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This article appears in the November issue of Bazooka Magazine.

The morning after the final Conway/Paul debate on KET (the one where they both acted like snide middle school kids in the principal’s office), the first thing to pop up in my news feed was the video of moveon.org employee Lauren Valle being tackled and having her head stomped by Rand Paul supporters before the debate. The video was on a blog I haven’t been reading for very long (so I haven’t really gotten a feel for their reliability when it comes to fact-checking) and didn’t list a source, so I was initially skeptical about the video’s authenticity. Within a couple of hours, the story broke in the more mainstream media. I assumed that everyone could agree that stomping on a woman’s head while she’s down is a bad thing, but in doing so I underestimated the Tea Party’s capacity for rationalization and conspiracy theory.

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