Yep: that really is illuminating. One might imagine that no one would be able to compete with Ron Paul's small government credentials, his resistance to almost any government spending, and his uniquely consistent fiscal conservatism. But the Dallas Morning News (hat tip: Weigel) reports he has three "Tea Party" primary challengers. Three. Paul, remember, was by some measures the first Tea Partier, raising a vast amount of money for his presidential campaign online on the 234th anniversary of the original Tea-Party.

But he doesn't measure up any more:

John Gay, Paul's third opponent, said he has attended several Tea Parties and related meetings. Both Wall, a machine supervisor, and Graney, a former small-business owner, have helped organize local rallies.

Tea Party associations aside, many of the challengers' criticisms echo concerns of Paul's past opponents: that he is too focused on his national ambitions; that his views are too extreme; that he doesn't support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; that he votes "no" on everything, including federal aid for his district after Hurricane Ike.

So these tea-partiers want more federal aid, and support the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. If you believe for a second that they are real fiscal conservatives, you're hallucinating.

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