Tea Party darling invites guests, including Rick Santorum, to join Earth Haters and Bible Thumpers at consolatory dinner
It is an inauguration ball with red carpet and tuxedos, but Obama is emphatically not invited.
There is the Earth Haters table, for climate change deniers; the Hate Mongers table, for radio shock jocks; the Bible Thumpers table, for radical evangelicals; the Fat Cats table, for capitalist lovers; and the self-explanatory Shameless Self-Promoters table.
Welcome to Glen Beck's inaugural misfit ball, a gathering in Dallas on Monday night of ultra-conservatives, conspiracy theorists and Tea Party supporters who consider themselves outcasts from Washington's celebrations 1,300 miles away.
"Join some of the infamous 'misfits' no longer welcome in Obama's America – champions of freedom, smaller government, and the Constitution," read the invitation, and scores accepted, turning up in gowns and black tie at Beck's Dallas studio for an event broadcast on his Blaze TV network.
"It's more the proud rabble and local leaders of the heartland than the crème de la crème of Washington. It includes people who wouldn't be invited even to a Republican president's inauguration because they're as sceptical of the Republican establishment as they are of Obama," said Phelim McAleer, maker of the pro-fracking documentary Frack Nation. He was seated at the Earth Haters table. "It's being kept light-hearted."
The MC greeted guests by saying the ball was the place "hate comes to celebrate", a joking reference to liberals accusations of hate-mongering. There was a serious subtext, however, in signalling continued opposition to the Obama administration and resolve to keep the pressure on Republican leaders to stand firm.
The event swiftly trended on Twitter – #misfitsball – with supporters expressing gratitude for a chance to tune out Obama's triumph. "This ball gives me hope that their are still sane people left in the world," tweeted @ShogunOfTruth.
The menu comprised offerings from Chick-fil-A, a fast-food chain which embroiled in a same-sex marriage row last year, Twinkies, which disappeared from shelves after a union dispute, and peanut butter and jello sandwiches.
Beck, a Tea Party pin-up and syndicated commentator and broadcaster, was due to address the gathering later in the evening. It marked a follow-up of sorts to his Restoring Honor rally, which was held at Washington's Lincoln Memorial in 2010.
He called Monday's celebration an "epic misfits ball" to rival the two inauguration balls held in honour of Obama, whom he prefers not to name.
"While that guy is having his ball, we're having ours," he said, adding that his guests would come from all walks of American life. "It should be everyone who is no longer welcome in 'Obamaland'… whoever's not allowed in that guy's America."
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