There's a lot around about the clown-show that was the TeaParty convention a couple of weeks ago, like on SarahCuda's $100K speech for which she had notes written on the palm of her hand and wingnut Rep Tom Tancredo's reprehensible immigrant-bashing on opening day. But what you may not have heard (I just ran across this myself) is that the discredited and fractious far-right religious wingnuts are trying to attach themselves to the TP movement just like they attached themselves to the Movement Conservatives in the 90's.
Rick Scarborough, the founder and head of a small, but disproportionately influential, Texas-based outfit called Vision America, has come up with a plan to try and fuse the Religious Right's "traditional family values" agenda to the economic concerns that have thus far mostly dominated the Tea Party movement.
At a workshop at the National Tea Party Convention given by Scarborough, the senior pastor of Harvest Point Church in Nacogdoches, Texas, unveiled what he's calling the "Mandate to Save America," a plan that might, as Devin Burghart of the Institute for Research & Education on Human Rights who attended the convention recently reported, signal "a shift taking place ... transforming the focus from bailouts and deficits to the culture war." (For Burghart's complete report on the convention see "Revival and Revolt: Inside the Tea Party Nation Convention."
Scarborough is a former Southern Baptist pastor from Pearland, Texas, who in addition to Vision America, also heads up Vision America Action and the Judeo-Christian Council for Constitutional Restoration. According to Burghart, Scarborough told a crowd of 200+supporters at the Tea Party Nation convention that it was time that differences between "fiscal and social conservatives ... cease[d]."
"In addition to attacking the Obama administration for its commitment to ending Don't Ask Don't Tell and supporting the inclusion of gays and lesbians into federal hate crimes protections," Burghart reported that "Scarborough warned that we `now have a government of thieves' and that we are moving towards a `collectivist' society. We have a Godly duty to defend `American exceptionalism.'"
Scarborough is one of the Usual Suspects in the Cristian theocratic movement, and he had serious ties to the Family and some of the heaviest of Bush Admin heavyweights, including Karl Rove, David Addington, John Yoo, AG John Ashcroft, and WH PR shop-steward Dan Bartlett. Now, after being chased off the national stage first by Bush's ignominious departure as the most reviled president since, well, ever, and then by evangelicals disenchanted with the fundie right's disastrous political maneuverings, he's back trying once again to inject himself into a burgeoning populist uprising like a tick on a hound's neck.
You can't hardly blame him. Rick and his theocratic buddies went from the Top o' the Heap to the Bottom of the River in the blink of a BushFail eye, watching their hopes of Bible-based law and govt get washed out of town right along with the Cheney Gang. It must have stung.
But there is a trade-off from being single-minded and dumb as a rock : in exchange, you're very persistent and Rick is nothing if not that. If the TPers get anywhere, Rick & Co will be along for the ride.
The theocratic movement may be down but it isn't out. If Sarah Palin gets elected in 2012, Rick will be right back on top, agitating for Biblical law to replace that awful secular law, and Teh Cuda - a member in good standing of the Wasilla version of Jonestown's finest fruitcakes - will no doubt back him since her personal interpretation of the Constitution demands church and state be One rather than separated (which is Satan's work). Needless to say, dunking stools and a waterboarding Inquisition will not be far behind.
These people, or whatever you want to call them, never give up.
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