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13 September 2010
NASHUA, New Hampshire -- Tomorrow, in this and several other U.S. states, the political parties will choose nominees for the November elections, and members of the back-to-the-Constitution "Tea Party" movement are shocked to find that, despite months of nationally noted events and protests, virtually everyone on the ballot is as bad as ever.
Many Congressmen who were sent packing in 2006 sense a historic opportunity to return to their former positions at the federal feed trough. "You said, 'No one can be that bad,'" says Caleb "Big Earmark" Broderick, running to return to Congress after a refreshing four-year involuntary sabbatical. "Now you know you were wrong."
A handful of candidates did stress traditional principles--and the unanimous opinion of experts is that they can't win. "The Tea Party slate appeals to the fringe," says Jack Porkman from the Neville Chamberlain Center for Policy Studies. "A successful candidate needs to appeal to the majority, which has cushy government jobs. He needs to be a back-slapping flip-flopper."
Such opinions envisage a November choice between bad and worse--a situation most Americans are totally used to.
The "Tea Party" was a grass-roots movement of novices and fools. It was a new kind of movement, rejecting traditional political staples such as raising money and conducting mailings. "Fred had everyone's e-mail address on his laptop," says a Tea Party leader named Michael, "but it crashed." The movement coalesced around suspicions that President Obama was foreign-born, that nine-eleven was an inside job, and that the imminent expansion of Interstate 93 is part of a "NAFTA highway" that will spell the end of all American jobs.
By the summer, however, the Tea Party had coalesced around more mundane goals. The manifesto at this city's Tea Party organization is as follows:
- Repeal everything Obama has done. Then impeach the bastard. Bush as well.
- Immediately close the border, to illegals, legals, tourists, and especially Mexican trucks, which are unsafe.
- Pay back the national debt. But don't touch my Social Security check.
- Make bad things happen to everyone who makes more money than I do. And keep them out of politics.
- And get Judge O'Donoghue out of Probate Court--He always gives everything to the woman in divorces.
Unfortunately, the Tea Party neither found nor fielded any candidates who supported its platform. It did open its dinner meetings to a variety of candidates who promised innovative ways to bring free money to the state.
But "Michael" says there is one final way that members hope to be listened to for the first time in their lives. "I'm telling everyone to write in Mickey Mouse for every office."