Tony Quinn’s recent article Voters Ice the Tea Party struck a nerve.  My count was 881 comments.  Here are a representative few:

There was little in the way of a response to Quinn’s thesis: that the Tea Party ran 5 idiotic senatorial candidates (Angle, Buck, O’Donnell, Akin and Mourdock) and turned likely Republican wins into Democrat pickups, locking up the Senate for Obama to—among other things—nominate two more liberal Supremes.  The Tea Partiers responded angrily:

There was no scratching of the communal head or wondering out loud, “Maybe Quinn has a point…” just shrills like— VOTER FRAUD AND RIGGED MACHINES (!)— shrills about distorted media, shrills about “Commies” with bad punctuation, misspellings, talk radio dislexicons and ad hominems: Tony Quimm, idiology, libtard, regressives (for progressives), Obummer, Obomo, LMFAO, LOL, RINO’s and… Ya stupid old pood.

As a Fox & Hounds reader-contributor, one of my favorites was:

But for sheer zaniness:

But now that we’ve had some fun, let’s unpack—let’s analyze in the tradition of a decidedly All American intellectual blog, Fox & Hounds.

First: Given the response, Tony Quinn is dead wrong on the demise of the Tea Party.

The sheer political heat of 881 comments—I counted only a handful supportive of Quinn—says something.  Each comment represents between ten to one hundred pissed off people not bothering to weigh in on the F&H server to post, perhaps more.  And if many comments were hot-headed, misspelled and a few bizarre, they were generally well within the mainstream of conservative political activism.  These people vote and volunteer, that much is certain.

Even if the replies were “astro-turfed” by a top down effort to get Tea Partiers from all over the country to hit F&H, the result is still impressive. Tony Quinn isn’t a huge name in the blogosphere.  When Victor Davis Hanson publishes, he typically gets 100 to 250 comments at, 400 comments when he’s red hot.  881 comments is more than double VDHs best showing.  And if the response was viral, even more impressive.

Second: There was a pattern and a message in the comments.  The message was: you’re dead wrong, we’re still here, exclamation point. The message was: screw you, deal with us.  The message was: the things that piss us off are pissing us off even more.  There was plenty of bravado, but NONE of the whining I’ve detected in California, probably because the comments were national in scope.

Third:  I think we can conclude that this bunch is not a demoralized rag tag, not an army in post-election defeat.  Rather, it’s a rabble that needs leaders.  And I say rabble as a reader of the history of the founding with a profound respect for what an organized and well-lead rabble can accomplish.  Like a Declaration of Independence.  Like a Constitution. Like America.

I wish the Tea Party commentators knew Tony Quinn.  We were in the trenches together trying to stave off a California redistricting fiasco caused by RINOs.  Quinn’s no libtard, no commie and definitely not an idiot.  Quinn is a dedicated conservative who has worked his rear off over a career spanning decades, a fierce critic of the California GOP, anathema to RINOs who dread Tony on their ass when they screw up.

We need thoughtful responses to Quinn’s critique of the Tea Party senatorial candidates.  Angle, Buck, O’Donnell, Akin and Mourdock did go down in flames; this will allow Obama to appoint the next Supremes.  And it disturbs me to learn Dick Armey was paid $500,000 to run FreedomWorks and got a $400,000 annual golden parachute after his armed coup attempt.

Does that disturb you?