More About Tyler Collins, the Man Who Posed as a Rand Paul Fan, Complete With Tinfoil Hat

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Aug. 11 2010 12:04 PM

More About Tyler Collins, the Man Who Posed as a Rand Paul Fan, Complete With Tinfoil Hat

I just talked to Tyler Collins, who politely declined to comment as he adjusts to life as the subject of a multi-tier campaign of citizen journalism investigating his life as a Democratic activist. You know Collins. He was the guy who dressed up as a slack-jawed "Rand Paul fan," wearing a tinfoil hat and holding a sign that echoed/parodied conservative fears about illegal immigration.

Why is Collins lying low? Because he has a long picture and paper trail as a Democratic activist. Brandon Kiser has posted a column Collins, a political science student at Murray State University, wrote for a local paper. It's mostly tame stuff critical of the tea party movement. "If we would have had the Tea Party state of mind," Collins writes, "many elderly people would have frozen and starved to death because others would have been in their generator-heated homes oblivious to the fact and content in their cozy situations." BREAKING NEWS: he's a liberal activist. Here is a picture, from Collins's now-suspended Facebook page, of the future fake tea partyer campaigning for Barack Obama.

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My position on this: When Collins was young and irresponsible, he was young and irresponsible. He's not the first kid to play dress-up to make fun of a politician he dislikes, and he won't be the last. But he really should have dropped the ruse when he was caught; he must realize now that he's become a cause celebre for activists who claim that all "racism" in the tea party is fake.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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