Temple, the dude who dresses up in late-18th century garb and carries a musket around at Tea Party Singles’ Nights or whatever it they do on statehouse lawns.
If you believe that Barack Obama is a secret Muslim whose sympathies lay with al-Qaeda and that he wants to see America destroyed by violent jihad, you are a mainstreamer in the Tea Party. If, however, believe that Bush actually let al-Qaeda attack Americans, you’re an insane nutjob who deserves no place in their polite society.
If you think that Barack Obama is training black youth to form a Muslim/socialist army which will conduct attacks on innocent Americans for nefarious political ends, and arm yourself accordingly, you’re a rational patriot. If you think that George W. Bush used the government to conduct an attack on innocent Americans for nefarious political ends, and arm yourself accordingly, you’re, well, a liberal and not at all a part of the Tea Party.
If you believe something about Bush which the Tea Party finds perfectly okay to believe about Obama – especially given their alleged fealty to principle over partisanship – then there’s absolutely no reason that said crazies shouldn’t be assumed to be Tea Partiers.
Now, there’s a solution to this – Tea Partiers could admit that they’re just the same base of movement conservatives that were convinced Bill Clinton murdered half the eastern seaboard. But they’re not going to do that, because it reduces the chance that clueless hot chicks will show up at their weenie roasts from .005% to zero.