Tea Partiers and God

| Tue Sep. 21, 2010 6:40 PM PDT

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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