We’re lucky to have these tea-party wingnuts

Conservatives are sometimes accused of being more interested in finding heretics than converts. Tea partiers offer a wrinkle on that. They are determined to root out RINOs (Republicans in Name Only), who they think have betrayed the party’s economic principles. But in their own ranks, they seem happy to have everyone with an aversion to the enlargement of government, no matter how crackpot they may be on other issues.

Back in the 1990s, there was a cranky, conspiracy-minded Texas billionaire who had nightmares about free trade with Mexico and imagined that fixing government was as simple as fixing a car. Like Angle and Paladino, Ross Perot sometimes sounded as though he had gone off his meds…

It would be a great thing if sensible, temperate, consistently libertarian citizens would mobilize en masse to force similar changes today. Until then, the tea partiers will have to do.