Costumed Wingnuts

Tea Partiers: Bring Back Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell or We’ll Shoot the Economy

There was a time when pundits liked to argue that the Tea Party and the religious right were two different things. (In fact, about half of Tea Party followers describe themselves as Christian conservatives.) Just in case anyone was still laboring under that delusion, Tea Party leader William Temple is doing his best to put it to rest once and for all. At a press conference in Washington Monday, Temple, chairman of the inaptly named Freedom Jamboree, a Tea Party convention to be held in Kansas City next fall, took a surprising stand on the debt ceiling. He’d support raising it, if conservatives could reinstate don’t ask, don’t tell in return or, as Temple charmingly phrased it, end “military effeminization.”

Congress has to vote to raise the amount of debt the government can carry once it reaches a predetermined level. Hard-core conservatives have drawn a line in the sand against raising the debt ceiling, despite the risk of forcing the government to default on its debts. Temple, an ordained minister, declared at the press conference that Republicans should tell the White House that “we won’t even think about unhiding your credit card until you have joined us in enacting bipartisan entitlement reform and fixing the Obama care mess.” Temple called Republicans who fail to take the pledge “wimpy RINOs”: Republicans in name only.

But even Tea Partiers are open to compromise, and Temple would be happy to spare the economy if he could take it out on gays and lesbians in the military. The tea party movement could “possibly forgive Boehner and the House Republicans a small bump in the debt limit” under the right circumstances, said Temple: “If the House Armed Services Committee and the Pentagon slow down on injecting open homosexuality and females into forward combat roles.”

Just so that you don’t think Temple is some accidental outlier, other Tea Party leaders at the same press conference explicitly linked the Tea Party’s economic philosophy (for want of a better word) with homophobia. “If you tell me where you’re at, say on the sanctity of marriage or on some core value issues,” said Bob Vander Plaats, who ran a failing campaign for the GOP nomination for Iowa governor last year. “I’ll tell you where you’re at on economic policy.”

Of course, Tea Partiers resort to novel ideas that drive home their political credibility. For the press conference, Temple dressed in colonial costume (no, not as Martha Washington), complete with rifle. Apparently nothing says deep thinker more than a tri-corner hat.

Photo credit: Evan McMorris-Santoro/Talking Points Memo

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  • Tanner Vale

    Possibly the single worst ‘political group’ to pop up in the last 20 years.

  • SpireaX

    How does one expect to be taken seriously wearing that costume?

  • tjr101

    Is that man’s outfit for real? WTF, LMAO!!!

  • plaintom

    The same group of haters who have been around for decades. They simply repackage themselves ( with the help of Fox and some big money Republicans) sell unthinking voters a bill of goods. Now they reveal their true face. I hope the voters realize their mistake and send these people packing in 2012.

  • GayGOP

    @Tanner Vale: Last 20? When it comes to the US, I’d say they are the worst since the Fascists and Communists start showing up.

  • Libertarian Larry

    As a libertarian myself, I agree with much of what the Tea Party stands for, but I have to agree that a) the costumes have got to go, and b) showing disrespect for the gay community does him no good. But luckily, this guy is only one person with one person’s prejudices, and does not reflect the Tea Party’s national agenda.

    Only in Kansas . . .

  • Cam

    So they believe in their views so much, that they will give in on them and sell them out for their bigotry.

    Typical Hypocritical bigots.

  • John Blatzheim

    “Congress has to vote to raise the amount of debt the government can carry once it reaches a predetermined level. Hard-core conservatives have drawn a line in the sand against raising the debt ceiling, despite the risk of forcing the government to default on its debts.”

    While I can’t stand the Tea Party, and generally loath Republicans, the quote above is exactly why I’ll go back to voting Libertarian as soon I feel voting Democrat isn’t getting gay rights issues anywhere.

    Honestly, did anyone stop to ponder the point expressed above? Let’s boil it down, the Government needs to take on more debt so it can pay off the already massive amount of debt it has. When a private individual pays of their credit card debt by taking out another credit card we call in irresponsible. Apparently that logic doesn’t apply the Government…

  • Cam

    @John Blatzheim: said…

    “Honestly, did anyone stop to ponder the point expressed above? Let’s boil it down, the Government needs to take on more debt so it can pay off the already massive amount of debt it has”


    But that isn’t the point of the article, the point of the article is that these folks, that are SUPPOSEDLY so concerned about finances or debt, are more than happy to abandon their principles if in return they can have a law restored that is anti-gay. So they are bigots first and true to their principles much farther down the line.

  • John Blatzheim

    @Cam: And my point wasn’t that they weren’t bigots. Like I said, not a Tea Party fan at all :p

  • David Gervais

    It’s too bad that the TP’ers are such wingnuts, because the US does have a very real debt problem. (for clarity, I’m Canadian, we have our own debt problems)

    TP’ers are obviously an example of how religion destroys ethics and intelligence.

    Cam, there is nothing wrong for people discussing economics here, there is no reason the TP’ers should control the discussion agenda.

  • James

    Can I just say that the government should not default it would be bad for the world.

  • Mac McNeill

    The Teabaggers are the “ultra-right” of the republican party. The only reason they won this election was because it was an off year. Unfortunately democrats don’t vote in the off year like they should.

    In two years the democrats have got to put this group down. We’ve already have the republicans trying to screw everything up. This is going back to the mid-nineties when the gays got screwed with Newt’s “contract with america”.

    Yes the debt needs to be paid and could be paid if we stop giving the Oil Companies tax breaks so they can make billion of $s in profits. It could be paid if we stop giving the rich more tax breaks. Right now the middle class is paying more than most rich/wealthy pays in taxes. That is outrageous.


    First,to the persons who say you are Libertarians fighting for individual liberty and limited goverment,I do not doubt your sincerity. I do doubt the sincerity and actual objectives of the Tea Party in general. Across the country State Governments with recently elected Republican majorities have proposed extreme laws impacting the lives of various minorities. The laws cover gay rights,reproductive rights, immigration, and even the rights of cities to protect individual rights. One theme uniting these diverse laws is the new Republican Majorities are not promoting individual liberty, they are promoting the liberty of the Republicans to impose their ideology on others. Can you understand why I doubt these Republicans commitment to the Libertarian cause? Their supposed commitment to deficit reduction they throw aside if they can reimpose the flagrantly discriminatory DADT. Why do you think they actually wanted power? I believe they wanted political power to impose their ideology and theology through secular law.

  • Tony

    Did he borrow that outfit from his local community theater?

    Me thinks the lady protests tooooo loudly.

  • Rowan


    You really think a gay republican is listening to you? With no irony they have posted here that they are right wing with one even going as far as to say nationally the Tea Party isn’t like that and you think they will listen?

    It was THEIR party that got the whole frigging world in this mess.

    You have a debt problem dweebs? Stop making the rich even richer, stop being so greedy with your war hungry stance and stop your expensive fights to keep DOMA as well DADT.

  • gregger

    @John Blatzheim: Do you think before you post or was the edit and common sense part of your brain damaged? This article is about the Kochsuckers showing their true Nazi based Homophobic ideology. There was nothing said about the national debt.

  • Jeffree

    The TeaParty people showed up en masse during the last nat’l election claiming to be for “smaller government” &
    “less intrusion on individual rights” **——–BUT** somehow they’ve worn out their wêlcome when it comes to plâying to the the Xtianist right. Are they more concerned with ideology — or theology ??

    If they were true to their orig TP credo, the guv’ment would no longer be involved in approving/ nay-saying any type of marriage in any nat’l / state/ county/ local jurisdiction, and they’d keep CIVIL partnerships as the gold standard.

    Translation: Your recognition as a couple should be a function of meeting +legal+ standards as a commited couple— rather than the (arbitrary) dictates of some archaic teacup astrology theistic numerological fallacy.

  • Cam

    @David Gervais: said…

    “It’s too bad that the TP’ers are such wingnuts, because the US does have a very real debt problem. (for clarity, I’m Canadian, we have our own debt problems)””

    Yes, you’re right, unfortunatly, they are less interested in debt reduction than in social engineering it seems.



    Cam, there is nothing wrong for people discussing economics here, there is no reason the TP’ers should control the discussion agenda…..

    I never sais there was anything wrong with it…the person I was responding to, said that the POINT of the article was about paying the debt, and I pointed out that the point of the article was about how a group of people who supposedly think fiscal responsibility is so important that they claim it is the foundation of their entire movement…are willing to sell out that principle in return for bigotry.

  • Shannon1981

    These people are despicable. At this point, that is all I can say about them. It doesn’t matter how many Chris Barrons and Matt Hissey’s of the world love their Tea Partying- the group is bigoted at its core, and the minorities- be they black, hispanic, gay, whatever- who support them are Uncle Toms.

    On a side note, the outfits need to go…just awful..who can take them seriously when they are dressed that way?

  • John Blatzheim

    @gregger: So I made up that quote about, you know, the debt? Pretty sure you’re the one pulling shit out of the article that isn’t there; i.e. I don’t think it ever once mentioned the Koch brothers. But hey they’re the big bad boogeymen so why not throw some of that good ‘ol paranoid Koch conspiracy theorizing in there too.

    And you know calling someone a Nazi is generally the tactic of the intellectually bankrupt, so I think I’ll stop trying talk sense to you now.

  • John Blatzheim

    @Cam: Um as the “person I was replying to” in that sentence I’d like to point out yet again that I never made any claim as to the point of the article. I simply pointed out my opinion about what the article DID have to say about the debt.

  • John Blatzheim

    @Rowan: Ugh, I really hate being misrepresented. As one of those two people you’re referring I have to say again: I DO NOT SUPPORT THE REPUBLICANS. I DO NOT SUPPORT THE TEA PARTY. We clear on that? Got it now? Okay.

    Now my point WAS that I also don’t support Democrats on FISCAL issues. I vote Democrat because I care more about being able to get married then I do about the debt, and frankly neither major party is willing to make the hard choices needed to face the debt (Republicans have to be willing to raise taxes and drastically cut defense spending, Democrats have to be willing to cut and reform entitlements).

    But whatever, keep engaging in group think. Keep lashing out at any LGBT person who might dare have political opinions different than you. And by all means do keep ostracizing the few LGBT people who actually are Republicans, because it’s not like being out and visible in the Republican party will change anything right? I mean that’s certainly not a creed of the LGBT movement, the idea that however hard it might be, being out and open where you are helps change peoples minds? Right?

  • gregger

    @John Blatzheim: The TP in its various flavors around the nation has been mouthing the words of the two Koch brothers (they both have made their displeasure over the end of DADT well known) and more recently been derisively referred to even on air as “Kochsuckers.” The Kochsuckers have been quite liberally and inappropriately tossing around the compound term Socialist-Nazi, usually when referring to our current president. This after being told repeatedly that one can be a Socialist or a Nazi, not both at the same time as the two terms are on opposite sides of the political spectrum.

    As you come across like a blithering idiot that would side with and quite possibly vote for a group of people who would re-establish and increase discrimination against the LGBT community I’ll just say,


  • Caroline West

    @Shannon1981: Try as you might to stifle debate by calling people Uncle Toms (a favorite of the left when they have nothing left in their arsenal to attack with), all it does is show the world that you’re as intolerant as . . . well, as intolerant as a Nazi! Yeah, Nazi, that feels right. But you don’t agree, do you? You think you’re not a Nazi, no matter how many times I say it, right? Same goes with the old “Racist!” and “Homophobe!” cries from the left when they’re losing traction in the debate. Say it all you want — believe it all you want — but as long as I know it’s not true, that it’s just childish name-calling, I will continue to stand superior to your petulance.

    So there.

  • the crustybastard

    To demonstrate his opposition to the “effeminization” of the military…HE PLAYS DRESS-UP?


  • gregger

    @the crustybastard: probably complete with stockings…

  • Danny

    @Libertarian Larry: really? so the National Tea Party website that lists “family values” and “marriage between man and woman only” don’t represent national level Tea Party homophobia?

  • Jeffree

    The US was on a solid path to paying down national debt until we got involved in wars with Afghanistan, Iraq….and the incursions into Pakistan & Libya.

    We’re building roads, schools & hospitals in Afghanistan & Iraq that the insurgents destroy. How about we work on the roads, schools & hospitals in the US?

  • holycrap6969696969

    If these guys really wanted government to be small then they would start with getting government out of our private lives.

    These teabaggers are a bunch of hypocrites.

  • John Blatzheim

    @gregger: You clearly didn’t even read my response to you. You know, the one in which I unequivocally stated that…”I DO NOT SUPPORT THE REPUBLICANS. I DO NOT SUPPORT THE TEA PARTY.”

    And I’m also unsure as to where your obsession with the Koch brothers comes from. They weren’t mentioned in the article, have nothing to do with this debate and I never once said anything in support of them (unless laughing at wing nut Kochtopus conspiracy bullshit is now equivalent to supporting everything they say or do). Oh, and do your research, David Koch supports marriage equality(, not sure about Charles.

    But you know what, even if I were a far right Tea Partier, what does calling me a Nazi achieve? Maybe you should leave political discourse to the big boys until you grow up a little.

  • Shannon1981

    @Caroline West: It isn’t about debate. These people want to stop gay rights, and there have been many racist things to come from Tea Party members. The Barack the Magic Negro song on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show, the email from Marilyn Davenport with Obama as a baby ape with ape parents, the email with the watermelon patch on the White House lawn…now tell me that they aren’t racist and homophobic. Google it. You cannot deny facts.

    And calling me a Nazi? Real classy. Keep it up.

  • Jim Hlavac

    The “Tea Party” is so amorphous, with no structure, no “leader” no headquarters and no membership card or anything, that it is entirely possible to be a gay hating Christian “tea partier” who wants less government and a Christianist despising gay person who wants less government.

    Gayness is not a political stance, there is not a “gay” position on taxes or federal rules, or health care bureaucracies, nor even how “Christian” one is or is not, and of what flavor.

    The Tea Party is like “independents” — supposedly independent is some political position, rather than just not wanting to be seen as Republican or Democrat.

    This is also a time of a major shift in the way the two party structure is seen, and as to whom is labeled what.

    The “Tea Party” people I deal with, for I like the less taxes for us all bit, are not anti-gay at all, and are quite miffed at the Christian Fundamentalists who go around saying they’re “Tea Party.” It’s quite a fracas. Which is true of both parties now.

    After all, Democratic African-American Baptists are rather anti-gay like Republican Caucasian Baptists. Other than their near lockstep on this issue the two parties are different right? Sure are, they’re “Big Tent,” and thus everyone is in. Though no one says the Democrats are anti-gay Christians when that’s exactly what they are, now do they?

    So it’s quite possible to be a gay tea partier, or a straight socialist, or whatever else.

    The problem is too much politics — which puts everyone at arms against each other for no reason other than who controls the tax dollars. Leave the money in people’s hand and you won’t be arguing over how it’s spent.

  • Sue

    FYI – is providing a supportive environment for friending, sharing and networking between Gay active military, vets and supporters in a post “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” military.

  • Caroline West

    @Shannon1981: Yes, “classy” is the word when throwing the word “racist” at someone, isn’t it? Your examples of extremism are legit, but you’re also picking and choosing what you want, which is typical of a liberal. Watch, I can do the same:

    Democrats are ALL cheating philanderers, i.e. Bill Clinton and the little blue dress.

    Democrats are ALL airheads, i.e. Barack Obama’s comment about the country’s “Fifty-seven states.”

    Democrats are ALL racist, i.e. Hillary Clinton’s 2008 push to have Obama provide proof of citizenship.

    Democrats are ALL mysoginists, i.e. pushing Hillary aside for the cool young man.

    And on and on and on it goes, especially the name-calling. Hence, I feel practically obligated to call you a nazi (or something similarly outrageous, since that’s the only thing that seems to get your attention).

  • Southside Shorty

    People: Does NO ONE on this site understand that the term “teabagger” is a homophobic slur against gay people, and not a political term to use against those with whom you disagree? Jesus Christ, show a little maturity, and maybe one day we’ll be taken seriously. Until then . . . good fucking luck, using childish terms like “teabagger” against political opponents.

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