The first thing that jumps out at you in this great article about Dan Maes, the Tea Party insurgent who offed the GOP's preferred pick in the Colorado governor's race, is the headline: "Maes to Federal Government: 'Screw Them.'" I guess he isn't running on a family values platform.

That kind of fulminating defiance is the defining characteristic of a lot of races this year, especially in GOP primaries. It's effective in winning over the angry conservative grass roots, as Maes did, and as Tea Partier Christine O'Donnell appears poised to do in Delaware, which holds its GOP primary today.

But if you read a little further down in the Maes story, he makes an absolutely hilarious, and revealing, admission about what life has been like for him as he tries--and fails utterly--to consolidate Republican support:

Maes trails Democratic opponent John Hickenlooper badly in fundraising and the GOP has tried to get Maes to drop out of the race. The Vail Daily reports that Maes told the people at Bob's Place in Avon that he's recently been "pulled into meetings" he thinks are for fundraising only to be told he needs to leave the race.

"In the last two weeks, I've stood up to six- and seven-term congressmen and millionaire senators. If someone wants to come after me, they can bring it on."

Unless I've misread something, Maes is saying that he's been lured into meetings with GOP poobahs under the impression that they're going to write him a big check--only when he showed up, they yanked the rug out from under him and told him he sucks and should drop out. That's just unbelievably harsh. I don't think I've ever heard of that happening to anyone. (He goes on to talk about "the first time I cried as an adult.")

On the Tea Party Richter scale from "serious, qualified conservative" to "barking moonbat" Maes is pretty far out on the latter end. He thinks Denver's effort to encourage bike riding is a UN plot. But as far as I know, he doesn't think political operatives are hiding in his bushes, like O'Donnell does. So you can only imagine the type of "meetings" O'Donnell will get invited to by party bigwigs if she pulls off the upset tonight. Maybe her paranoia isn't so misplaced.

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