JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

A nod toward the Tea Party

gay-marriage

I am not a big fan of the Tea Party, and will surely never become one.

The Tea Party’s members stayed silent for eight years, when George W. Bush ruined much of this country. Then, when a president of color was elected, they suddenly stood up and started screaming, “I want my country back!” It was a movement founded largely on the pre-policy demonization of a powerful African-American male, with the flames fed by a dolt ex-Alaska governor with too much free time.

That’s how I feel, and my mind won’t likely be changed.

That being said, the Tea Party has done something over the course of the past few days that has truly impressed me. First off, we live in a world of political opportunism. It’s sad, it’s true, it’s undeniable. Obama the candidate rails against all the money being thrown into campaigns—until his campaign finds itself with tons of donations. George W. Bush bashes big spending—then he spends like Monte Brewster. It’s Hypocricy: 101, and it happens all the time.

The leaders of the Tea Party had a chance to follow suit—and they haven’t. Many would say the movement is founded upon the idea of small government; of keeping federal laws out of our business as much as humanly possible. This week, two courts—one in San Francisco, the other in Boston—are debating the merits of the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law that defines marriage as one man, one woman (technically, the Cali court is ruling on Prop 8—but the message is largely the same).

Now, I’m betting that 95% of Tea Partiers are against gay marriage. They’re largely conservative people; largely in favor of going back to the good ol’ days. And yet, they’re also strongly pro-small government. I mean, s-t-r-o-n-g-l-y. So where does the Tea Party lean on this issue?

Amazingly, with the right to gay marriage.

As reported on Andrew Sullivan’s website: “I do think it’s a state’s right,” said Phillip Dennis, Texas state coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots. The group does not take a position on social issues, he said, but personally, “I believe that if the people in Massachusetts want gay people to get married, then they should allow it, just as people in Utah do not support abortion. They should have the right to vote against that.” Everett Wilkinson, state director for the Florida Tea Party Patriots, agreed: “On the issue [of gay marriage] itself, we have no stance, but any time a state’s rights or powers are encouraged over the federal government, it is a good thing.”

Amazing. The Obama Administration is anti-gay marriage. The Tea Party, in this case, is for it.

Wacky.