Now, the tea party blog post claimed that they were laughing because Carnahan said that it would be deficit neutral and save money, but that something couldn't both be neutral and save money.
However, this is not really why they were laughing. Here's the actual quote from Carnahan:
The Congressional Budget Office analyzed the current plan and said that it was not only deficit neutral...but also that over 10 years it would create a $6 billion dollar surplus.Now, it's true that if "deficit neutral" just meant a deficit that was neutral, then it wouldn't correctly refer to a deficit that had a surplus. However, the term "deficit neutral" is a actually a term of art that refers to policies or plans that do not add to the deficit. It is used as a criterion for certian policies under the assumption that creating a deficit, all things being equal, should be avoided. However, since creating a surplus is a good thing (all things being equal), nobody thinks it is a mark against a policy if it is not "deficit neutral" because it creates a surplus. Thus, the term "deficit neutral," as it is used in policy, denotes policies that don't create new deficits, and this is clearly how Carnahan was using the term.
But anyway, none of this is why the tea party members were shouting and laughing. They were shouting and laughing because they were following the mob rule. In fact, this was back in 2009, and they had been given instructions to shout and interrupt, and they were all-too-happy to oblige. And since they are releasing this video the day before the Carnahan/Ed Martin debate, we can assume that they're planning on creating a similar atmosphere for that event. They will laugh and shout at what Carnahan has to say, even if they have no idea if it is true or not, because following the leader in an angry mob is so much easier than engaging in thoughtful reflection.