How Quickly Tea Partiers Forget

It becomes plain quite quickly that history serves these people as religion does — not a complicated interaction of complicated people, but as a glossary of shibboleths, of fundamentalist code words…

They are deaf to the ironies of even their own personal histories. Rick Perry was in the Air Force. Herman Cain did ballistics analysis for the Navy. Jon Huntsman has worked government jobs for 20 years, and Mitt Romney’s father was governor of Michigan. Rick Scott proudly admits he grew up in public housing, and Paul Ryan got through high school and college on Social Security survivor’s benefits. And this is how they all came to become small-government conservatives who didn’t need a hand-out.

— Charles P. Pierce, in his Esquire column, addressing the tea party’s fondness for cherry picking quotes and intentions from the founders

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