Republican senate candidate Matt Bevin talks with a Fox reporter during their interview in Louisville, Kentucky, October 23, 2013. Bevin's in running against Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY). After a string of setbacks and losses, the insurgent Tea Party movement is at a crossroads, between learning to live within the Republican Party or pursuing its fight against those it sees as not conservative enough. REUTERS/John Sommers II (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) Republican senate candidate Matt Bevin (John Sommers II/Reuters)

It is only appropriate that National Review, the conservative media outlet whose founder threw the John Birch Society out of the Republican Party, should report:

A post on Kentucky Senate candidate Matt Bevin’s Facebook page last September shows the candidate sitting in a sunny room with a group of people, with the caption reading: “Enjoying time with the John Birch Society in Union, Ky.” One comment reads, “that’s quite a gathering of Birchers.” Bevin is challenging Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky’s Republican Senate primary, which takes place May 20. . . .

Rachel Semmel, a spokesman for Bevin, emphasizes that the meeting was much more respectable than it sounds and was attended by many mainstream business and political figures.

Hmm. Would Bevin have met with members of the KKK? Would it be fine to meet with a group of 9/11 truthers so long as “local Republican activists and several elected officials in northern Kentucky” went too?

Unfortunately the Senate Conservatives Fund, the Madison Project and tea party groups which advocated the shutdown and spend gobs of money and time excoriating incumbent Republicans seek out similarly extreme candidates. And in turn those people tend to, as Sarah Palin would say, “pal around” with unsavory types and demonstrate a complete absence of judgment. There is a reason Bevin is nearly 30-points behind in the polls. But what’s the reason for selecting Bevin as the tea party standard bearer and giving him money to attack mainstream conservatives?