Lebanon Reporter

July 24, 2010

Pence jumps into the harbor

By Rod Rose
Assistant Managing Editor

Lebanon — Indiana Congressman Mike Pence, who some believe is interested in a run at the presidency in 2012, has drunk the tea.

Pence, a conservative’s conservative, announced Thursday he was delighted to join Rep. Michelle “Moon pie” Bachmann as a member of the Tea Party Caucus in Congress.

Pence’s revelation came in a story by Brandi Watters of the Anderson Herald Bulletin.

Now, most anything Bachmann says is, while often disconcerting, can generally be ignored. Bachmann is a buffoon in the grand tradition of congressional lunacy, a politician elected merely because the laws of probability demand that insanity happens. So long as she’s circling her own wagons against a Vast Left Wing Conspiracy, she’s mostly harmless.

Watters wrote that Bachmann said her intent to form the TPC was merely so that teapers would have a “listening ear” in Congress.

As opposed to a deaf ear?

Bachmann is not the tea party’s “mouthpiece,” Watters wrote.

That role has been assumed by Sarah “Mama Grizzly” Palin, and while Bachmann’s grasp of reality is shaky, I’m certain she knows that any attempt to wrest control of the Tea Party — henceforth to be called the Teap — from Palin would fail.

Although I’d pay good money to see those two fight for the title in a steel cage match.

Pence said, according to Watters, that, “I’ve been to tea party rallies, and I know that the concerns of people that are involved in the tea party movement and people that attend my town hall meetings are born of a deep love for this country.”

The teaper rallies I’ve seen include folks holding signs that insist the federal government leave their Medicare alone. This is physically and fiscally impossible, since Medicare is a federal government program.

Other teapers have touted signs warning that, “next time, we’ll bring our guns.”

A licensed firearm owner appearing at a political rally with a handgun hanging off his or her hip doesn’t worry me. It’s a Second Amendment right, after all.

But teapers insinuating that there will be gunfire if the federal government doesn’t reconstruct itself to meet their warped perceptions is more than disconcerting.

It’s treason.

But let’s not quibble over sedition: Any teaper group that attempts to gun down the government will have to overcome the 82nd Airborne and the U.S. Marines, among others who have sworn an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Pence is, of course, trolling for votes. For reasons that I cannot comprehend, he and otherwise-sane Republicans have decided that the Tea Party is a movement to which they must grant credibility.

But then, they listened to Joe McCarthy, too, so it is not surprising that some have gotten caught up in the hysteria. I recommend a warm bath and a good Chardonnay.

I would suggest a massage, but some Congressmen are not to be trusted near body lotions.

Watters wrote, “Pence said he didn’t hesitate to join the caucus when he learned it had gotten approval because it gives Americans who are concerned with ‘runaway spending’ more access to Capitol Hill.”

Really? I thought that’s why people voted for Republicans.