Today in E.W. Jackson news, we learn that the actual, no-foolings Republican nominee for Virginia lieutenant governor doesn't take guff from anyone. He is a one-man non-guff-taker.
The Chesapeake pastor has rebuffed the party’s suggestion that he tone down his rhetoric and steer clear of hot-button issues — much to the delight of his grassroots supporters, the frustration of some GOP loyalists and the surprise of almost no one.
You know, rhetoric such as whether Planned Parenthood is the Klan
, whether gay people are "very sick people
," whether the post-civil rights era did more damage to black families than slavery
, whether the Democratic Party is the "anti-God party
," and whether or not people who own toaster ovens are going to hell because everybody knows toaster ovens are actually saunas for the tiny invisible demons that live in your cupboards.
In this case "taking guff" also means "taking advantage of deep Republican knowledge of how crazy-ass crackpots can actually get elected," something that the party has a great deal of experience with and can pull off with some regularity. But Jackson is having none of it, possibly because of Sarah Palin disease, the communicable condition that causes the victim to feel like running for things, but not if there's actual work involved.
More unexpectedly, Jackson has refused the party’s nuts-and-bolts logistical help, choosing not to tap into resources that include the GOP’s trove of voter data and more than 40 field offices around the state, according to four Republican operatives. […]
Said another strategist: “There’s a very strong anti-establishment vein in this. They are laying the groundwork actively to blame somebody else — the establishment — for losing.”
Mind you, it's certainly possible that the party is not all that
insistent on providing E.W. Jackson their purported help, as they probably have little doubt he will be an embarrassment to them all and would rather he just go away now. On the other hand, taking advantage of basic party infrastructure would seem to be a no-brainer—but the tea party force is strong in this one, and central to tea party beliefs is the absolute, iron-clad requirement to out-crackpot the next guy at all costs, even if it means not doing the obvious thing simply because that's what the toaster oven demons wanted
you to do. The tea party platform, in a nutshell: Take any conservative idea, tack on some Bircheresque conspiracy theories and ratchet it as far right as you can go before the lever breaks, and if some other sap takes you up on your ideas get a new ratchet and start over.
Is it possible we have already reached the fateful point where getting elected is considered too mainstream for tea partiers? Perhaps; the movement notably does not trust knowledge or competence or even common sense, and especially does not trust anyone who actually managed to get elected to something. E.W. Jackson can probably gain just as many career options by flubbing his election spectacularly than by getting elected and having to do the numbingly tedious job of not-governing. Again, see Sarah Palin. No responsibilities, no required loyalties or subtle thoughts or God help her, work, just a highly paid side job of traveling the country babbling stupid people's conspiracy theories back at them in exchange for large sacks of money. Or, as we now call it, the American dream.
I don't think it'd be too surprising to find out that both the party and E.W. Jackson have converged on the idea that both would be better served by E.W. Jackson losing as efficiently as possible so that they can go their separate ways. I do not get the feeling that E.W. Jackson is quite as devoted to gaining higher office as he is to promoting E.W. Jackson, the brand.