Video: Letterman's shocking interview with a tea-party leader

No joke; this is a near-jawdropper. Even an apolitical mag like Entertainment Weekly calls it “quietly remarkable.” I don’t know what Letterman had in mind by booking her. Maybe he thought he was going to lure her into some sort of gotcha that would prove tea partiers are freaks, or maybe he was just interested in engaging someone from the other side’s grassroots — although he’s never done that before, to my knowledge. Whatever the reason, this ends up being one of the most efficient (if possibly inadvertent) debunkings of tea-party craziness to ever hit big media. Like Ace says, this woman comes off as a kindly aunt, soft-spoken and, per her own description, pacifistic. Even her one flirtation with fringiness, in what she says about Obama’s birth certificate, doesn’t go very far. She’s virtually the antithesis of the media narrative about tea partiers; imagine the surprise of the casual news watcher who’s been told the tea party is some kind of militia tuning into this. How on earth did she end up on this show?

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