If the National Tea Party Convention hoped to keep its focus on political organizing and its message on limited government, it has had little success so far.
Capping the first full day of the meeting, right-wing instigator Joseph Farah spent much of his dinner speech questioning whether President Obama was born in Hawaii and casting doubt on whether the president was legitimately elected.
“The media, the politicians … all say, no, it’s all been settled. I say, if it’s been settled show us the birth certificate. Simple,” Farah’s said, as his remarks were cheered by the roughly 600 activists gathered in Nashville for the event.
Farah runs WorldNetDaily.com, a conservative tabloid, book publisher and tireless critic of the administration. He dismissed those who say he is obsessed with the birth certificate issue saying, “I admit it, I’m obsessed with the Constitution.”
Farah said he believed establishing lineage was important for leaders, using Jesus’ genealogical ties to King David as an example. Obama has produced his official Hawaii birth certificate; though those associated with the “birther” movement claim they want to see a copy of the original document issued.
Ah, yes, Jesus Christ. The gold standard in historical documentation.
Trend-setting racist Tom Tancredo also had some interesting things to add to the national conversation. NY Daily News:
The opening speaker at the first National Tea Party Convention called President Obama a "committed Socialist ideologue" who was elected because "we do not have a civics, literacy test before people can vote."...
"People who could not even spell the word 'vote' or say it in English put a committed socialist ideologue in the White House," he said.
Tancredo, a failed 2008 presidential candidate, made his reputation as a rabid foe of illegal immigrants. The literacy tests he pined for were once used in the South to keep blacks from voting.
Well, that's enough rallying for one day. Let's take a hot shower.
UPDATE: Jesus Percival Christ, somebody at the convention accidentally allowed Dave Weigel through the door, with predictably awesome results:
“They asked me to speak,” said Farah. “They didn’t ask me, ‘What do you want to speak about?’ No, this operates like a free and open society, not like the kind of Marxist society you would apparently like to be a journalist for.”
I told Farah that his speech was getting negative attention already, and that [Big Andy] Breitbart, who’d taken the stage after him, had criticized the “birther” parts of the speech. Farah shook his head and walked over to Breitbart in what seemed like an attempt to debunk my question...
[A little dust-up between Farah and Breitbart ensues...]
“I should prove, what, a birth certificate that may or may not exist?” Farah had gotten irritated. “That’s ridiculous. You don’t even understand the fundamental tenets of what journalism is about, Andrew. It’s not about proving things. It’s about asking questions and seeking truth.”
Breitbart tensed up after that insult. “Right.”
“I know you’re not a journalist, so that’s fine. But don’t diminish people who’ve been doing this for 35 years.”
“So you’re going to go on record saying that I’m not a journalist?”
“Are you? I’ve never heard you claim to be. Are you?”
“I’ll let it be answered by you.”