It's not just the racist outbursts and the intense adoption of bizarre conspiracy theories about the president's birth certificate that pretty clearly identifies the Tea Partiers as truly a bunch of loons. Then there are the costumes.
We got a prime example earlier this week in D.C., when a group of "Tea Party" spokesmen got up in front of reporters dressed in Revolutionary War costumes and intoned a raft of nutty stuff about fomenting a new American revolution.
What they were really on about was their contempt for House Speaker John Boehner as a "Republican In Name Only" who was selling them out on their key monetary issues. The press conference was indeed about attacking Republicans in the House and warning them they face defeat in the 2012 primaries if they fail to live up to their demands. And the key demand this week is that Republicans refuse to raise the limit on the national debt.
The presser seemed to have been organized by WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah, who spoke second. But it was led off by a Georgia preacher named William Temple, dressed up as a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He explained:
TEMPLE: We do this colonial outfit to remind the current government of the first revolution. And we are in a revolution, the American people, right now.
Temple went on to claim, among other things, that he had led "1.9 million people" in the September 12 "March on Washington" last year that he claimed propelled Republicans to power. Um, right. In the real world, you see, he was one of about 90,000 people who mostly came to hear Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin.
Of course, part of these people's delusion is that they believe they are far more powerful than they really are. So there they were, demanding that Republicans step up and toe their line on raising the debt ceiling -- even, of course, if it means the United States is forced to default on its full faith and credit.
Later, another colonial impersonator -- this time doing George Washington -- stepped up to the podium and made more vague threats against wayward Republicans:
And the funny thing is, Republicans really believe this stuff. They are completely cowed by the Tea Partiers. That's who owns them now.