I didn’t understand last year when the Montana media decided to cover the dying TEA Party movement on tax day, and I don’t really understand why they chose to today, but there are some gems of facts from TEA Party “rallies” that perhaps make it worthwhile to read. Or at least enjoy.
It’s hard not to lead off with this delight from Republican Senate (SD 42) candidate Marissa Stockton, from Helena:
For example, Marissa Stockton…read some items she said friends posted on Facebook — for example, that 19% of federal spending is "spent on the NSA so they can spy on us."
Asked about that number, Stockton said it may have originated with data from the Heritage Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank. But a review of several Heritage charts shows no such thing; the entire defense budget is only 18 percent of national spending, including "entitlement" programs like Social Security and Medicare.
He also took aim at reduced-cost school lunches, bringing black-and-white images of food left on cafeteria trays: "Kids on free and reduced school lunch waste 46 percent more than the average kid who pays their way."
Republican candidate for the PSC and Confederate enthusiast Derek Skees offered this explanation of the TEA Party movement today as well as a rousing call for increased rigor in Language Arts:
"Many of the things that we espouse as what was critical to our future are now becoming the political norm," he said.
Over in Billings, math-challenged former Republican candidate for governor Ken Miller claimed the dwindling movement was as big as ever:
“The Tea Party is not a party, it’s a philosophy,” Miller said. “So philosophically, there are just as many people today as there were before.”
The more you read about the TEA Party, the more sense it makes that they hate public education, given its focus on facts and subjects like math.