According to this article on the Arizona Central website, Senator and former presidential candidate John McCain (R-Arizona) faced some disgruntled and in some cases seriously wacky conservative voters at a town meeting in the town of Gilbert yesterday.
Senator McCain seemed a bit confused himself, in that he blamed S&P’s downgrade of the Treasury’s credit rating on President Obama, despite the fact that S&P was more critical of Republican extremism. On the other hand, the senator might have been trying to mollify his audience, which was up in arms because McCain himself had characterized the demands of far-right House Republicans as “deceiving” and “bizarro” and favorably quoted a Wall Street Journal opinion piece calling the members in question “the tea-party Hobbits.”
McCain declined to apologize for the Hobbits remark when asked to do so by a Tea Party member, who complained that Tea Partiers found it offensive. Not as much as the Hobbits, I suspect.
Anyway, at least some of the Tea Partiers present seemed to be into another fantasy entirely, this one involving United Nations Agenda 21, an early-1990s UN plan to promote conservation in the 21st century innocuous enough that was adopted by 178 countries.
But several at the meeting apparently believe a right-wing rumor that Agenda 21 is a really diabolical plot for (as one of them put it) a “takeover of the United States of America by taking over our farms.” Another amplified the point: “First, our firearms, then our farms.” (This sounds to me like an outdated strategy. I’d aim for taking over Wal-mart.) McCain tried to reassure his fellow citizens that no Congress would ever allow something like that to happen, should it ever actually come up, but they weren’t having it.