The Tea Party’s magical mystery tour

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If you haven’t read Judicial Watch‘s latest article concerning its investigation into the misuse of U.S. Air Force transportation by Madam Speaker Pelosi, you should. But to be fair, Her Majesty’s abuse of military travel is nothing new for bureaucrats from either party; that’s at least how it’s justified after each election. My father, a deceased former Air Force major general, used to complain about how his branch of the service was required to maintain and pay for a fleet of aircraft of dubious military value; a fleet for our royal members of Congress to utilize at their every whim and whistle. And this includes all the maintenance and support personnel, as well as the crews. (I’m assuming the political elites feel it essential to practice should they ever reach the pinnacle of their art form, thereby being compelled to fly Air Force One. It’s important to know just how to jog majestically up and down the stairs, or pirouette and wave effusively from the door. The fate of world governance might hinge on such talents. And if you’re a liberal, you might even have to learn how to return a salute or two, if you know where to look for one.)

These aircraft are “necessary” we are told, even during times of economic hardship, so that our public servants can travel all around the world on various fact-finding missions or delicate affairs of international consequence and diplomacy.

Trips to the Caribbean, Hawaii, Spain, Paris, and other technologically deprived places (where Internet and cell phones apparently can’t reach) mandates that our Lords of Congress, along with friends, family, pets, and other necessary personnel, utilize these military modes of transportation in order to continue projecting American prowess around the globe.

So what is with Tea Party Patriot’s junket ’round the nation? Have Tea Party contributions been so forthcoming that they are financing this massive airlift campaign in the skies from sea to shinning sea, culminating on the west lawn of the nation’s Capitol on November 2? And it is a massive airlift of Pelosi proportions! More than 30 flights: starting in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on October 21, with two to four flights daily, while accompanied by a “gotcha” film crew to document Jenny Beth and Mark Meckler’s every arrival and departure with on-the-spot interviews as they hob-nob with Tea Party Patriot local organizers. (Haven’t seen Mark in the videos yet?) The films are then shamelessly posted on the Tea Party Patriots website, and emailed nationally (using their national bank of emails), always with the proverbial admonition reminding the brain-dead that the Tea Parties are for “fiscal responsibility, constitutionally-limited government, and free markets.” (Huzzah for fiscal responsibility!) And the daily tour videos allow me and all the other Tea Partiers to see where our TPP national “leaders” are on any given day as they lead us on to get out the vote. (Fix bayonets!)

So here is where I get in trouble! Why is it always me? I just have to ask some tough introspective Tea Party questions again. It started last week when Brendan Steinhauser from Freedom Works appeared on The Colbert Report. My mind said, “What is he doing there? Doesn’t he know that Colbert will make him play the fool? What does Freedom Works gain by this?” He could have at least gotten up and walked off the show like Whoopi or something! Or wrap Colbert in the “Don’t Tread on Me” flag.

But then I get an email from TPP announcing their magical mystery tour. I mean “magical” in the sense that the national airlines can’t possibly be providing over thirty flights at coach fare for Jenny Beth, Mark, and the film crew at other than astronomical prices. How is that possible? I mean TPP can’t afford that kind of money from contributions only, can they? And then there’s the food and lodging. (I’ll bet it’s not Motel 6 and IHOP!) This has to cost some bucks! Or it has to be magic, right?

But then it’s a “mystery” too! If the money for these Pelosi-esque flights came from somewhere else; maybe even an “anonymous” donor, that might just possibly explain how it could be done. But you know magicians. They never tell you how they do it. Plus, we were already told that the “anonymous” donor’s money was only going to be used for grants to “values-based” Tea Party groups to “get out the vote.”

And then there’s the question of the airlines. Obviously you couldn’t make so many deadlines in a day on a major carrier, especially within a state to small towns. But, if you were using donated private planes? No, that couldn’t be! I mean, we’re grassroots folks after all. Who’d pay for private planes, hotels, restaurants, and a film crew using grassroots contributions for thirteen days? Unless it wasn’t grassroots contributions. See, I just keep getting these questions! A real mystery! Go figure!

William Temple is a historical re-enactor, a pastor of a Bible church in Brunswick, Ga., and a well-known figure at Tea Party events across the country.

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