And so, tomorrow through Saturday (February 4 through 6), Nashville will once again be invaded by swarms of screaming sub-literates.
Now, this is nothing new for Nashville, which already suffers from an incurable infestation of country music fans. The difference is, these are rich sub-literates – they have to be, because tickets to the National Tea Party Convention (apparently now sold out) were $549; if you just wanted to eat a rubber-chicken meal while you listened to Sarah Palin give a rambling collection of talking points pretending to be a speech, that would only cost you $349 (plus room and board, of course).
Now, there was some question if Judson Phillips was the best choice as a convention organizer: but after all, he’s only gone bankrupt once, and the IRS apparently only plants liens on him every few years (three times so far). But despite his checkered history, the teabaggers trusted him enough to set up this convention as a "for-profit" event. Because they're fiscal conservatives.
(Know how you can spot the "fiscal conservative" in a crowd? They're the ones who think that spending between $350 and $600 dollars to hear an incoherent half-term governor and failed veep-candidate give a speech.)
Interestingly, there have only been a limited number of media passes given out, and only to those small outlets that have been deemed acceptable to the teabagger agenda. Oh, and to Fox "News". (Weird how that works, isn't it?)
Hey, let's be real. Transparency is overrated, isn't it?
There’s been plenty of controversy around this little shindig: former associates have backed out and told horror stories about Mr. Phillips, and popular wingnut blogger Erick Erickson of redstate.com said the whole thing sounded "scammy."
Let me be blunt: charging people $500.00 plus the costs of travel and lodging to go to a "National Tea Party Convention" run by a for profit group no one has ever heard of sounds as credible as an email from Nigeria promising me a million bucks if I fork over my bank account number.Things sounded so bad that both Congresscritters who were slated to speak, Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and the ever-entertaining Michelle Bachmann (R-Alpha Centauri) backed out, citing ethics concerns.
Now, first of all, this is the first clue that I’ve seen that Michelle Bachmann has any ethics whatsoever. She just claimed two days ago that if America gets healthcare reform, the government will deny healthcare to people who protest against it. And if a woman who is willing to say something like that (among many other completely batshit insane statements) doesn’t believe that the teabagger convention is completely ethical, that should raise a couple of warning flags.
(And, for the sake of clarity: if either one of these Congressional salivators really wanted to speak there, there would have been no problem if they'd simply refused the fee, would there?)
On the other hand, Sarah Palin is still going to talk. In fact, since she's technically the only major name still in the running, she's been named "keynote speaker."
A more cynical person than I might look at the $100,000 speaker's fee they paid her, and suggest that the Prada in those stores isn't going to buy itself. When in reality...
Well, honestly, there is no other reality, is there? How's that old joke go? "We already established that you're a whore. Now we're just negotiating about the price."
I guess it's to be expected when your "base" is a bunch of angry, paranoid losers, but Palin is already in trouble with the nutball crowd for her apparent "RINOization."
How do we know that the Quitta From Wasilla's fresh-faced shine has dulled slightly? Well, actually, I hinted at it up above. Tickets to the convention have sold out. Tickets to eat with the Teabagger Hive Queen? Still plenty available.
So this, along with the fact that she seems to have been the biggest purchaser of her own memoir, seems to be hurrying her along the "Where Is She Now?" path.
We can only hope, anyway.