Tea Partiers and God

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In my tea party post earlier this afternoon, I ridiculed the notion that tea partiers represent a new breed of economic conservatives who don’t really care about social hot button issues. The technical term for this belief is “wrong.” They do care about all the usual social issues. That’s because they’re standard issue conservatives, just a little louder and more hardline than usual.

A few minutes later, over at his new home on the Newsweek site, Mickey Kaus reported that Andrew Breitbart is pissed at Glenn Beck for bringing God into the tea party movement. But:

I doubt Breitbart’s beef with Beck reflects a fatal split among Tea Partiers — indeed, it seemed to be the only point in Breitbart’s talk where he maybe lost his audience. But the split’s there. And resentment of Beck is widespread among other right-wingers I’ve talked to — less because he’s made the Tea Party about God than because he’s made it about Beck. These conservatives don’t think he’s a dangerous ideologue. They have no problem with ideologues. They think he’s a phony who’s in it for himself.

Well, yeah. I don’t know if Breitbart is just terminally naive or what, but of course he lost his audience at that point. His audience was full of conservatives, and they care about gays and abortion and all the rest of the usual social issues even if Breitbart doesn’t.

On the other hand, do right wingers widely dislike Glenn Beck because they think he’s a phony who’s in it for himself? That’s certainly more plausible, though it’s hardly as if he’d be the first. Maybe they’re just jealous?

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"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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