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Matt Taibbi Among the Tea Partiers

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This post first appeared on Pharyngula.

Matt Taibbi is one of my favorite political writers, and he's perfect for scrutinizing the Tea Party movement — he's a gonzo swashbuckler who specializes in exposing the inanities of American culture, so plopping him down in the midst of the teabaggers is like opening the henhouse door for a wolf.

Scanning the thousands of hopped-up faces in the crowd, I am immediately struck by two things. One is that there isn't a single black person here. The other is the truly awesome quantity of medical hardware: Seemingly every third person in the place is sucking oxygen from a tank or propping their giant atrophied glutes on motorized wheelchair-scooters. As Palin launches into her Ronald Reagan impression — "Government's not the solution! Government's the problem!" — the person sitting next to me leans over and explains.

"The scooters are because of Medicare," he whispers helpfully. "They have these commercials down here: 'You won't even have to pay for your scooter! Medicare will pay!' Practically everyone in Kentucky has one."

A hall full of elderly white people in Medicare-paid scooters, railing against government spending and imagining themselves revolutionaries as they cheer on the vice-presidential puppet hand-picked by the GOP establishment. If there exists a better snapshot of everything the Tea Party represents, I can't imagine it.

Read the whole thing. Who are the teabaggers? Cranky, ignorant old racist hypocrites who are all about me-me-me-me, deftly manipulated by the big business establishment.