Well, we knew the National Tea Party Convention this week was going to be a real festival of outrageous wingnuttery, but Tom Tancredo's speech to kick things off will already be hard to top:
Tancredo: Every year, the liberal Dems and the RINO Republicans turned up the temperature ever so slightly. It seemed after awhile that we'd all be boiled to death in a cauldron of the nanny state.
And then something really odd happened -- mostly because we do not have a civics literacy test before people can vote in this country.
People who cannot even spell the word "vote," or say it in English -- [applause] -- put a committed socialist ideologue in the White House. Name is Barack Hussein Obama.
It's hard to say which was more disturbing: Tancredo's apparent call for reinstituting laws that, as John Byrne at Raw Story points out, were a fundamental component of Jim Crow in the post-Reconstruction South, or the massive round of applause he received for saying it. (The New York Daily News has more on the literacy tests.)
Yes, these people really are nuts. Witness, for instance, the applause Tancredo got for saying he was glad McCain lost -- because, after all, McCain was for "amnesty" too:
If McCain had been elected, the neocons would be writing flattering editorials in the Weekly Standard and the Wall Street Journal. Congressman Gutierrez and President McCain would have been posing in the Rose Garden with big smiles as they received accolades from La Raza for having finally passed an amnesty.
Of course, most of the speech was just Tancredo channeling Glenn Beck. (The boiled frog metaphor was the giveaway, along with the "committed socialist ideologue" bit. As well as lines like this:
So the race for America is on, right now. The President and his left-wing allies in Congress are going to look at every opportunity to destroy the Constitution before we have a chance to save it.
But as always with Tancredo -- as with his audience -- the real motivation comes down to defending white culture:
Some things we can deal with in just a political way -- which is, you know, by the votes we cast. Other things will require a commitment to passing on our culture -- and we really do have one, you know, it is based on Judeo-Christian principles whether people like it or they don't!
That's who we are! That is who we are! And if you don't like it, don't come here! And if you're here and you don't like it, go home! Go someplace else!
As the editors at Imagine 2050 observed:
It is obvious that Beck and Tancredo are trying to push the issue of immigration to the forefront of the tea party movement, something that was explicitly clear during Tancredo’s speech. The acts that followed paled in comparison to Tancredo, who definitely stole the first night spotlight of the three day event.
Indeed. If you thought the Tea Partiers went nuts at those town-hall forums on health care, wait till immigration reform is the issue. It's going to be very ugly.
Tom Tancredo, of course, will be leading the way, pitchfork in hand.