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The Four Craziest Moments From South Carolina's Tea Party Convention

Win MnNamee/Getty Images News

More than 600 Tea Partiers descended on the Springmaid Beach Resort in Myrtle Beach last weekend for the annual South Carolina Tea Party Coalition Convention. Billed as "an opportunity for people to learn what is going on" by the executive producer of the convention, Joe Dugan, the three-day event included speeches from representatives Steve King, Tom Rice, and Jeff Duncan as well as from members of Heritage Action and Citizens United. Alex Marlow, editor-in-chief of Breitbart News, em-ceed. Here's a highlight reel: 

A white Senate candidate said, "I have a dream"—to ban abortion

Sen. Lindsay Graham's four Republican challengers participated in a debate Monday morning that was punctuated by several clips of Graham articulating his policies. Graham declined an invitation to the event, choosing instead to spend the national holiday shooting a gun.

Candidate Richard Cash, a South Carolina businessman with a degree in theology, had his own idea of how to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day: "Today is Martin Luther King Day...what I want to say to you today is, I too have a dream. When we consider the 55 million unborn children that have been killed in this land since 1973, I too have a dream. When we consider that one-third of the generation since 1973 is not with us because of abortion, I have a dream. And what is it? I have a dream that one day each and every unborn baby created in the image of God will enjoy the same constitutional protections that you and I receive. That's our promise, that's what the Republican Party stands for." 

Barry Goldwater was blamed for the GOP's lack of black support

K. Carl Smith of the Frederick Douglass Republicans argued that the GOP lost the African American vote because it nominated Barry Goldwater for president in 1964. Goldwater was the only Republican senator to vote against the Civil Rights Act—on constitutional, not racial grounds, Smith explained, and his "no" vote prompted Martin Luther King, Jr. to urge African Americans to to vote against Goldwater and to "withdraw support from any Republican candidate that does not publicly disassociate himself when it comes to Goldwater.” It's true that since the 1964 election, no Republican candidate has been able to draw more than 15 percent of the black vote, but the Democratic Party had been attracting the majority of black voters since 1948. 

High-school grads learned they each owe the government $880,000

Charlie Kirk, who founded the non-profit Turning Point USA to promote free-market economics, gleefully recounted his encounter with a political science class at Columbia University when he discovered the students there "haven't even heard about the merits of free markets, about why we need to have responsible government. They hadn't heard of Paine, or John Locke, or what the Federalist Papers were all about." Kirk explained that his organization exists "to empower and educate the youth of America to be able to fight back against the liberal progression in higher academia," and calculated that each high school graduate owes over $880,000 to the federal government to pay back the national debt. Kirk characterized the Obama administration's support among young voters as "from patronage  to imprisonment—seriously. Obama and the left built their patronage army on the backs of the youth," and are now asking them to pay for the social reforms they advocated for, he explained. After inviting Tea Party leaders in the audience to contact him for future speaking arrangements, Kirk concluded, "a young person voting for Obama is like a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders." 

Louie Gohmert channelled Jim Belushi in Animal House

After suggesting that the NSA “get a life" and "quit butting into everyone else's," Texas Representative Louie Gohmert invoked Jim Belushi in his attempt to call the Tea Party to action, reciting Bluto's rallying cry to the men of Delta from Animal House.

So, what’s going on these days? Well, we’ve got NSA getting logs of every call you make, the IRS has been weaponized like Richard Nixon could only have dreamed of, a law enforcement arm of the US forcing the sale of guns to people so they can get ‘em to drug cartels and kill hundreds of Mexicans and at least one or more Americans, you’ve got a US administration supporting rebels in other countries that are infused with America’s greatest terrorist enemies, but the administration cannot even call them [the] radical islamists that they are, while we are punishing countries like Egypt that has finally stood up to them. We have Republican leaders who are not content to lose presidential elections, now they think we need to get moderates who will stand up not for anything but for everything...

...So, a big national organization of corporations has declared war on us. So, some guy with a whiteboard has declared war on us. So, the Speaker may have declared war on us. Let me borrow from Animal House: "What’s all this laying around stuff? Why would anyone just lay around when our liberty, lives and loves are on the line? Did someone say let it go? The war’s over? What? Over? Did someone say over? No. It’s not over until we decide it’s over. Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? No! Well it ain’t over now! Because when the going gets tough, the tough get going!" What happened to the Tea Party I used to know? Where’s the spirit? Where’s the guts? This could be the greatest time of our lives but you’re going to let it be the worst because we’re afraid to go with Louie. We might get in trouble. Just kiss my aspen tree. From now on, not me, I’m not going to take it. We’re not going to take it anymore right? We’re going to stand up and take our country back!

Here's Bluto, who went on to become a United States senator, with the original rendition: