God, Guns and Golf? The Tea Party Xmas Gift Guide

| Mon Dec. 6, 2010 9:15 AM PST

I've never thought of the angry activists who make up the tea party movement as a bunch of duffers, but apparently I must have just missed those folks at the rallies. Because the Tea Party Patriots recently added some new holiday offerings to their online "store" that suggest the group's target audience not only plays a lot of golf but drinks serious booze as well.

Along with the usual t-shirts and hoodies emblazoned with the Tea Party Patriots' fancy new logo, the store is offering what may be the first tea party Christmas tree ornament, TPP golf towels and balls, and even some engraved barware that will set your average tea partier back a pretty penny. TPP engraved "rocks" glasses are going for $19.95 each for a set of four, while a set of four 18-ounce crystal glasses are selling for $59.95. (No TPP menorahs, though.) While these items might do well among members of the National Capital Tea Party Patriots, which holds its meetings at a tony Bethesda, Maryland tennis and swim club, it's hard to imagine many tea partiers snapping up golf towels and highball glasses, particularly given the movement's fondness for thrift and disdain for elitism.

TPP might do better to take some cues from the National Rifle Association, whose membership has considerable overlap with the tea party's. The NRA knows its audience. For Christmas stocking stuffers, its online store offers NRA pistol cases, emergency radios, gun socks, and cleaning pads. For gifts under $50, there are lots of better goodies that will appeal to the man in your life who has too many Gadsden flags. There's the "Holster Mate," a nifty pistol holder that attaches to a mattress. It "even works with a bed skirt" so that "your pistol will never leave your side." And of course, it comes equipped with the NRA logo. Other gifts include official NRA Zippo lighters, dog collars, floor mats designed for a big truck, and an NRA "bug out" bag. ("Whether you have a 180 square mile wildfire, a category 4 hurricane or a trip to the in-laws bearing down on you, either way, if you need to bug out of town this duffle is ready to go.") Oh, and there's also the official NRA battle axe, designed for both chopping down big trees and also throwing at people should the need arise.

It's all very manly and defiantly anti-establishment, an image the gun rights group no doubt likes to express. TPP's store, on the other hand, suggests that the movement has already assimilated into the very Washington establishment it claims to despise. After all, it's hard to think of a Christmas gift that screams "country-club Republican" more than a golf towel.

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