June 24, 2018
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Laughing it up with Rand Paul and the Tea Party

By Pat LaMarche

I love to laugh, loud and long and clear. I love to laugh, it’s getting worse every year.” In the case of U.S. politics, it is getting worse every day.

You remember that tune from Disney Pictures’ Mary Poppins. Hum it while you read.

In the movie you could have a tea party on the ceiling if you just kept laughing. And jeepers, this season’s crop of Tea Party candidates have their opposition rolling in the aisles — and opposing polling numbers headed for the ceiling as the magic of laughter works.

This week’s first man of chuckles is Rand Paul. Doctoral degrees may run in his family, but common sense skipped a generation. What a disappointment. A U.S. senator who would have voted as Paul’s congressman dad does — against the Patriot Act, war funding and the bailouts — would have been no laughing matter. But days after winning the Kentucky Republican primary, Rand Paul sent his Democratic opponent, Jack Conway’s, prospects skyward. Conway’s party no doubt roared as Paul courted political suicide by initially endorsing a return to segregation. Even though Paul assured us that this privilege would be reserved only for bigoted entrepreneurs.

“When things strike me as funny, I can’t hide it inside.”

Then Paul became a laughingstock when he condemned President Barack Obama’s criticism of the greatest man-made aquatic cataclysm of all time. Hey, Paul, your group named itself after people who threw Asian tea into the ocean, not Texas tea.

“And a ha-ha-ha, too”

The best “twitter like birds” Tweet on the blogosphere is, “Rand Paul Surges Ahead of Palin Among Voters Who Describe Themselves as Morons.” The mock article explains the necessity for Palin “to start dumbing down her message,” if she wants to compete with the doctor. And then it struck me. They’re in cahoots! I mean, come on — he’s a brilliant eye surgeon and she can see Russia from her house. Coincidence? Hardly!

Keep singing, we don’t want that tea party grounded. “The more I laugh, the more I fill with glee. And the more the glee, the more I’m a merrier me. It’s embarrassing.” Yes, Mary Poppins’ Uncle Albert, it is embarrassing: But not as embarrassing as it’s going to get.

Turn to South Carolina and Monday’s Washington Post story about gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley’s alleged extramarital affair with Will Folks. Haley and Folks, both proteges of disgraced Gov. Mark Sanford, appear to have learned more from the governor than just politics.

But wait, Haley’s denying these charges and claims her accuser’s lying because as the Tea Party’s anointed one — anointed thus by none other than eagle-eye Sarah Palin — she has risen to the top of the political pack in their Republican primary.

Haley insists that scurrilous rumors shouldn’t derail her. But the tales aren’t anonymous bubbles boiling in South Carolina’s teapot. No, her accuser is the man who she’s alleged to have had the affair with, Will Folks.

Critics of these hypocrites can’t stand the Tea Party’s holier-than-thou ways — pointing fingers at hardworking ordinary human beings trying to make a living and then suspecting them of illegal activity because of how they speak or look — even as the Tea Partiers make excuses for greedy environmental spoilers who destroy our natural resources and consequently the maritime economy.

BP flying spray-planes with toxins the feds told them to stop using strikes me as funny considering that if they were Mexicans spraying the gulf with marijuana we’d seize their planes.

“We love to laugh, so everybody can hear.”

Rand Paul doesn’t seem to like the sound of this laughter. Maybe that’s why he ditched his interview on “Meet the Press” last weekend. And South Carolina GOP Chairwoman Karen Floyd whines at the chortles too, saying, “South Carolinians deserve a higher level of political discourse than this.” What South Carolina GOP is she talking about? The one in the 2000 presidential race where George W. Bush’s campaign launched the fabrication that John McCain had fathered an illegitimate black child?

Too funny! “The more you laugh, the more you fill with glee and the more the glee, the more there’s a merrier me.” Oh look, the Tea Party’s back on the ceiling.

Pat LaMarche of Yarmouth is the author of “Left Out In America: The State of Homelessness in the United States.” She may be reached at patlamarche@hotmail.com.

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