The Day John Boehner (and the GOP) Went Nuts

| Thu Nov. 5, 2009 3:53 PM EST

At today's small Tea Party rally on Capitol Hill, as a few thousand right wing activists railed against the emerging health care reform legislation, Republican House minority leader John Boehner came before the angry crowd (and its signs declaring the president a "red" and a "traitor") and declared that the health care bill is the "greatest threat to freedom that I have seen."

The greatest? Greater than Hitler's Nazism? Greater than Soviet communism?

With this remark, Boehner steered his GOP congressional caucus—and many members of it spoke at this Republican-supported rally—into the center of the wing-nut wing of his party. Two days after a moderate GOPer and a faux moderate GOPer won their respective gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia—and a true-blue conservative Republican lost a congressional race in relatively conservative upstate New York—Boehner is doubling down with the Glenn Beck-following, Obama-hating extremists of the conservative movement. No wonder that the strategists at Democratic Party HQ have been saying, Thank you, Michele Bachmann. She's turned the No. 1 Republican in the House into a Tea Party stooge.

You can follow David Corn's postings and media appearances via Twitter. More coverage of the Tea Party rally from Mother Jones' Stephanie Mencimer is coming soon.