I don’t have very many reasons to give Glenn Beck praise, but I do have to give him credit for exposing the Tea Party candidate in the GOP TX-GOV primary as a 9/11 truther:
BECK: Do you believe the government was in any way involved with the bringing down of the World Trade Centers on 9/11.
[DEBRA] MEDINA: I don’t have all of the evidence, there, Glenn. So I don’t… I am not in a place — I have not been out publicly questioning that. I think some very good questions have been raised in that regard. There’s some very good arguments. And I think the American people have not see all of the evidence there. So I have not taken a position on that.
Then again, this shouldn’t be surprising–here’s what conservative journalist Jonathan Kay wrote after attending last weekend’s Tea Party Convention in Nashville:
After I spent the weekend at the Tea Party National Convention in Nashville, Tenn., it has become clear to me that the movement is dominated by people whose vision of the government is conspiratorial and dangerously detached from reality. It’s more John Birch than John Adams.
Like all populists, tea partiers are suspicious of power and influence, and anyone who wields them. Their villain list includes the big banks; bailed-out corporations; James Cameron, whose Avatar is seen as a veiled denunciation of the U.S. military; Republican Party institutional figures they feel ignored by, such as chairman Michael Steele; colleges and universities (the more prestigious, the more evil); TheWashington Post; Anderson Cooper; and even FOX News pundits, such as Bill O’Reilly, who have heaped scorn on the tea-party movement’s more militant oddballs.
Within a few hours in Nashville, I could tell that what I was hearing wasn’t just random rhetorical mortar fire being launched at Obama and his political allies: the salvos followed the established script of New World Order conspiracy theories, which have suffused the dubious right-wing fringes of American politics since the days of the John Birch Society.
This world view’s modern-day prophets include Texas radio host Alex Jones, whose documentary, The Obama Deception, claims Obama’s candidacy was a plot by the leaders of the New World Order to “con the Amercican people into accepting global slavery”; Christian evangelist Pat Robertson; and the rightward strain of the aforementioned “9/11 Truth” movement. According to this dark vision, America’s 21st-century traumas signal the coming of a great political cataclysm, in which a false prophet such as Barack Obama will upend American sovereignty and render the country into a godless, one-world socialist dictatorship run by the United Nations from its offices in Manhattan.
Sure enough, in Nashville, Judge Roy Moore warned, among other things, of “a U.N. guard stationed in every house.” On the conference floor, it was taken for granted that Obama was seeking to destroy America’s place in the world and sell Israel out to the Arabs for some undefined nefarious purpose. The names Jeremiah Wright and William Ayers popped up all the time, the idea being that they were the real brains behind this presidency, and Obama himself was simply some sort of manchurian candidate.
A software engineer from Clearwater, Fla., told me that Washington, D.C., liberals had engineered the financial crash so they could destroy the value of the U.S. dollar, pay off America’s debts with worthless paper, and then create a new currency called the Amero that would be used in a newly created “North American Currency Union” with Canada and Mexico. I rolled my eyes at this one-off kook. But then, hours later, the conference organizers showed a movie to the meeting hall, Generation Zero, whose thesis was only slightly less bizarre: that the financial meltdown was the handiwork of superannuated flower children seeking to destroy capitalism.
And then, of course, there is the double-whopper of all anti-Obama conspiracy theories, the “birther” claim that America’s president might actually be an illegal alien who’s constitutionally ineligible to occupy the White House. This point was made by birther extraordinaire and Christian warrior Joseph Farah, who told the crowd the circumstances of Obama’s birth were more mysterious than those of Jesus Christ. (Apparently comparing Obama to a messiah is only blasphemous if you’re doing so in a complimentary vein.) To applause, he declared, “My dream is that if Barack Obama seeks reelection in 2012 that he won’t be able to go to any city, any city, any town in America without seeing signs that ask, ‘Where’s the birth certificate?'”
[All emphasis mine]
If you believe the right–though I can’t imagine why you would–the Tea Party is made up of regular every-day Americans who are just fed up with their government. Of course, we know that’s nonsense, and some of us have been pointing out the fringe nature of the Tea Party movement for a long time now.
Now, if only someone would finally take an in-depth look at the astroturfed nature of the Tea Party movement…
UPDATE: Ben Smith uncovers the fact that Tea Party darling Debra Medina is also a birther.
Smith states that “the tea party movement is, in part, a rebranding of a fringe that’s been out there all along.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself.