In it, but not of it. TPM DC
Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), as bright a star as ever shown in the conservative constellation this year, took to the stage to slam spending and "Obamacare," but also took time to lead the attendees through a reading of the Declaration of Independence, which she suggested highlighted Thomas Jefferson's intention to keep abortion illegal forever.
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) -- introduced to the audience as "the man who stopped global warming" (but not, you know, in the good way) -- spoke at length about all the "problems that will happen" if "you let open gay activity in the military." He called on attendees to jam Senate switchboards to shutdown the Defense Appropriations bill vote this week. He's mad as hell about the end of DADT, and from the applause it seems like the crowd was mostly with him.
Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) the man who'd love to get the attention Bachmann gets from these folks and is doing his best to make that happen, warned the crowd about government support for Planned Parenthood.
"To the people who say they want to cut spending," he exclaimed, "I say, OK -- let's start with federal funding for abortions here at home."
The crowd seemed to like that, too.
Expect more of the same -- and then some -- when the afternoon session kicks off at 2 p.m. ET, with speeches from Rick Santorum, Gary Bauer and (everyone in the crowd and the press corp is excited for this) Christine O'Donnell.
Watch Bachmann deftly stitch the tea party and the moral majority together in her speech. (And be sure to stay tuned for her read-along lesson on the Declaration of Independence.)