On air, CNN contemporaneously reported the tea party's "Million Vet March" rally at "about 300." Tourists and curiosity seekers amplified their numbers. It was a freak show, an embarrassment to far-right agitation, another episode in the movement's Dumbest Stunts Ever and a blotch on beer-putschers everywhere, and for all times.
And yet it is to this unrepresentative "bloc" of nitwitted freaks and agitators that an intransigent minority in Congress caters and forces the nation at large to suffer.
The rally's speakers were a Who's Who of rising troglodytes and fading publicity whores. The reptilian Ted Cruz was there, of course, crying his crocodile tears at the pre-announced effects of the shutdown he himself propelled; and naturally no gathering of world-class imbeciles would be complete without the ineffably vulgar Sarah Palin. So she was there, too.
But it was Freedom Watch's Larry Klayman who best captured the tea party movement's squalid absurdities: "I call upon all of you to wage a second American nonviolent revolution, to use civil disobedience, and to demand that this president leave town, to get up, to put the Quran down, to get up off his knees, and to figuratively come out with his hands up."
That, I need not remind you, is the bigotry and stupidity and utter insanity that have infected one of America's two major parties.
Yesterday's tea party "rally" will not be long remembered, although that's just about all the GOP will be good for if it doesn't torpedo its internal madness--now. And John Boehner can do that, he can accomplish that, just like that, tomorrow, with a simple, long-term, "clean" floor vote. He can cut the tea partiers loose and send their party-killing fanaticism where it belongs: into obscurity. And yet he hesitates because ... he doesn't want to destr0y the GOP.