I am forever amazed that otherwise seemingly sane politicians seek and accept the endorsement of the grab bag of certifiable nuts, conspiracy theorists, and bigots that make up the Tea Party. Though I know I shouldn't be.
After all, politicians are shameless and at one time in American history, the Ku Klux Klan fielded candidates and was considered to be as respectable an institution as the YMCA.
So the fact that in our day, Republican politicos are willing to get all chummy with the kooky fringe probably should raise no eyebrows. Still, the TP types keep pushing the envelope of what's acceptable.
Take, for example, the walking PayDay bar that is Wes Harris, proud progenitor of the Original North Phoenix Tea Party, conspiracy monger, supporter of Phoenix mayoral hopeful Wes Gullett, and hater of all things Obama.
Harris' paranoid Facebook postings combine frequent Muslim-bashing and salvos leveled at the United Nations with delusional swipes at hoary wingnut bugbears such as the Council on Foreign Relations, the Bilderbergers, and the Trilateral Commission.
He warns of the coming "world Caliphate" and makes ominous references to the U.N.'s Agenda 21, a program for sustainable development that the tin foil hatters believe is a blueprint for One World Government.
Harris highly recommends Invisible Empire, a conspiracy-laden video from Jason Bermas, one of the filmmakers behind the 9/11-denial flick Loose Change and a one-time contributor to radio loon Alex Jones' multi-media circus.
One verbal shot at President Barack Obama verges on the homicidal. Ranting about the federal government's controversial loan to failed solar power company Solyndra, Harris envisions his own preferred method of punishment for the President.
"If Obama and his coneys [sic] do not swing from the highest `Yard arm,' there is something gravely wrong with the system," he offered, while linking to an article online at nationalreview.com.
I think Harris means "cronies," here. In any case, Harris' post earns enthusiasm from fellow Facebooker Brett Bacon, who writes, "Wow! String 'em up!"
Such violent fantasies are commonplace in the Tea Party. I recall a 2009 Tea Bagger fest where one angry white man threatened President Obama's life in front of me, saying he wanted to "kill" him because he was a domestic "enemy."
Normally, Harris' daydreams of puttin' the rope to the Prez wouldn't be worth my time, but Harris has earned a measure of local notoriety from his involvement in mayoral politics, first by backing Tea Party candidate Jennifer Wright, then switching over to Republican-lobbyist-turned-candidate Wes Gullett.
After the initial election leaving Gullett and Democrat Greg Stanton standing, Harris wrote:
"Good news and bad news. First the good news (from my perspective)...we have a non city council member running in the runoff for Mayor...Wes Gullett. He is not a perfect candidate but he is light years ahead of that arrogant, self serving liberal lawyer Greg Stanton and, with our support, Wes Gullett will be the next mayor."
Keep dreamin', bub. Gullett's more likely to be picked prom queen for one of his daughters' schools than elected mayor.
Previously, Harris had labeled Stanton "the real enemy of the citizens of Phoenix." His pronouncements have garnered him press in both New Times and the Arizona Republic, mainly because Gullett has assiduously sought Tea Party support.
Which is more bizarre, a longtime McCain-backer like Gullett courting the Tea Party wackadoodles or Tea Party members lining up behind a fat cat lobbyist like Gullett?
Remember, Senator John McCain, Gullett's ex-boss, famously referred to Tea Party types as "hobbits" on the floor of the U.S. Senate, quoting from a blistering Wall Street Journal editorial.
But hypocrisy and politics go together like beer and pizza, and in this no one is immune, certainly not the Tea Baggers.
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