10/01/2010 02:24 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Nut Sandwiches at the Tea Party Cafe

The Colorado Tea Party outdid themselves in 2010, nominating truly astonishing candidates for local and national office.


The GOP's candidate for Governor is Dan Maes. His biography includes denouncing Denver's attempt to get its citizens to use free public bikes as a clear path to forced abortions and population control. Fortunately, even the Tea Party seems to have some sense of reality, and is now abandoning the good ship Maes by the boatload.

American Constitution Party candidate for Guv Tom Tancredo is a man with long connections to the nuttier side of right-wing nationalism. After giving a speech in Columbia, S.C., to a crowd that included the League of the South, a secessionist bunch the Southern Poverty Law Center had labeled a bigoted hate group, Tancredo joined in for a round of Dixie. He was apparently afraid not to do so would be rude. The T-man went on to even bolder actions, including calling Miami a "third world county," and calling for a nuclear strike on Mecca as a warning to terrorists.

Scott Tipton, the GOP contender for John Salazar's House seat, and a millionaire Anglo who made his fortune selling "Indian" pottery, was quite happy to be endorsed by Tancredo during Tipton's first run for national office in 2006. In this cycle, he's running with Tea Party backing, although since winning the primary he has backed off his former position of hostility towards the 17th Amendment and the Department of Education. Which is the real Tipton? Three guesses.

GOP Senate hopeful Ken Buck has endorsed abolishing the Department of Energy and gutting the Department of Education. He believes women that women who have been raped or are victims of incest should be forced to give birth if they are pregnant. And, of course, he's a fan of those old Tea Party standbys, repealing the 17th Amendment, and privatizing Social Security.

These are just the larger fish frying in the 2010 Colorado midterms. At a local level, the crazy gets more pronounced. Just one example is former La Plata County Commissioner J. Paul Brown, who is running for the Legislature on a platform of cutting federal spending, after taking over $175,000 in ag subsidies for his ranching operation in Southwestern Colorado. Brown doesn't stop there, though. He goes on to accuse Obama of assembling a private army, and Hillary Clinton of wanting to sell our guns to the UN... or some such nonsense. It's hard to pay attention long enough to get the full details.

It's unclear how well nutballdom will play with the more reasoned voters of the state, but it bodes ill for the future of our nation that candidates such as these could be considered viable at all.