02/17/2011 03:33 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Think Again: A Real Tea (Pity) Party

In its apparently endless quest to assuage the sensitive feelings of all the victimized right-wingers in America one day at a time, The Washington Post published Steve Hendrix's sob story of the pain and suffering experienced by Washington's "tea party residents" who live in a city where "home can at times feel like enemy territory."

How bad is it? Well, a man at another table in a coffee shop said "sorry" and walked away from one guy. And another one had to experience the pain of being asked whether "your boyfriend listens to Glenn Beck." Apparently, the notion that self-proclaimed "tea party patriots" listen to Glenn Beck is the kind of thing one hears "in the left-wing news media ... they don't know any real tea party people." No wonder Tea Party member Brian says, "I fear for my country." He is, after all, "just more tolerant than they are."

I admit it's no picnic calling oneself a "tea party" member. After all, how do you claim you are not part of a "corrupt" political system when, as Stephanie Mencimer writing in Mother Jones notes, "the group's leaders have cozied up to political insiders implicated in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal and have paid themselves significant salaries"?

Tea Party patriots accepted the use of a private jet and a large donation of anonymous cash right before a key election, and its top officials have refused to discuss how the money was spent. And recently, the group has hired several big-time fundraising and public relations firms that work for the who's who of the Republican political class, including some of the GOP's most secretive campaign operations.

How much fun would it be to admit membership in an organization whose members do not appear to know the first thing about the Constitution they profess to honor and revere? Remember, Tea Party honchos picked Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) to respond to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address despite her apparent belief that "the very founders that wrote those documents [the U.S. Constitution] worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States." (On the morning I am typing this, George Stephanopoulos is playing straight man to Ms. Bachmann on ABC's "Good Morning America," inviting her to spout her nonsense without correction or even much interference and inquiring, touchingly, whether she's a fan of Lady Gaga, whose visit everyone at the program is "excited" about this morning.)

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