So I've been trying to understand what distinguishes the Tea Party from ordinary Republicans.
Last week, Rick Perry got huge applause for being the man who has governed over more executions than any other governor in the US. Last night, Ron Paul got huge applause for stating that a young man in a coma who had previously failed to buy medical insurance should be left to die.
Whereas ordinary Republicans might be akin to football players or even ultimate fighting athletes, perfectly comfortable with violence, the Tea Party enthusiasts are more like gladiators, perfectly comfortable with death and ready to levy a death penalty even for infractions as seemingly innocuous as failure to pay premiums for medical insurance.
We've come a long way from compassionate conservatives.