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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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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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