James Bovard visited a Tea Party rally in Maryland and came away wondering just how anti-government the movement really is:
At a Tax Day tea party in Rockville, Md., the speaking venue was draped with a huge banner: “Tired of Big Government?” Members of the “Tyranny Response Team” stood near the front of the rally with their official blue T-shirts. Giant American flags and ones with “Don’t Tread on Me” (with a coiled rattlesnake) were carried around by men with tri-corn hats. Political campaigns busily sold “9/11 Remembrance” bracelets.
And yet, the crowd of 300 seemed most outraged that the US government is not being sufficiently aggressive in using its power.
Ken Timmerman, the author of “Preachers of Hate: Islam and the War on America” and other hawkish books, declaimed that the US government must take every step to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons. Mr. Timmerman denounced the Obama administration for being soft on Tehran and urged support for legislation to impose harsh sanctions on Iran. Timmerman previously advocated a US naval blockade of Iran, which he claimed was planning a nuclear attack on the United States.
Running through a litany of President Obama’s greatest failings, Timmerman denounced him for forcing US agents to “stop using enhanced interrogation methods. Has that made us safer?”
“No!” the crowd hollered indignantly.
Radley Balko takes issue with tea partiers in Arizona inviting Joe Arpaio, the man who has made a name for himself for his obscure treatment of prisioners and contempt for brown people, to speak at a tea party rally:
Dear Tea Partiers,
Ask Joe Arpaio to be your keynote speaker, and you’ve lost me.
He’s a power-mad thug with a badge, the walking, mouth-breathing antithesis of the phrase “limited government.”
Yes, this is but one state chapter in your movement. So distance yourself from them.
It’s one thing to have a few idiots and nutjobs show up at your rallies.
It’s quite another to invite one to speak.
PS: Hating immigrants? Not a winning issue. Or, for that matter, a limited government issue.
I could not agree more.
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You may have heard that “liberal” customers of Whole Foods are organizing a boycott in response to John Mackey’s editoral to the Wall Street Journal.
Radley Balko responded over the weekend to the idea of the proposed boycott: