As part of their Obama Wins coverage in Thursday's Style section, The Washington Post sent reporter Anne Hull out to locate disgruntled Tea Party Republicans -- and mock them as extreme. In the party establishment, "the push was already on to make the GOP more inclusive and reflective of the country. The party needed to gather up more of the middle. In other words, it needed to tame the tea partyers who had moved the party to the right," Hull wrote.
She found a retired couple of conservative activists (and as she labored to underline, conspiracy theorists): "It was precisely this mentality that energized Emma Runion and her husband, John, to dig in even harder."
After gathering her signs Wednesday morning, Emma went to her computer. First she scanned it for spyware. “Hackers were very busy last night,” she said. Her second order of business was dropping Fox News as her home page, annoyed with the network for pitching in the towel so early and calling Obama the winner. Her new home page: The Blaze, the Glenn Beck-run news site.
There were plenty of conservatives who were unhappy with Fox News seeming to call states for Obama the earliest, but none of their predictions were later reversed as the exit polls were confirmed by real returns. But Hull was clearly asking the Runions if they were survivalists, and gun nuts to boot:
Back home — they retired to Valrico, east of Tampa, in 2008 — Emma put on her apron and sprayed a skillet with Pam for scrambled eggs. John looked at the newspaper for the Cryptoquote puzzles he likes. Emma pulled open her pantry. “We are not preppers,” she said, revealing a normal food closet instead of one preparing for anarchy. Canned pears. Canned pumpkin. Sugar. Peanut butter. Dog treats. There was no survival food, but they were planning on stocking up on guns and ammo.
“We’ll probably get a long gun and a short gun,” Emma said. “We’ve already got our concealed carry permits; we just need to be finger-printed.” That last step was the one that made her hesitant. “Once you are registered, they know who you are. Most firearms now are chipped” for tracking.
They worried that Obama would now downsize the military — “MacDill is going to be a ghost town,” Emma said of the Air Force base in Tampa — to build his own military consisting of the National Guard, the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration.
“Right-wing nut” is what Emma playfully calls herself, a reference to Obama once categorizing extreme conservatives as fringe. John is less playful, especially when it comes to Obama.
“This guy, who is he?” asked John, at the kitchen counter. “He’s Buddhist, he’s Muslim, he’s Christian. When he addresses the Muslims, he speaks Muslim. When he addresses blacks, he goes into that black dialect. It’s creepy.”
He stirred his oatmeal. “To know this guy is going to have power for the next four years, that’s disturbing.”
If a Democrat activist ever called himself a "left-wing nut," the Post would carefully scrub that out of the story. But in this case, the playful conservative will always be quoted and emphasized.
The Post also posted a series of incorrect conservative predictions of a Romney victory, a gloat-and-quote article. It's also easy to guess the Post wouldn't have printed a roundup of inaccurate liberal predictions if Romney had actually won.