The Tea Party—one year later -

The Tea Party—one year later

The political landscape has changed dramatically since Obama’s election


The origins of the Tea Party movement can be traced back to the winter of 2009 and a rant by CNBC anchor Rick Santelli claiming the Obama administration did not understand what the American people were facing with high unemployment and mortgage foreclosures. Spurred on by Fox News personalities like Glenn Beck, it was not long that public displays of anger soon became part of mainstream media reports. Eventually, last August’s town hall meetings on healthcare reform laid the groundwork for a more organized national movement.

Unlike the Republican social conservatives of recent decades, the Tea Party fed on economic uncertainty using a message that married libertarian politics with strict fiscal conservatism. Its initial audience was an angry segment of the electorate, but its influence soon spread to the mainstream parties, the extent of which became clear by the time the Republican primaries rolled around. While liberal newscasters like Keith Olberman and Rachel Maddow were quick to present the movement as a far-right outlier supported by Fox News, right-wing bloggers, and Rush Limbaugh, it seems the so-called fringe movement was much more than that.

All this was taking place while the Obama Administration was engaged in a prolonged battle over the most comprehensive healthcare bill in U.S. history. The bill eventually passed, but not the anger or the insecurity about the economy. The result is Obama’s approval ratings now remain stubbornly below the 50 per cent mark, and Democrats are bracing for significant losses in the November mid-terms.

The Tea Party movement’s success has, of course, come at a price. Its apparent inability to keep racists out has brought it unwanted attention just as it ramps up its political campaigns. It’s not clear what impact the controversies will have come November. But one thing is certain: the political landscape has changed dramatically since Obama’s election.

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The Tea Party—one year later

  1. Rightwing hippies. Probably with the same amount of effect the earlier ones had. Noise.

  2. There are always undesirables who show up with every new political movement. Both the CCF and the Reform party have examples of unwanted factions that crept into their movements, even though they started on opposites sides of the political spectrum.

    • Well, they're both populists.

  3. The strange thing is that in his rant Santelli was calling ordinary Americans "losers."

  4. "The Tea Party movement's success has, of course, come at a price. Its apparent inability to keep racists out has brought it unwanted attention just as it ramps up its political campaigns."

    There are racists and kooks in every walk of life, not sure why msm continues on with its meme of racist tea party when it is mainstream. And if msm is so concerned with racism, it is curious that spotlight wasn't shined on Dem Party because it had a Grand Kleagle (Robert Byrd) within its ranks up to a few weeks ago and just last week another prominent Dem went to WSJ to write a column about ending affirmative action. If prominent Repub was pushing for end of affirmative action, I know the coverage the topic is receiving would be very different indeed.

    Dems don't have much credibility, outside their circle of sycophants of course, because they don't look after their own home/org, only comment on others.

  5. It took 4 posts but Mr. Parisella has finally admitted the obvious:

    "…Obama's approval ratings now remain stubbornly below the 50 per cent mark, and Democrats are bracing for significant losses in the November mid-terms."

    Indeed, as Mr. Parisella concludes: "the political landscape has changed dramatically since Obama's election."

    This was as quite predictable, as I have said many times on this blog. The most left-wing president in history is driven by one thing, and one thing only: left-wing ideology. Adressing real problems like the weak U.S. economy and steaply rising deficit? According to Obama, it'll all sort itsefl out once he erects his little socialist paradise. Nevermind that everywhere that recipe has been tried, it's not only not worked, but has caused untold misery.

    • I'm nowhere near being leftwing, but implicit in your comment is that millions of people not having health insurance is not a "real problem." And even if you wanted to deride the Obama administrations solution to health care as "socialist" – let's not pretend the notion of a "socialist paradise" extends to all, or even many, of the President's other policies.

      • Bob,
        other than continuing Afghanistan and Iraq, tell us which obama policies are not far left wing?
        Is it closing Git’mo?
        Is it appointing left wing ideologues to the supreme court?
        Is it increasing marginal tax rates?
        Is it obamacare, which cuts, taxes and still doesn’t “insure” all.
        Is it fin reg which allows agencies to exempt themselves from FOIA?
        You know the list can go on.
        Convince yourself these are not socialist.

    • So the worst thing that will happen to America is late-1990s Canada?

  6. Santelli was calling avg americans losers, he was calling avg americans that over reached and over borrowed losers. In life there are winners and losers, why is everyone so weird about something so simple. HIS MESSAGE IS SO SIMPLE! If anyone, an elite, or an avg joe doesnt make good financial decisions THEY should pay the price. NOT EVERYONE ELSE! Its obvious by all the attention that the tea party movement is big time. The left wouldnt be in such a lather for any other reason cept the are A F R A I D of the handwriting on the wall.

  7. The Tea Party movement's success has, of course, come at a price. Its apparent inability to keep racists out has brought it unwanted attention just as it ramps up its political campaigns.

    Very disappointed (but not very surprised) to see you peddling this garbage Parisella.

    The Tea party racism story has been thoroughly debunked. Or maybe you were watching this MSNBC attempt to find racism where it doesn't exist? Or are you just following Spencer Ackerman's playbook?

    • Come on, pajamasmedia, Newsbusters and Serr8td?

      It's tough to take an argument seriously when it's "backed" by sources like those.

      • If a fact is true, your loathing for the messenger doesn't make it false.

        • Oh come on, nobody does themselves any good by turning to Bob "Confederate Yankee" Owens for support.

          John G is waaay smarter than that guy and much smarter than the arguments presented at his links, none of which disproves the assertion that there are racist Teabaggers.

          • TJCook,

            Never mind where the link is from. Pay attention to the content.

            It is not in dispute that leftists have been caught bringing their own racist signs to Tea Party events and have been shunned by the real Tea Party activists, even as the media reported that the Tea Party movement was racist because of these plants.

            It is not in dispute that MSNBC tried to claim racism over a guy who had a gun at a rally, while cropping the video to hide the fact that the guy was black. If the only thing you find objectionable is where the link is from, find the video evidence yourself on YouTube

            It is not in dispute that Spencer Ackerman said what he said. Pick a right winger, it doesn't matter who, and call them racist. Whether you read it at something called serr8d or at the Daily Caller (because let's face it, you're not going to see it on CNN) doesn't make it less true. It is not difficult to believe that the media are simply extending that concept to a movement instead of an individual, and it is disappointing to see laziness like this from Parisella when the facts are out there.

            Are there racists in the ranks of the Tea Parties? Probably. You will find racists in any group that comprises millions of people. But the media focus on it in the absense of any significant evidence is just par for the course. It's almost as though we need a new Godwin's Law, where the first person to call "racism" loses the argument.

          • And where, in that linkfest of idiocy, is it proven that the Tea Party is free of racists? Where is it proven that the racism allegations have been "debunked?"

            Parisella said: "Its apparent inability to keep racists out has brought it unwanted attention just as it ramps up its political campaigns."

            You said: "The Tea party racism story has been thoroughly debunked. Or maybe you were watching this MSNBC attempt to find racism where it doesn't exist?"

            And then you said: "Are there racists in the ranks of the Tea Parties? Probably."

            So the Tea Party racism story has NOT been debunked, not in any of those ridiculous links or anywhere else. And even YOU admit that racists "probably" exist in the ranks of the Tea Party.

            And, just to remind you, the national spokesman for the Tea Party Express wrote the following, in the voice of a newly-freed Black slave addressing Abe Lincoln:

            Dear Mr. Lincoln

            We Coloreds have taken a vote and decided that we don't cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us Colored People and we demand that it stop!

            So… it's "proven" that there are no racists in the Tea Party? I don't think that's correct.

            BTW, next time I link to MediaMatters for one of their well-documented and scrupulously fair analyses, I look forward to you considering the content and not the source.

          • It don't much matter – Obama's doomed.

  8. Prove there are racists in the Tea Party movement. Show us the signs, the videos and people making racists comments. They can't. They accuse but they have no proof. The Dems and Obama are in deep trouble in the U.S. and so they have pulled out the racist accusation in their desperation.
    Until actual proof is shown this is simply a ploy trying to change the channel and diminish a grass roots movement that is concerned with the deficit, spending and anti business policies.
    The House will change this November and that will end the Obama presidency. Nothing will get done and Obama is going to go down as a very divisive one term president. In fact Hilary may challenge him for the nomination in 2012.

    • I went to a Tea Party rally and asked the first person I met whether he was a racist. He relied that "yes, yes he was." Then he shot me in the foot for being Scottish heritage.

    • Every. Single. Event.

      If you don't accept Obama drawn as a witch doctor, with a bone through his nose, as a racist statement, there is no evidence that will satisfy you.

      If you don't accept signs calling him a "niggar" (sic) as a racist statement, there is no evidence that will satisfy you.

      Glenn Beck and the other real-life trolls who invented this movement could invite KKK leaders on their programs and give them a whole segment to say what they want, uncensored, with no rebuttal, and it would not serve as suitable evidence for the people who want to believe their Tea Party is anything but an racism marketing coup.

      There certainly are libertarians who want less government, lower taxes, and all that, who are also not racists. (Or should I say, "who are not primarily racists who use libertarianism as camouflage for their racism", because that's the foundation of the Tea Party movement.) Those real libertarians mostly have the sense to distance themselves from these arrivistes who suddenly became interested in political activism the moment a black man entered "their" White House.

      • People are opposing Obama, not because he's black or half-black, but because he hasn't even tried to adress the Number 1 political problem in the U.S – the flagging American economy. He's more interested in creating more entitlement programs thereby increasing the deficit, trying so solve "global waming" and most bizzarely, basing American foreign policy on kissing our enemies' collective a**es.

        His major accomplishment to date: receiving a Nobel Peace Prize for which he was nominated 12 days after his inauguration. Too funny!

      • Every. Single. Event.

        Got some documentary proof of Every. Single. Event. being chock-full of your fantasy lynch mobs and hateful rednecks, or is this yet another instance of "Take one of them, who cares, and call them racists?"

        • Okay, you caught me on my hyperbole, and fairly. Mea culpa.

          I stand by the gist of my statement. I consider it as self-defending as a statement like "Corporate America is run by old white men." All you need to do is look, and your target does the rest for you.

      • If that's the best "proof" you can come up with, I think Hollinm has proved his point quite nicely.

        • Nothing to see there, eh? Kind of like how fish don't really notice water, I suppose.

  9. The real racists are those who call other people racists for doing and saying things which could be racist but in fact are not racist and are the result of highly nuanced policy preferences.

    • Did you just say the Tea Party movement has "highly nuanced" policy preferences? Racism debate aside, that's laughable.

    • "saying things which could be racist but in fact are not racist"

      Depends on whose facts you are using.

      • Try to pay attention. If the person you are calling racist is not in fact racist but merely saying things which may at first seem racist because the person (the real racist) calling them a racist doesn't understand public policy in the same way the person they are calling a racist does. That is why it is racist to call someone racist; this is especially true when black people call white people racists.

        White people ended slavery. Therefore they cannot be racist. Especially if the white people in question are middle aged account managers from the mid-west who are sincerely worried America is becoming a multi-cultural, socialist cesspool. It is natural to worry about your country becoming a cesspool. Not racist.

        Here is how it works: It is not racist to publically speculate whether Barack Obama is a Muslim secret agent, perhaps possessing extra-sensory abilities, but is racist to call the person doing the public speculating racist. Public speculating is never racist. Especially when done by large crowds of middle aged white people. Racist calling by black people and other minorities is.

        • "White people ended slavery. Therefore they cannot be racist."

          You're making a lame joke, right? This is sarcasm. Tell me this is sarcasm!

          • It's sarcasm. That being said, trying to parse it all correctly in order to properly appreciate the humor gave me a tangled knot of a headache. :p

          • wsam is an interesting satirist. A less obvious Stephen Colbert.. unfortunately, the reason Stephen Colbert is so blatant in his apings is because those he mocks are so often beyond the pale that if Colbert were to be less obvious then there is a chance, as we see with wsam here, that he might be mistaken for the real thing.

          • That joke was not lame. You are racist.

  10. I'm not sure that any large political movement has been entirely able to keep racists out of its ranks….the fact that the Tea Party, a fairly loosely organized collection of millions of people, took the step of publicly kicking one sub-group out strikes me as going above and beyond. So that bit struck me as an unfortunate cheap shot. There have been three responses from the MSM concerning the Tea Party movement: (1) It's fake, (2) It's racist, and (3) Let's mock it whenever possible with sexual slurs. I would have been surprised to see Parisella following MSNBC and CNN's lead on number 3 or number 1, and it's a bit disappointing to see him echoing (albeit faintly) number 2.

    Other than that, good piece. It's nice to see someone on the Left admit that yes, this is not a fringe group of whackos.

    • "I'm not sure that any large political movement has been entirely able to keep racists out of its ranks…."

      I agree. Look at you.

      What are the sexual slurs? Something about the obiquity of fanny packs at tea party rallies? Or was it the flowerly shirts billowing around the chest? The tricorn hats?

    • The honestly concerned, non-racist citizens who have unfortunately allied themselves with this astroturf parade already had plenty of options for viable political action. Libertarianism and the Republican party, to name two.

      The Tea Party? To use your words, it's fake and it's racist, and it's a fringe group of whackos.

      Not sure where the "sexual slurs" thing comes in, though.

      • By sexual slurs, I assumed that he meant all the "tea bagging" jokes by class acts like Anderson Cooper.

      • For a while, it was de rigeur for supposedly professional and serious journalists to call them "teabaggers" at every opportunity. That seems to have passed now that the "Make fun of them" phase has passed into "Be terrified by them," though.

        • Yeah, starting with those lefties at Fox News, who were totally against the Teabaggers from the start:

          But it warms my heart to know that, if some group of lefties were dumb enough to call themselves, say, the BJ Brigade or Ballgarglers, you would cluck your tongue and condemn "supposedly professional and serious journalists" for using the term they invented for themselves.

          • LOL! I am hereby refering to all lefties as Ballgarglers, and the Liberal Party of Canada will hereby be known as the BJ Brigade! In the interests of fairness, I encourage everybody to do the same.

          • …because mocking people for giving themselves a laughably stupid name is *exactly* the same as choosing a stupid name for somebody and calling them that.

            At least your photo is appropriate. I'm going to call you Cornholio.

          • Holy ccrap!

    • 4) Roll eyes at their extremist and childish nature and policy?

  11. Even John Parisella sees the writing on the wall.

    The mid-terms will see the beginning of the end for Obama. Could it be that he'll be replaced by Hillary. Perhaps. One thing's for sure.

    He will no longer be President of the United States come January 2013.

    And the U.S. will thereafter become a more prosperous place and the world a whole lot safer.

    The sooner the U.S electorate gets rid of this incompetent ideologue, the better.

    • I was gonna say 'takes one to know one' in response to your "incompetent ideologue' comment. But a more accurate comment would be 'takes one to not know what he's talking about'

    • Seriously, what are you going to say if a left wing ideologue ever did win the white house?

  12. The racist accusation is classic leftism. Faced with an inability to defend one's policies, they smear their opponents in the most vicious manner possible.

    Indeed, the leftist journalists on JournoList concocted this strategy even before Obama was elected.

    What makes this current version of the leftist tactic so desperate is because the Tea Party movement threatens the very foundation of modern liberalism/leftism, and that is that people want big government to help them in need. On the contrary, tea partiers are the very ordinary folks that the left claims it wants to help, yet they go out and protest the very policies that the left says is so crucial to their well-being.

    It must infuriate leftists to see regular folk protest the very fabric of left-wing policy-making. So, they lash out in the only way they know how. They call their opponents racist. And this from people who constantly call for civility in politics. For some, civility means that the other side simply has to shut up. For shame.

  13. I don't think Obama's unpopularity is necessarily a reflection of the tea party. Indeed, if you look at competitive senate races tea party affiliations do not appear to be a major boon to candidates. Rand Paul is probably the biggest tea party favourite. His statements about civil rights knocked him down to a point where he is barely beating his Democratic opponent (far below the matchup polls of his Republican primary opponent). In Nevada the nomination of Sharon Angle has pulled Harry Reid from a dead man walking to a lead in the polls. In Florida, Crist has led the tea party backed Rubio in just about every poll I've seen. It may be NY-24 all over again.

    Alternately, one can find many moderate Republicans doing well in unexpected places. The best example of this is the election of the moderate Scott Brown in Massachusetts, but there are other cases. Fiorina, a pro-choice liberal Republican is competitive in the Democratic stronghold of California (her even more liberal primary opponent, Tom Campbell, led Boxer in match up polls). Other moderate Republicans have a fighting chance in races like Washington, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

  14. Of course holding signs that say, "I'm concerned about government spending" is equivalent to racism. Common sense really.

    • Perhaps Mark Steyn captures this better,

      "For a long time, Tea Partiers were racists. Everybody knows that when you say "I'm becoming very concerned about unsustainable levels of federal spending" that that's old Jim Crow code for "Let's get up a lynching party and teach that uppity Negro a lesson." "

  15. The problem with the racism charge is that even if true, it is not meaningful. Even if many racists support the movement, it does not necessarily mean that the movement itself is racist. The best place to look in that regard is at the policy proposals of the tea party. Whether one agrees or disagrees with tea party policies, they not explicitly racist, and there are many non-racist reasons to share tea party values. The racism charge is the manipulative use of a logical fallacy (eg. if some hippies are dirty and Joe is a hippie, is Joe dirty?) aimed at social intimidation.

    The mere fact that somebody is a racist does not preclude them from making reasonable statements on a wide range of issues (and in a free society, racists are also able to make unreasonable statements too). Hitler's economic policies were pretty successful at generating an economic recovery and everybody loves autobahns. That doesn't justify the Holocaust, but neither is the Holocaust an argument against autobahns.

    I would add that the right is hardly blameless in these matters. Over the past 20 years right wingers have adopted the language of victimhood and thrown "ism" accusations at their opponents. For instance, when people criticized Palin they were "sexist". Affirmative action is "racist". The mainstream media is "elitist". Lets end this ad hominem nightmare and grow some thicker skin.

    • Many thumbs up. I often disagree with you — especially on your economic stances — but this is absolutely true. Labeling blocks thinking.

    • "Over the past 20 years right wingers have adopted the language of victimhood and thrown "ism" accusations at their opponents."

      Do I understand you to be saying that labeling things "ist" is obstructionist?

      Seriously, I completely agree that ad hominem attacks are cowardly, fallacious, and counterproductive. They're a means to avoid the actual issues presented in an argument. But this does not mean that all labels are counterproductive: to say that the Tea Party is based on fiscal conservatism is not an ad hominem or an obstructionist label – it's an accurate and useful statement of fact. Likewise, to say that *some* of the Tea Partiers are racist may also be a statement of fact. It's unquestionably true that *some* of the criticism of Palin was sexist – but this does not mean that all of it was (and I don't recall anyone suggesting that), and obviously it doesn't invalidate all criticism of Palin.

      It makes no sense at all to call the statement "affirmative action is racist" an ad hominem… affirmative action is a policy, not a person. The statement is no more inappropriate than saying that Apartheid is racist, or that capitalism is selfish, or that Catholicism is a myth, or any number of other claims about policies and ideologies. One might disagree, but it's entirely reasonable (albeit not necessarily correct) to suggest that a policy that enforces hiring and admissions based on race is somewhat racist.

      Point is, labels can be used to smear an opponent or to make a valid observation. Let's not confuse the two.

      • A well articulated argument by both of you . Compared to Dennis F.,you people are in another league .

        • In other words, you don't like being exposed for the left-wing hate-monger and liar that you are, right?

          You accuse Obama's opponents of being racist slobs, and me of posting as other people.

          Of course you don't like this.


          • I am just a mainstream middle of the road guy ,not some right wing kook using multiple personnalities .Dennis F has anger management issues . He should relax and take a deep breath . And take a lesson from thoughtful ,conservative types like Gaunilon.

          • See? You need these tactics. I don't. I don't sit there and take being called a defender of racists, or being a multiple poster, very lightly.

          • Temper , temper jarrid . I mean Dennis F. or whatever Briebart is more up your ally . Fake video to set up NAACP and get Mrs .Sharrod fired . That is what is being defended by Tea Party spokespersons.Time for them to say ENOUGH !

          • Get back to me when you're done with the dishonest accusations, smearing of opponents, and jumping from from one nonsensical story to another in order to advance your bizarre agenda. Thank you.

  16. There are enough good writers on this website that I don't have to read posts where the obvious is stated and assertions with occasional basis in fact are made. Find some insight or join Wherry and Potter on the "rarely-read" list.

  17. Mr. Parisella, racists can be found in every political group whether right wing or left. If you want to find some of the most anti-semitic folks in Canada, just look to the NDP and their supporters, and sadly, a growing number of left leaning Liberals.
    Some of the most racists/bigoted comments I have ever heard came from YOUNG LIBERALS in Victoria. The Young Liberals (at the "Cafe Fantasitico") I heard thought it would be best for aboriginal kids to be raised by the state during the day because their mothers' were always drunk, and their fathers were sexually abusive. They also proclaimed national childcare would help black kids (mainly Jamaican) get away from an atmosphere of drugs, guns, and violence for a few hours each day…with the added bonus of learning how to speak English properly.

    If not racist, it is surely bigoted. But….Liberals can't be racists in Canada can they?

    • Quite frankly, I think focusing on the race issue plays right into the hands of liberals like John Parisella. This isn't about race. This is about liberals and leftists smearing ordinary folks who dare protest big government policies instead of worshiping them. Think about it. The same people who advocate the rights of ordinary folks, or the right to civil protest, then turn around and engage in a smear campaign against ordinary folks, or those who choose civil protest.

      Like I said, it's Modern Leftism 101.

      • They also smear outright racists.

        • wsam noted:
          "They also smear outright racists. "

          That may be true, wsam, however, when Liberals accuse anyone with a different view of being racist, the term loses its meaning. Some of the most racist comments I have ever heard came from self proclaimed "progressives."

  18. Jarrid and DennisF must be the same person . This anti left rubbish and Obama is doomed is nonsense and they know it . The Tea Party has been treated too gently by parisella. They are what they are -angry ,white , blue collar , middle aged pot bellied racists .
    The attacks on Obama are more irrational because he is black . Socialism ,my eye .He caved in to the private insurers. But at least , he is an honest man trying to correct the mess-2 wars that the US lost years ago and now counting the bodies and wounded(thanks W and supporters like Jarrid ) and the worst econmy since another Republican , Hoover .

    • "tommyJoe", why do leftists such as yourself need to resort to these hateful and dishonest tactics? You can't rebut our arguments, so you have to accuse jarrid and myself of being two people. You can't stand criticism of your precious leftist president, so you have to smear his critics as being "angry ,white , blue collar , middle aged pot bellied racists ."

      First of all, I'm not sure what you have against blue collar people. But, besides that, it's obvious that you're the one full of anger and resentment. No on else. Thanks.

      • Calm down Dennis F or Jarrid (so you get 2 hits ). i preferred Hillary to Obama .But he is NOT a socialist and you know it . He had to undo a lot of the crap Bush left him. Unless you would want more of Bush-lying about Iraq, abandoning Afghanistan to the taliban , leaving the loss of 700,000 jobs monthly with a depression about to happen , corruption with Cheney actually running a Haliburton front .
        Racism is a fact of Tea Party life and the leaders condone it . And it appears ,so do you . Look at the pictures at rallies , watch the code words like states`rights, cut taxes even if it adds to the deficits , listen to Rand Paul and civil rights ,Breibart `s con game etc . It has worked . White vs black . That is the Tea Party underlying message , Dennis or Jarrid or ..maybe Breibart . Ugh!

        • Me calm down? You're more than welcome to have your left-wing views of the world, and like a president who shares them. But what does it say about those views, and your own credibility, when you have to make hateful and dishonest accusations against people who dare disagree with you? You can't back up your views, so you have to lash out with hatred, resentment and lies.

          But keep it up. You're just exposing your own movement. Thank you.

  19. Hey TommyJoe!

    Keep your pants on. Your movement is exposed!

    And no, Dennis F. Thank you.

    It's a docuimented fact that a majority of tea baggers are potbellied. A low centre of gravity, which your typical overhanging pot belly provides, helps create a lower, more equitable equilibrium which, in turn, makes the act of tea bagging easier.

  20. I forgot to write that with practice the tea bagger can learn to rest their pot belly on the ground and thus, even while tea bagging, save valuable calories which they could more profitable use to combat Obama's Marxist Facsist Cornocopianism.

  21. Now there are 3 with wsam morphing into Dennis F. Calm down !! You are getting overheated . Lack of arguments or losing one does that to you .

    • Lurk moar.

  22. There can be only one wsam.

  23. wsam noted:
    "There can only be one wsam"


    By the way….your village called. They want you back.

  24. More ammo to discredit the Tea Party = racists narrative.

    Former U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Chairman Mary Frances Berry, a long-time prominent liberal activist, has admitted in an interview with Politico that the left is trying to smear the tea party movement as "racist" for strategic reasons, not out of genuine concern that the movement is itself racist.

    "Tainting the tea party movement with the charge of racism is proving to be an effective strategy for Democrats. There is no evidence that tea party adherents are any more racist than other Republicans, and indeed many other Americans. But getting them to spend their time purging their ranks and having candidates distance themselves should help Democrats win in November. Having one's opponent rebut charges of racism is far better than discussing joblessness."

    • `..any more racist than other Republicans…`My point exactly . Both exploit racism. HARD TO TELL WHO IS MORE!
      Thanks john g!Could have said better. Now go sit with Dennis F. and jarrid and the other naysayers of the right . Have a nice day .