A few recent developments have revealed the tea party temperament in its most distilled, potent form.
Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin called for the impeachment of President Obama on the theory that his border policies are “the last straw that makes the battered wife say, ‘no más.’ ” Excavating the layers of mixed metaphor — the straw that broke the camel’s back is somehow causing an abused woman to surrender in Spanish — Palin demands the ousting of an American president on the constitutional theory that “enough is enough.”
Republicans who disapprove of this plan, according to Palin, lack “cojones,” and true conservatives should “vehemently oppose any politician on the left or right who would hesitate in voting for articles of impeachment.” Opponents are identified not just by disagreement (and by a lack of male sex glands) but by hesitation. In adopting the succession practices of a banana republic, and in elevating Vice President Biden to power, those who are reflective and deliberative are natural enemies.
At the same time, failed tea party Senate candidate Chris McDaniel claims that his primary opponent, Thad Cochran, “stole” the election — a serious charge made without serious evidence — and equates overturning his 7,700-vote loss with preserving “the torch of liberty.” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) has embraced McDaniel’s legal challenge, blaming the “D.C. machine” for shifting the election results.