Oh yes, the Tea Party is all about economic and fiscal issues. Those social issues just aren't on the radar. It's all taxes and government spending and fiscal responsibility and deficits! A bunch of independent libertarians, they are.
Which is why this tweet popped up on the Tennessee Tea Party's Twitter yesterday:
I'm sure this was just a critique of Barney Frank's positions on fiscal and economic policy, right?
For his part, chief of Tea Party Nation Judson Phillips had this to say about the tweet:
I am appalled. This statement does nothing to advance the goals of the Tea Party movement and goes a long way towards offending people we need to be involved. Barney Frank is the worst congressman in the last century, but dumb comments like that tweet do not help our cause.
(Humorously, Freepers are calling Phillips a left-wing plant.)
But on the contrary, I think the Tennessee Tea Party's statement does everything to advance the goals of the Tea Party movement, which is a lot more backward, bigoted, and Dominionist than we often give it credit for. The Tennessee Tea Party, being located in the state that gave us "Don't Say Gay," is just a little more unhinged.
The Tennessee Equality Project responded on Twitter with the following: "Your comment re: Rep Frank is a new low. Your movement has been coopted by people who hate liberty &, um, people in general." It then released the following statement:
The Tennessee Equality Project condemns the comments made by the Tennessee Tea Party about Congressman Barney Frank. Name-calling and bigotry have no place in our public debates. Americans can disagree without denying one another's humanity. Attacking an accomplished public official based on sexual orientation or gender identity shows the need for an open discussion about discrimination. If adults don't set a good example, we can't expect to address issues like bullying in our schools or discrimination on the job. TEP is ready to have an adult discussion with the people of Tennessee.
Unsurprisingly, the Tennessee Tea Party isn't backing down. A group spokesperson told a Tennessee TV station, "If people think we've gone too far, it's Barney Frank that's gone too far."
As gross as the bigotry is, at the same time, it's somewhat refreshing to see a Tea Party group drop the charade and show its true colors.
NOTE: Thanks to my not-so-awesome skills at checking to see if a topic has already been diaried, I didn't realize that psychodrew already diaried this. I was going to delete this diary, but psychodrew encouraged me to keep it up. I'll check a little more carefully next time.