Daily Beast Attacks ‘Apocalyptic’ Tea Party ‘Zealots’

The Daily Beast on Monday produced a shrill attack on the Tea Party titled “How the Tea Party’s Apocalyptic Politics Are Destroying the Republican Party.” Author Joe McLean announced his premise in the subheading: “Tea Party leaders view themselves as modern prophets of the end of times, ratcheting up their rhetoric to prove that Obama is evil and God is on their side.”

What followed was an attempt to demonize Tea Party leaders as the sort of apocalyptic prophets who most people consider crazy. McLean painted a picture of wild-eyed, dangerous right-wing fanatics through lines like this:


Yet the Tea Party is willing to defy overwhelming negative public opinion, wreck the government, risk plunging the world economy into chaos and invite political defeat. The driving force behind this destructive strategy is that Tea Party zealots answer to a "higher calling."
 

In an attempt to tie Tea Party leaders to the Biblical end-of-times world view, McLean excerpted this quote from Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas), “The biggest war being waged right now is against our religious liberties and traditional values.” He also excerpted this line from House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), “The fight for religious freedom starts here at home because we are one nation under God.”

In McLean’s mind, these quotes make Huelskamp and Cantor “apocalyptic prophets.”

McLean then hilariously tried to get inside the Tea Party mindset:
 

Now if you are battling the forces of evil for the very survival of the nation, there can be no retreat, no compromise, and no deals. Like the Jewish zealots at Masada, it’s better to commit glorious suicide than make peace with the devil. There can be no truce with the Tea Party because its apocalyptic zealots can never take “yes” for an answer.
 

Really, Mr. McLean? The Tea Party are the Jewish zealots at Masada? I guess that makes Democrats the Roman army that besieged Masada. It’s actually a rather flattering analogy for the Tea Party. The UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization writes this on its website about Masada: “The tragic events during the last days of the Jewish refugees who occupied the fortress and palace of Masada make it a symbol both of Jewish cultural identity and, more universally, of the continuing human struggle between oppression and liberty.”

McLean went on to explain how to deal with these Tea Party “zealots”:
 

Since the apocalyptists cannot compromise, they must be beaten. President Obama and congressional Democrats seem to have finally grasped this fact, and are learning how to deal with them. By refusing to knuckle under to extortion in the government shutdown drama, Obama exposed their reckless radicalism and won resoundingly.
 

Now McLean sounds as zealous as the Tea Partiers he is attacking. He’s saying that the Tea Party won’t compromise, so it must be beaten. Isn’t that the same mindset he accused the Tea Party of having? It seems that he wants to destroy the Tea Party with the same passion that the Tea Party supposedly wants to destroy evil, as personified by ObamaCare.

McLean ended the article with a prediction of the Tea Party’s demise:
 


Unfortunately for the apocalyptic prophets, only 29% of the moderate middle thinks churches or religious organization should have any role at all in politics. So like the prophets of old, they seem fated to join that long sad procession of failed zealots and martyrs who were overwhelmed by hard reality and their own rigid dogma.
 

That’s got to be exactly what McLean wants. He is, after all, a former Democratic campaigner who held a leading position on Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate campaign. So this hysterical attack on Tea Party “zealots” is just a part of liberal Democrats’ war on the Right.

Paul Bremmer
Paul Bremmer is a Media Research Center News Analysis Division intern.