They just can't help themselves.
I wrote a couple days ago that the tea party plan for the debate was "Loud Zombie Laughter." Surprisingly, they were actually pretty mild-mannered during the debate, perhaps because they aren't able to turn out crowds like they used to (remember, the 9/12 event was one of three national events, and not representative of the St. Louis area). But even though they actually followed the decorum more at this debate than in those past, they couldn't help choosing, as their official highlight of the event, a moment when they were acting obnoxiously. That is, the moment in which they engaged in Loud Zombie Laughter.
Here's the tea party bragging about the moment:
And here's the video:
The tea party claimed that the crowd laughed at Carnahan for the statement that social security is efficient. They (and Jason Rosenbaum, for that matter) were wrong. Actually, only half of the crowd laughed, the same half that gets their news from Glenn Beck and thinks that health care reform will produce "death panels."
So first of all, Social Security is efficient and can be made completely solvent with only minor adjustments. It's also one of the few remaining safety nets for many people as other forms of retirement security have collapsed.
Second, the tea party also complained that there was something wrong with Carnahan pointing out that it would have been disastrous if social security had been privatized (as George Bush attempted) before the stock market tanked a few years ago. Of course it would have been a disaster if people had their retirement savings invested in the private stock market! We'd be in much more serious trouble than we are now. I don't see how anyone would complain about that perfectly reasonable point.
Finally, it was really funny to hear Ed Martin whine about Carnahan pointing out that he's in favor of privatizing social security. Martin claimed that Carnahan was "making that up" in the video. However, as has been well-documented by the Carnahan campaign, Martin has repeatedly expressed his support for the Ryan Plan, which calls for, you guessed it, the privatization of social security.
This was just one of a whole boatload of falsehoods from Martin during the debate. Hopefully, I'll have time to address some more of them in the near future.
But in the meantime, if the tea party would prefer to be known as people who jeer, interrupt, and laugh loudly during debates, that's just fine with me.
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