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Perhaps you read the recent story about a Missouri farmer who put a sign up in a field with the message:

Are you a Producer or Parasite Democrats – Party of the Parasites

Of course the punch line is that this gentleman, who is so indignant about “parasites,” has taken over $1,000,000 dollars in federal farm subsidies over the past thirteen years. This story, among others, serves to underline the fact that there are far too many small minds on the far right who aren’t at all bothered by the hobgoblin of consistency. Or to put it another way, the GOP winger base may not be made up of the best and brightest.

Since nature abhors a vacuum, for every right-wing simpleton, there is almost surely a cynical, bought-and-paid for huckster with the corporate line du jour on standby standing by ready to take up the slack. The proof? Look no further than Ed Martin, Russ Carnahan’s Republican challenger for Missouri’s third congressional seat.

Martin, who left his job as little Matty Blunt’s capo in disgrace, became a free-lance political jack of all trades, keeping himself viable with the right-wing through organizations like the Missouri Club for Growth and the Missouri Roundtable for Life. In his latest role, he has cast himself as a “leader” in the Tea Party crusade to takeover Washington.

True to the Tea Party ethos, Martin has been outspoken about the evils of government regulation. Most recently, he has come out swinging to protect poor little BP, shamelessly trying to pretend that the Gulf oil spill can be  blamed on excessive government regulation, a talking point that is gaining traction as the right-wing attempts to justify its inflexible ideology in the face of one more example of its failure.

Well, guess what? Just like our Missouri farmer’s disgust with parasitic Democrats, the story about Ed Martin as a valiant defender of beleaguered BP against the big, bad government has a pretty good punch line too.  After local bloggers, including SMP’s Clark, went to town with the fact that Martin seemed somewhat hesitant to file his federal income disclosure forms, he made a few feeble excuses – mostly to the effect that he was just too busy and it’s soooo hard to file those intrusive government forms. (Bear in mind that this guy expects us to trust him to have the energy and sufficient organizational skills to navigate the demands of a complex and demanding elective office.)

I’ll bet you’re not really that surprised, though, when I tell you that we are now learning that maybe Martin didn’t file these publicly accessible forms because he just might have had something to hide – like the fact that he has been kept afloat on a tide of big oil money. It seems his wife has oil holdings worth something in the area of $100,001 to $250,000.

Kind of puts a different light on our crusader. As the Carnahan campaign put it:

Letting Big Oil drill without oversight in the wake of this disaster is a position that defies logic – unless you realize that bigger profits for Big Oil would directly benefit Ed Martin’s bank account

It’s probably a good thing for Martin that the Tea Party types don’t seem to be too disturbed by good ol’ boys who conceal their conflicted interests – even when they’re playing the Tea Party faithful for fools.