Everyone’s talking about this exchange from last night’s CNN/Tea Party Express debate (I assume the CNN/MoveOn debate is next week), where the crowd cheers the prospect of allowing an uninsured man to die. And I’ll get to that in a moment. But perhaps just as rotten was when the crowd booed Ron Paul, who’s supposed to be a kind of Tea Party godfather, for daring to suggest that not every Muslim is responsible for 9-11. Beyond the crassness of this incident, it should definitively end the speculation that the Tea Party is anything other than an outgrowth of the Republican Party. Their alleged hero was booed for one of the few areas where he strays from Republican orthodoxy. And the boos were specifically because of a stand against bigotry. Remember that Tea Party types are extremely sensitive to charges of racism. Yeah, I can’t imagine where anyone gets that idea.

David Dayen

David Dayen