JEFF PEARLMAN

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

Tea Party Summed Up

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This, from today’s New York Times, on Carl Paladino, the man who will run as a Republican for governor of New York. He was the Tea Party’s guy:

The result was a potentially destabilizing blow for New York Republicans. It put at the top of the party’s ticket a volatile newcomer who has forwarded e-mails to friends containing racist jokes and pornographic images, espoused turning prisons into dormitories where welfare recipients could be given classes on hygiene, and defended an ally’s comparison of the Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, who is Jewish, to “an Antichrist or a Hitler.”

Yet Mr. Paladino, 64, energized Tea Party advocates and social conservatives with white-hot rhetoric and a damn-the-establishment attitude, promising to “take a baseball bat to Albany” to dislodge the state’s entrenched political class. He also outspent Mr. Lazio, pouring more than $3 million of his fortune into the race, while Mr. Lazio spent just over $2 million.

“We are mad as hell,” Mr. Paladino said in a halting but exuberant victory speech in Buffalo shortly after 11 p.m. “New Yorkers are fed up. Tonight the ruling class knows. They have seen it now. There is a people’s revolution. The people have had enough.”

In other words: The Tea Party’s new favorite son is a richer-than-rich gazillionaire who is (really!) one of the people. If the people make offensive jokes and spend millions on a campaign.

PS: Has there ever been a worse political candidate than Rick Lazio? Ever?